ELISION – Extinction Events & Dawn Chorus


Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre in arrangement with ELISION


Ecological listening to more-than-human worlds.

‘Humans are tuned for relationship. The eyes, the skin, the tongue, ears, and nostrils—all are gates where our body receives the nourishment of others. This landscape of shadowed voices, these feathered bodies and tumbling streams–these breathing shapes are our family.’ – David Abram

ELISION is celebrated for its unique instrumentation, close and long-term artistic relationships with composers, its virtuosity and the deep commitment of its musicians to renegotiate and re-invent performance practice and technique.

About the concert

Their performance in Elisabeth Murdoch Hall as part of New Music Days 2023 presents virtuosic new sounds from one of the world’s leading new music groups. Featuring works by the inimitable Liza Lim, Mary Bellamy and Aaron Cassidy, this thought-provoking program explores pertinent environmental issues of our time, celebrating the world premiere of Aaron Cassidy’s new piano concerto.

Liza Lim’s composition Extinction Events & Dawn Chorus is a major Australian work that has resonated decisively with ensembles and audiences all over the world. It contemplates the vast conglomerations of plastic trash circulated in the world’s ocean currents, eventually ground into toxic fragments that sediment on remote islands and within the fish we eat. Liza has made a music out of relics of the past – a coarse sampling of ‘extinction events’ ranging from the spectral echoes of a creaking 19th century piano music, to a faulty transcription of a recording of the last mating call ever heard of the now extinct Kauai O’o bird.

Mary Bellamy’s Enveloped uses two seemingly quite different instruments, the cello and contrabass recorder, to forge a new whole, a new sonic identity. The work is made up of imaginary dialogues and points of connection and disconnection.

The piano concerto conjures images of white tie and tails, it conjures images of Brahms, maybe of Schumann or Tchaikovsky. This is not that! Scored for an unusual ensemble including recorders, harp and a pedal steel guitar Aaron Cassidy’s concerto has been especially written for solo pianist Alex Waite who brings iridescent brilliance to creating this world premiere.

Post-Concert Talk

Please join Liza Lim, Aaron Cassidy and Mary Bellamy for a post-concert talk from 9.20pm – 9.40pm.

ELISION is deeply appreciative of support given to this event by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation, CeReNeM through Huddersfield University UK, and Creative Victoria.

New Music Days is generously supported by the Robert Salzer Foundation.

COVID Safety

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ELISION ensemble
Paula Rae flutes
Peter Veale oboe
Richard Haynes clarinets
James Aylward bassoon
Deepa Goonetilleke horn
Joshua Hyde saxophone
Tristram Williams trumpet
Benjamin Marks trombone
Ryan Williams recorders
Marshall McGuire harp
Alex Waite piano
Daryl Buckley pedal steel
Peter Neville percussion
Harry Ward violin
Freya Schack-Arnott violin, cello
Rohan Dasika contrabass

Aaron Cassidy conductor
Alistair Mclean sound engineering


Mary Bellamy

Aaron Cassidy
Piano concerto

Liza Lim
Extinction Events and Dawn Chorus