Speak Percussion

Assembly Operation Ceramic Stupa, 2017

Jia Jia Chen (artist), Assembly Operation Ceramic Stupa, 2017, on display in the Grainger Museum 2019

Speak Percussion has shaped the sound of 21st century Australian percussion music through the creation and presentation of ambitious arts projects. Internationally recognised and respected as a leader in the fields of experimental and contemporary classical music, Speak is a foundational company in Post-Instrumental Practice.

Speak Percussion engages in world-class, risk-taking and innovative projects with many of the world’s leading exponents of experimental and new music including Liza Lim and Steve Reich. It has commissioned and premiered over 130 percussion works, and has contributed new 21st century masterworks to the global percussion repertoire. Speak Percussion's “breathtakingly impressive” (The West Australian) projects have toured to some of the world’s leading festival’s and venues including Maerzmusik (Germany), SONICA (UK), The Barbican (UK), Darmstadt (Germany), Tage für Neue Musik, Zurich (Switzerland), TIPC (Taiwan), Salihara (Indonesia), CONNECT (Sweden), ARENA (Latvia), GAIDA (Lithuania) and Café OTO (UK).

Speak is a world leader in Post-Instrumental Practice, an extension of the contemporary classical tradition, it transcends established musical instruments and orthodox instrumental techniques, instead making use of designed objects, new technologies, appropriated devices and material explorations. This means any physical object in existence may be played as an instrument and inspires deep examination of the material and behaviour of sound. Consequently, the physical relationships to, and cultural knowledge of, these objects informs new performance techniques, allowing new sound worlds to evolve.

The Grainger Museum is privileged to display selected instruments and video documentation of recent performances by Speak Percussion, including Assembly Operation (2017), and Flourophone (2015).