Open Spaces: Open Sounds programmed by Joel Ma
Our biggest weekend of the year, Open Spaces festival is a celebration of the Convent’s people, spaces and places.
OPEN SOUNDS PROGRAMMED BY JOEL MA (JOELISTICS)
The Open Sounds music program is curated by Joel Ma (Joelistics). A man of many talents – rapper, spoken word artist, writer, multi-instrumentalist and producer – Joelistics has crafted a very special program of world sounds across the weekend.
Bring along your picnic blanket and relax in the heritage gardens, or strike out east for DJs and street food around Sacred Heart. The discs will be spinning until 9pm on Saturday night. In true festival style, there are outdoor bars, market pop-ups and food trucks, including delicious options for vegetarians and vegans (and some GF as well).
Gulanboon stage (Heritage Gardens)
Noon – 1.50pm: Special Event – Ngulu-nganjin
2 – 2.40pm: Gordon Koang
3 – 3.30pm: BenFugee+Aleesha Jasmine
4 – 4.30pm: Aarti Jadu
5 – 6pm: Cool Out Sun
12.30 – 1pm: Mindy Wang
1.15 – 1.45pm: Louis Majiwa
2 – 2.30pm: Advaita
3 – 3.40pm: Aaron Choulai x Daichi Yamamoto
4 – 4.45pm: Indolombia
5 – 6pm: Senegambian Jazz Band
Sacred Heart stage
2 – 6pm: Lazer Ferrari
6 – 7pm: ELLE
7 – 8pm: TBC
8 – 9pm: MzRizk
12 – 2pm: Chelsea Wilson
2 – 4pm: Memphis LK
4 – 5pm: Systa BB
5 – 6pm: Dustin McLean
Hailing from the village of Nasir, Gordon Koang is a songwriter, poet and spokesperson for the Nuer people of the upper Nile region of South Sudan.
Born blind, he is widely seen as a source of hope and inspiration for the thousands of Nuer people forced from their homes due to the ongoing civil war, fearlessly tackling issues of displacement, corruption, nepotism, and injustice. Gordon designed and built his own unique instrument, the Thom, a banjo-like instrument that is the rhythmic and melodic anchor of his music.
This newly-created band brings BenFugee and Aleesha Jasmine together to create an indie/pop/rock sound combining guitar, keyboard, vocals, electronic sounds and a loop pedal. BenFugee is from Iran and now lives in Melbourne as a refugee. He plays guitar and keyboard, and is the band’s lead singer. Aleesha Jasmine is from Melbourne and plays the keyboard while singing back-up vocals. BenFugee and Aleesha Jasmine are currently participating in MAV’s Visible Music Mentoring Program, alongside mentor Arik Blum, to produce their first single.
Aarti Jadu’s vocal and electronic performance pays respect to her many influences and practices, from Indian music and chanting to ambient, electronic and song writing. She is also known as an advocate for folk world and devotional music, delving into areas of experimental and conceptual multi-disciplinary art. She is best known for her work on the collaborative double album Quiet Earth (2016) produced by UK artist Matt Coldrick.
Cool Out Sun
New Afro-funk outfit Cool Out Sun burst onto the scene with an explosion of introspective, retrospective soul-food unlike any other. The all-star line-up boasts some of the most influential names in Australian music, inviting you to wake up, cool down and just do you. The act is comprised of the kids that won't put the drumsticks down in class and composers taunting a treble clef to throw a few more notes on the stave. The beats are provocative and the lyrics are powerfully imaginative.
Meng Wang is a versatile Chinese/Australian musician, teacher and composer. Her cross-cultural life and professional experience create her unique style, which has been influenced by Chinese classical and western contemporary music. Meng has studied the Guzheng in China with leading masters since the age of seven and started performing solo at the age of ten. She has graduated from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne with a BA (Hons) in Music (2006).
Kenyan soul-funk singer-songwriter Louis Majiwa has a truly unique take on music. His style is defined by syncopating multilingual vocals to his acoustic guitar. Paying homage to his African roots, his music combines elements of bunga, soul-funk and reggae. He regularly plays gigs at The Vineyard in St Kilda, The Rainbow Hotel in Fitzroy and Elwood Lounge. He is also the current Artistic Director of North Melbourne's Club Voltaire Thursday Sessions and was involved in bringing the inaugural African Festival to Melbourne.
Aurora Darby (vocals and violin), Mat Robb (guitar) and Kesh (world percussion) Exploring the synthesis of various musical forms including world, classical and spiritual jazz, this new "philos-o-freq" trio takes listeners on an improvised and surreal dreamscape. Drawing from ancient philosophy regarding the non-duality of the cosmos, atma, eternal and the individual, Advaita's music revolves around an intuitive sense and feel of movement, sound and stillness. Arising from influences of both contemporary and classical music, Advaita explores eastern and western musical traditions through improvisation.
Aaron Choulai x Daichi Yamamoto
Aaron Choulai and Daichi Yamamoto's music is as diverse as their cultural background. Kyoto-based rapper Daichi Yamamoto burst onto the Japanese hip hop scene in 2018, collaborating with Japanese hip hop royalty such as 5lack, Kojoe, JJJ and Senninsho. Papua New Guinea born Aaron Choulai is one of Tokyo’s most in demand beat makers and producers. Choulai worked as a Jazz pianist and composer professionally for 10 years before learning beat-making from legendary Japanese producer Olive Oil. The two artists have come together in 2018 to realize a collaborative project for Tokyo-based hip hop label Jazzy Sport, called ‘Window’.
