Perkussive Werke zeitgenössischer australischer Komponisten zwischen Minimalismus und expressionistischer Dynamik. Nigel Westlakes Marimbastück „Omphalo Centric Lecture“ist inspiriert durch ein Bild von Paul Klee und afrikanische Trance-Xylophone. Askills „Lemurian Dances“ beschwört die versunkene Pazifik-Kultur Lemuria mit Gongs und unzähligen exotischen Schlaginstrumenten. Komplex auch Peter Sculthorpes musikalische Umsetzung einer Traumzeitgeschichte der Aboriginals. Verspielt die „Marimba Dances“ von Ross Edwards, zauberhaft die tanzenden (Computer- und Marimba-) Melodien von Wesley-Smith in „White Knight and Beaver“.

the project

With the release of his collaborative CD Fata Morgana (13110) percussionist Michael Askill begun to make a name for himself outside his native Australia. This previous release, with Turkish instrumentalist Omar Faruk Tekbilek, presented Askill's considerable skills as percussionist and improviser; now, with Australian Percussion, he displays his close ties with many of Australia's most respected composers. Nigel Westlake and Martin Wesley-Smith, for example, each contribute colorful, accessible scores for multiple percussion instruments from around the world; Wesley-Smith's White Knight and Beaver, inspired by Lewis Carroll, also incorporates effective, atmospheric touches of electronic music.

The dean of Australian composers, Peter Sculthorpe, has also contributed a piece to Michael Askill's one–man–band recording. Again using studio multi–track techniques, Askill performs How the Stars Were Made, an evocative depiction of an Aboriginal creation myth, using mallet instruments and percussion from around the world. Ross Edwards, another of Australia's more established composers, wrote his Marimba Dances specifically for Michael Askill. This buoyant solo piece is based on a traditional song from Madagascar—making it just one of several pieces on this recording to draw on the rich percussion traditions of Africa, Asia, and the Near East.

In addition to being the recipient of numerous dedications from other composers, Michael Askill is a composer himself. His Lemurian Dances is perhaps the most exotically scored piece on the album, employing thirty–four different percussion instruments from the traditions of China, the Philippines, the Andes, Aboriginal Australia, and Western classical and rock music. Like the United States, Australia is a culturally diverse country–a melting pot. And like the U.S., it is home to a thriving music scene that draws strength from that diversity. Australian Percussion is a delightful and intriguing introduction to the vibrant sounds and colors of Australian music.

the artist

Michael Askill is considered by many to be Australia's finest percussionist. Equally skilled at mallet instruments (vibes, marimba, etc.) and hand percussion from around the world, he has inspired dozens of composers to create works especially for him. In his solo career and in his long–standing percussion quartet, he seeks to create a music that crosses cultural boundaries. He can frequently be found accompanying some of Australia's finest contemporary composers and performing throughout the Pacific Rim.




1 Omphalo Centric Lecture 8'33"
2 Lemurian Dances 10'36"
3 Marimba Dances 9'43"
4 How the Stars Were Made 9'28"
5 Fabian Theory 5'35"
6 White Knight and Beaver 9'25"
  Total Time: 53'34"