Alister Spence

Alister is a well-known Australian pianist/composer. His extensive performing and composing experience spans more than 25 years. He has performed with and composed for some of the most respected performers in contemporary music, improvisation and theatre. He has been focusing his efforts on writing and performing with his trio, The Alister Spence Trio, which includes Lloyd Swanton (the Necks), on double bass, and Toby Hall (formerly, with pianist Mike Nock), on drums and glockenspiel. The group is well-known and has released five albums (Rufus Records), and has gained a worldwide reputation. Far Flung (Rufus Records 2012), received a 4 star Jazz Journal review (June 2013), and was included in Critics Poll 2013 (January 2013). It was also named Album of the Year in The WIRE 2013 Rewind by Andy Hamilton. The Wire, UK, voted fit (Rufus Records 2009), in the top 15 jazz/improv albums worldwide for 2009. Flux (Rufus Records 2003), and Mercury (Rufus Records 2006), were nominated for ARIA (Australian Record Industry Awards). In 2006, the trio toured Japan and Canada. Alister, bassist Joseph Williamson (Tobias Delius Quartet), Alex Ward, and drummer Chris Cantillo, (Nils Berg Cinemascope), Lena Nyberg, have been touring regularly in Europe and the UK since 2009. As a Quartet, Alister also performed with Raymond MacDonald, saxophonist (Marilyn Crispell and the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra). Festival performances include Vilnius Jazz Festival 2009 and Luminous Festival 2009, Sydney Opera House curated Brian Eno 2009, Tokyo Jazz Festival 2008. International Festival de Jazz de Montreal 2006, Vancouver Jazz Festival 2006. Alister is a founder member of Wanderlust, and a long-standing AAO member. Alister was also the co-leader/composer of Clarion Fracture Zone, an internationally-acclaimed group that he led for 15 years (1990 – 2005). More than 30 CDs feature his playing, many of which were nominated or won by the Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA). He has performed with many top musicians from Australia over the years, including Sandy Evans, Bernie McGann and Chris Abrahams, Don Burrows (US), Dale Barlows, Peter O’Mara. Phillip Slater, Phillip Slater. Archie Roach, Paul Capsis and Ed Kuepper (The Laughing Clowns). Alister has performed with Satoko Fujii, Michiyo Yagi and Barre Phillips (US), Myra Melford(US), Mark Helias/US), Andy Sheppard/UK), Joe Williamson(SWE), Jim O’Rourke (19Japan), Raymond MacDonald (20Glasgow), Mark Helias/US), Karraikudi mani (IND). Alister has toured extensively throughout Europe, Asia, and Canada over the past 20 years with Clarion Fracture Zone and Wanderlust, The Alister Spence Trio and Mark Helias (US), Andy Sheppard (UK), Joe Williamson (SWE), Jim O’Rourke (Japan), Raymond MacDonald (Glasgow), Mark Helias (US), Karraikudi Mani (IND) and WDR (Germany). Alister’s talents as a composer have been well-known in Australia. Alister is also a composer for Wanderlust, and has been asked several times to compose for The Australian Art Orchestra as well as Clarion Fracture Zone. The Australian Art Orchestra premiered Soak, his first major work in 2010, at the Melbourne International Arts Festival. It is a 4 movement suite. Alister’s music is also featured on Passion (The Australian Art Orchestra – ABC Classics) as well as on his trio CDs Wanderlust and Clarion Fracture Zone CDs. Bernie McGann’s 2001 ARIA-winning CD Bundeena features several of his compositions. FILM Alister composes music for theatre and film. In collaboration with Ivan Sen, he recorded and wrote the soundtrack for Beneath Clouds. It was first shown in June 2002. The film’s score was nominated at the Film Critics Awards and the Australian Film Industry Awards 2002 for Best Score. He has also composed soundtracks for Tom Zubrycki (“Molly and Mobarek”), Allan Collins (“Dhakiyarr Versus The King, Spirit Stones”), and Tom Murray (“Dhakiyarr Versus The King, In My Father’s Country”). THEATRE Theatre credits include sound design for Angela’s Kitchen featuring Paul Capsis, directed by Julian Meyrick (2010), and Winterreise, A Winter’s Journey directed by Matthew Lutton (2011). Alister is an Adjunct senior lecturer at University of New South Wales, in Jazz Performance and Composition. from

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