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Out To Lunch: A new music series for your lunchbreak

Anna Riddel

What do you do in your lunch hour?

Me, I get Burmese curry (number two and number 8, thank you) and then wander aimlessly in civic until it’s time to wander aimlessly back to work…

But what if you didn’t have to wander aimlessly?

With the developments and refurbishments of the Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centres completed, a new music series has been instigated, designed especially for your lunch break.

From 12.30pm to 1.15pm every Tuesday you are welcome to wander in and wander out, sit down, eat your lunch, have a chat (yes, have a chat during the music) and listen to the exquisite sounds created by our local musicians.

Out To Lunch is curated by local musician and School of Music honours student (pianist and cellist) Ellen Falconer. I spoke to Ellen about the new program and the experience it creates for the audience. She tells me that every week on a Tuesday a different experience is created for the audience depending on what suits the music.

“We’ve had four concerts so far, two have been in the main hall and two in the reception hall – even the venue changes weekly – each of those concerts has looked different,” says Ellen.

“In the first one, we had Charles Martin and Alec Hunter with this amazing set-up of a film in the background by Elyse Howe, and this incredible stage display of all these synthesiser and pedal kind of things that they played with – no normal instruments, just all this technology and viola that they managed to turn into some wondrous soundscape. Then the following week it was completely different, with Anne Ewing on piano and it looked like a salon-style, intimate concert.”

“Today’s concert was different again – we had an ensemble of nine performers in the middle of the reception hall, with eight different instruments, enclosed by the audience’s chairs. Every one is a different aesthetic of new and different music, so each week the audience experience also changes to suit that!”

I quickly discovered that whilst Ellen might seem unassuming, she is a force to be reckoned with.

“The program was conceived around June, when Joseph (the director of Ainslie and Gorman Arts Centres) and Adelaide (one of the creative managers at AGAC) approached me about what to do with Ainslie Arts Centre, seeing as the developments and refurbishments were close to completion,” she says.

“It seemed only natural to all three of us that, in some way, the new space should include and show off the budding musicians at the ANU School of Music. After some discussion, I was offered the position as curator and producer of a lunchtime concert series that would focus on new and experimental music, and less-heard classical music.”

Ellen assures me these lunchtime concerts are not your stereotypical sit-quietly-and-clap-in-the-right-places concerts.

“I think the concerts are really great in that they don’t adhere to the stuffy and silent audience of the classical conservatory. Ainslie Arts Centre gets used by many different groups, and so there are constantly people moving in and around the space – this means that people can talk, eat their lunch, do whatever they like – all while listening to and enjoying music.”

This week’s program presents one of HerCanberra’s own Fifteen Women to Watch in 2015, vocal group Kaleid as the featured group. This trio of female vocalists formed at the ANU School of Music and has been performing regularly with their lush tone and clever harmonies.

So don’t be shy. Head over to Ainslie Arts Centre on a Tuesday for a lucky dip of music, if nothing else it ill give your lunch time wandering a direction, and at best, you might just love it.

the essentials:

What: Out To Lunch, new music concert series featuring Kaleid (25 August)
Where: Ainslie Arts Centre: Ainslie Main Hall
When: Weekly, Tuesdays at 12.30-1.30pm
How much: $5, bookings not required

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Anna Riddel

Anna Riddel is a singer, director, keynote speaker and a passionate teacher. In 2012, her song Breathe, received a runner up position in the USA International Song Of The Year Songwriting Contest. Anna is currently a Voice tutor at NIDA, as well as a tutor in Music Pedagogy at UNSW. Her company Speak Don’t Talk consults on voice and communication across a range of industries. Anna is an avid Brumbies fan and a self professed coffee snob. Follow her on twitter @annariddel More about the Author

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