Support Material

MESS Synthesiser Orchestra

The MESS Synthesiser Orchestra (MSO) is a mass mobilisation of the MESS Collection, providing a distinct opportunity to engage with rare and difficult to access instruments as both the performer and audience. The commission gives an artist the scope and support to compose for an impossible combination of instruments, collaborating with other artists to direct a globally unique performance that is transported to the stage and presented live.

The MSO commission demonstrates the breadth of talent and resources of our local electronic artists, highlighting the incredible legacy of Victoria and Australia in shaping electronic sound globally.

The first iteration of the performance took place over the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in 2021 as part of MESS at the Bowl, debuting the MSO alongside a diverse line-up of electronic artists, to a 1200 strong audience. In 2023 MESS built upon this success, partnering with Now or Never (NoN) festival to present the orchestra in the stunning confines of the Melbourne Town Hall. The commissioned artists Kat Stathis, Mads Davey and Rachael Kim met initially through the MESS Professional Development course, and through their time at MESS have collected and grown into a remarkable compositional force. The work was followed by Stockholm-based American organist Kali Malone, playing the Grand Organ to impart her revered compositions, in a billing that established a sincere and inspiring juxtaposition between the two performances and technologies of the night.

Video Documentation

MESS Synthesiser Orchestra – STATHIS//DAVEY//KIM 2023
In its second-ever staging, the MESS Synthesiser Orchestra, under the guidance of the Melbourne/Narrm composer collective STATHIS//DAVEY//KIM, combined historic machines from the MESS collection with the grand organ. This live performance was 12 exceptional artists collaborate, activating iconic synthesisers from the annals of electronic music history.

MESS Synthesiser Orchestra – Mat Watson 2021
The MESS Synthesiser Orchestra was a mass activation of the MESS collection involving 16 artists and 40 instruments in a world-first performance at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl to +1200 people. MESS commissioned Mat Watson for the composition of the orchestral score and curated a showcase of Victorian electronic artists for this collaboration with Arts Centre Melbourne.

Images ‚Äď MESS Synthesiser Orchestra at Now Or Never 2023

Images ‚Äď MESS Synthesiser Orchestra at the Bowl 2021

Supporting Local Artists & Diversity Of Sound

MESS supports the development of artists in many ways, including through its residency, commission, educational and performance offerings. We aim to provide these to artists at pivotal points in their careers that best support their growth and progress, furthering compositional, technical and organisational skills, contributing to their creative practice and processes.

Talks & Workshops ‚Äď Selected 2020-2024

Jim O‚ÄôRourke ‚Äď Masterclass In The Serge Paperface (Artist Workshop & Talk, MRC, July 2024 )

Eiko Ishibashi (Artist Talk, ACMI, July 2024)

Kaitlyn Aurelia-Smith (Artist Q&A, 2023)

Vijay Thillaimuthu (Artist Talk, 2023)

Tiffany Alwis + Tyler Wilay ‚Äď Residents Revealed (Artist Talk, 2023)

Eiko Ishibashi (Artist Talk, 2022)

Sara Retallick + Vijay Thillaimuthu ‚Äď Residents Revealed (Artist Talk, 2022)

Naretha Williams + Rohan Rebeiro ‚Äď Residents Revealed (Artist Talk, 2021)

Nick Roux + Nina Buchanan ‚Äď Residents Revealed (Artist Talk, 2021)

Alex White ‚Äď Unstable Structures (Artist Talk, 2021)

NONOTAK ‚Äď In Conversation (Artist Talk, 2020)

James Kirkpatrick ‚Äď Circuit-Bends Old Kids’ Toys to Make Noise (Artist Talk, 2020)

Engagement ‚Äď MESS Synthesiser Orchestra & Additional Commissioned Work

Media: ABC | A history of synthesizers with Melbourne Electronic Sound Studio | Art Works

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MESS is people, sound & electricity  MESS is people, sound & electricity  MESS is people, sound & electricity  MESS is people, sound & electricity  MESS is people, sound & electricity  MESS is people, sound & electricity  MESS is people, sound & electricity  MESS is people, sound & electricity