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‘Beauty on a Razors Edge’ ft. Judith Hamann

Composed  Abby Sundborn, with the support of the New North Emerging Artist Commission.

This work was created intermittently between Oct 2021- Feb 2022. Through and out of Naarm’s lockdowns this process provided a refuge.


I would like to pay my respects to the Wurundjeri peoples of the Kulin Nation, the traditional custodians of the land where we gather today. I pay my respects to their elders past, present and emerging and to all indigenous or Torres straight Islander peoples here today. I recognise and honour their spiritual connection to country, community and culture. Sovereignty was never ceded. 


My deepest gratitude to my mentors Judith Hamann and James Rushford. Each in their unique ways have helped me so sensitively in navigating this new terrain. It’s been a pleasure meeting you and so humbling to have you by my side. 

Thank you Joe, Andy and Callum from the New North Committee for your all your support and welcoming me in with such a warm embrace.

Thank you to all my amazing friends, family and housemates I’m fortunate to be surrounded by. You all teach and inspire me so much. 


Compositions and Improvisations for Drumset


James has developed an inimitable solo voice on the drumset that is documented on his albums Counter Clockwork, Oscillator and Interstitial.


Tonights performance is the first showing in a new phase of James's solo practice - a collection of new works tentatively titled 'Photo Book'. The music draws inspiration from the intensive, long-term practices of street photographers such as Trent Parke and Alec Soth, and the way that they return to places, ideas, and themes over the span of many years, producing tens of thousands of photos (and editing judiciously).


(in collaboration with Tim Green & Helen Svoboda): Five Moods, Five Poses

It has been on my mind for some time to create a work that uses the durations of life drawing poses as its starting point. A few years back, I went through a period when I was attending life drawing sessions on a weekly basis. I enjoyed the satisfaction of developing a new craft, but the sessions themselves also became a kind of mindfulness  activity. The brevity of the early poses and the great difficulty of capturing  the human from meant that I had to approach the task with a great deal of concentration. Much like performing music, the drawings seemed to come out best when I reached a kind of flow state where the mark making was intuitive and unburdened by the clutter of the analytical mind. 

This collection of five pieces marks the duration of five different poses by life model Felippe Canale. My intention was to create 1min, 2min, 5min and 15min poses, however the composition precess lead to a slight stretching or compressing of some of these durations. The movements combine live elements by me (trombone, piano, organ, samples, contact speakers and resonators) and Helen Svoboda (double bass) with tape tracks developed with Brisbane based percussionist and sound artist Tim Green. His contributions to 2'00" and 14'20" transformed these tacks, creating an immersive spacial quality, and his electronics were the initial impetus for the two 1'20" tracks. The tape track for 5'00" is by me alone. All bass parts are developed by Helen in response to the tape tracks. 

Movements and Pose Durations

1'20" A  

1'20" B



Short interval for model to rest


NEW NORTH. Exploratory music. Narrm/Melbourne.

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