Indolombia is a unique and powerful music collaboration between Melbourne based artists from Australia, Colombia, India and Indonesia. As part of a new wave of contemporary world music, their aim is to celebrate their cultural diversity and inspire connection. Rayhan Sudrajat (Indonesia), Oscar Jimenez (Colombia/Australia) and Jay Dagbar (India) create original versions of a global folklore using traditional instruments with modern technology such as: tabla, sape (Indonesian string instrument), Charango (South American string instrument), synths, looping, sampling and more.
Senegambian Jazz Band
Since their inception in 2015, the Senegambian Jazz Band have fused Afro jazz, deep world music beats and funk to create some truly awe-inspiring rhythms and melodies. With influences from Gambia, Senegal, Ethiopia, Ghana and Australia, the five-piece band share their outstanding talent and flair, channelling over eight thousand years of African musical traditions. They transport the power and beauty of these ancient sounds, rhythms and melodies to euphoric audiences across Australia. Underpinning the band’s unique sound is the Kora, a traditional West African stringed instrument, played by frontman & vocalist, the phenomenally talented Amadou Suso, direct descendent of the world’s first kora player, Korea Musa Suso.
Thomas W. Butt, AKA Lazer Ferrari, is a DJ, double-bassist, producer, teacher and recording artist with over 20 years’ experience across the globe. He works as a DJ, session musician, records and produces his own work, designs sound for theatre, circus and burlesque, and works as a producer, teacher and mentor with at-risk youth. Thomas is renowned for blending the best of modern electronic beat music with the finest global sounds from the 50s to the present.
ELLE has been performing to Melbourne’s dance-floors since 2002, bringing her uplifting and eclectic mixes of disco, house, hip hop, dancehall, afrobeat, Latin, baille-funk, pop, rock, rnb, ska, soul, jazz, funk, blues and more. She has supported Grandmaster Flash, Flying Lotus, Giles Peterson and Norman Jay, among others. She has performed at major festivals including Golden Plains, Meredith Music Festival, Good Vibrations and The Big Day Out. ELLE annually DJs for the City Of Melbourne NYE fireworks events. She has performed at many treasured Melbourne venues and has presented radio shows on PBS & RRR FM.
Melbourne-based DJ, event curator and radio presenter MzRizk, is renowned for her ongoing contributions to Melbourne’s rich cultural and music landscape. As one of Melbourne’s busiest DJs, MzRizk has supported Australian acts such as Remi and Hiatus Kaiyote; as well as international artists Badbadnotgood, Mos Def, Public Enemy, Jill Scott, Snarky Puppy, The Daptones, John Morales, The Internet, Bilal, Cody Chestnut, Maseo (De La Soul), Common, Talib Kweli, Jurassic 5, Maxwell Tank & The Bangas, Ibeyi and many more. She has performed at Glastonbury Festival in the UK, Womadelaide, International Soul Summit (Atlanta, USA), AWME, Soundwave (Croatia), Groovin' The Moo, Big Day Out, Sugar Mountain Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival, Perth Fringe Festival, Darwin Festival and numerous other events nationally and internationally.
Chelsea Wilson is a Melbourne based vocalist, songwriter, broadcaster and DJ. Her debut soul-inspired album 'I Hope You'll Be Very Unhappy Without Me' was lauded #2 Album of the Year on ABC Radio National and nominated for Best Soul Album at the Age Music Victoria Awards 2014, leading to performances including Glastonbury Festival UK, and the headline spot on the Arts Centre stage at the Australasian World Music Expo. As a DJ, she has supported acts such as Eddie Palmieri, Booker T, Tina Arena, Craig Charles and Hiatus Kaiyote.
Memphis LK is a Naarm (Melbourne) based producer, songwriter, DJ and sound artist. At 24 years of age, her passionate involvement in the local music scene sees her work spanning across various mediums. Memphis writes for, produces for and performs in electronic duo SAATSUMA and has recently established an independent record label and creative production house, Grenadilla Sounds. Through her work with youth music organisation The Push, Memphis is currently developing beat making and electronic production workshops focused on up-skilling female and gender diverse young people to produce and perform with Ableton Live.
Over the last 26 years, Systa BB has broadcast/written & DJed the music that binds us all. Her broadcasts on The Good, The Dub & The Global on RRR has taken audiences on weekly excursions to little-known musical destinations. From Lee Scratch Perry & Mad Professor to WOMADelaide and beyond, her selections light up dancefloors at home and abroad, and spread the word.
Dustin McLean is a pianist, composer, and producer, and has been a professional DJ working in Melbourne for nearly two decades. Prior to a recent relocation to Byron Bay, he was a resident DJ at the Corner Hotel. He has also played at most of Melbourne’s other top music venues and many of Australia's largest festivals.
Want more music? From West Indies Calypso jazz to choral performances, you'll find a diverse array of musical delights in our Community Music program.