Reflections explores the sonic properties of a range of recorders against electronic fixed media (processed and unprocessed sounds, or soundscape). This program investigates and demonstrates the variety of sound possibilities the instruments can produce through traditional and contemporary performance practice. Featuring female Australian composers, including a new work by electronic music composer Donna Hewitt, each piece presents a particular reflection of the instrumenta’s past through integration with fixed media. Reflections has two meanings in this program: the improvisation and interaction between the live performer and the pre-recorded material, and the concepts of the pieces themselves. In the first instance, reflections refers to the improvisatory mimicking of pre-recorded material by the live performer; expanding and weaving musical and gestural motifs to contrast and assimilate live and recorded performance. With an early music heritage and a rebirth within the contemporary environment, the second references the recorder and its music, how these eras can be reflected by crossing sound, playing techniques and representation.
With a passion for both early and contemporary music, recorder player Alana Blackburn performs music spanning over 500 years; often finding ways to incorporate medieval, renaissance and baroque repertoire and modern composition either through juxtaposition and/or assimilation within a work or program. Using multiple instruments to discover an enhanced sound-world, Alana pushes the confines of traditional recorder playing, bringing together early historical performance practice and contemporary performance delivery through solo performances, collaborating with other artists, commissioning new works, interdisciplinary performance and electro-acoustic presentations. Alana has performed with a number of ensembles including The Australian Reorder Project, The Royal Wind Music, The New Dutch Academy, Salut! Baroque, The Bell Shakespeare Company, Pinchgut Opera, The Sydney Consort, ThoroughBass and The Tall Poppeas. As a soloist, she has performed concerti with The Early Music Ensemble of the Sydney Conservatorium, The Manly-Warringah Symphony Orchestra, Coro Innominata and The Bourbaki Ensemble. She has appeared live on Radio broadcasts throughout Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Austria and The Netherlands, and presented programs at festivals throughout Australia, Germany and Austria. Alana has performed in some of the world’s finest recital halls including the Sydney Opera House (Australia), Wigmore Hall (UK), Amsterdam Concertgebouw (The Netherlands) and Konzerthaus Berlin (Germany). Performances include solo contemporary programs with sound technologist Benjamin Carey, improvisations with the Ethernet Orchestra, a solo artist in the New Music Networka’s Mini Series, as well as commissioning a number of works as part of the Australian Recorder Project that were performed in the Sydney Vivid festival. After completing a Bachelor of Music (performance) degree with First Class Honours at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 2004, Alana was awarded a University of Sydney Postgraduate Award to continue with a Master of Music (performance) degree specialising in contemporary Japanese compositions for recorder under the instruction of Hans-Dieter Michatz. With assistance from the Ian Potter Cultural Trust and PPCA Performersa’ Trust, Alana undertook overseas study, graduating from the Conservatorium van Amsterdam in December 2010 under Paul Leenhouts and Jorge Isaac. Along with numerous scholarships for her professional study in performance, Alana was a winner of the Don Cowell Memorial Trust Open Recorder Competition in 2011. While in The Netherlands, Alana was a member of The Royal Wind Music â€“ a double sextet of renaissance recorders that specialise in instrumental music from 1500-1640. With this ensemble, she toured Europe and participated in numerous music festivals and recorded three CDs. After being awarded an Australian Postgraduate Award, Alana completed a PhD investigating the professional identity of chamber musicians and group processes. In June 2017 she took up an Early Career Academic Position as a Lecturer in Music at The University of New England, Armidale NSW.