Andrew Batt-Rawden (b. 1984). I make chamber music and performance art. This involves some writing, some devising, some improv, sometimes performing. My debut album “Seven Stations” was released in 2014 with Hospital Hill. In 2015 I began using live heart rates as tempi in my music compositions, and I’ve written such works for Plexus (for the 2016 Metropolis Festival), Australia Piano Quartet, Jocelyn Ho and Synergy Percussion (40 under 40 project). In 2017, commissions include for the Song Company, Australian Art Quartet and Alicia Crossley. Previous commissions include for the Noise, DirtyFeet... a range of ensembles, companies and instrumentations (more detail here). I can’t describe my aesthetic (have a listen yourself!) but I like playing with a sense of rhythm and time, and I root my harmonies in the tradition but extend my language to express what is otherwise inexpressible. I love exploring the juxtaposition of ugly and beautiful, masculine and feminine, pedestrian and abstractification and many of my works have a premise in an aspect of identity.
Recently I’ve been collaborating with my partner Dean Walsh on a triptych “The Gaze”, with our first work “Exile Nothing” currently under development. We had a great reception at the Sydney Really Good Sex Festival in early 2017. I’m doing more workshops at Strut (Perth) and performing little gigs when I can for more experience (including recently for Guy James Whitworth's exhibition at Mardi Gras 2017).
In addition to my artist career, I’ve been involved in the direction and/or curation of festivals including Vivid @ Seymour, Bellingen Music Festival, Aurora Festival. I also present the annual Australian Composition Seminar with Richard Gill and Karen Carey. In 2013 I bought Limelight Magazine to prevent its closure, and am its publisher now. In 2016 was the inaugural composer in residence at Gallop House, Perth. I had a great residency at Bundanon with the Australian Art Quartet to make "30/31 - Lobotomy", a performance art piece for string quartet, props and pre-recorded media premiered in May 2017. Also in May 2017, I was part of the establishment of a new foundation; Arts Initiative Australia with some other arts advocates, which supports projects that build capacity for the arts or artists.
I'm not too sure where I'm taking it all... I love creating and performing, but I know that without the context in which creativity can exist, I wouldn't be able to do those things; so I do a lot to keep the arts sector alive and thriving. In saying that, I'm vegetarian because humanity is unsustainable, myopic and greedy, and if our attention isn't to the global environment in which we live, it won't matter whether or not society appreciates arts at all because society won't exist anyway!