A wonder-filled evening with some of Australia’s trailblazers in original folk music as well as a special international guest and two artists Ingrid Bartkowiak and Shay Tobin, creating live alongside the music. There will be pencils and paper available for audience member who might feel inspired to join in too!
Monique Clare and Joe D’Esposito
Monique Clare (The Maes) is joined by American fiddler Joe D’Esposito (The Railsplitters) in a mesmerising collaboration that draws on their diverse influences. Dancing between rhythmic cello lines, powerfully vulnerable vocals and heart-tugging harmonies, Monique Clare is an award-winning cellist and singer-songwriter. Since breaking out as a solo artist in 2017, her songwriting has become increasingly daring and potent, with hard-hitting lyrics and an unconventional brand of classical-folk-pop cello. Joe D’Esposito is a multi-genre fiddle player and improviser with infectious charisma. His work with The Railsplitters has seen him play Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Woodford Folk Festival and Celtic Connections. This duo brings together a shared classical training, obsession with fiddling traditions and a mutual love of Björk to deliver intricate arrangements of original songs and tunes.
Melding the earthiness of folk, dexterity of jazz and the craft of classical, Chaika’s vast influences create superb genre-blending music that transcends labels.
Described as “spine-tingling” (Rhythms) and “extraordinary” (Fine Music FM), the Sydney-based sextet create a multi-faceted kaleidoscope of sounds – a true culmination of compositional, arranging and improvising prowess, performed with stunning attention to detail.
Their latest album, ARROW (2019), has received heartfelt reviews, recorded and produced by ARIA award-winning team Bob Scott and Llew Kiek.
“Like a gust of wind ushering in a new season of possibilities … Arrow, as the title suggests, offered listeners a new direction in Australian Folk music, an innovative blend of beautifully crafted pieces.” (What’s on Sydney)
At home wherever appreciative ears assemble – from roots and folk festivals to the world-class environs of recital halls – Chaika surprise, thrill and move the unsuspecting listener in a manner simply referred to by The Australian as “enchanting.”
The artists Ingrid Bartkowiak and Shay Tobin
Ingrid Bartkowiak is an emerging artist and illustrator based in Brisbane, Australia. Her practice revolves around her fascination with nature and its intricacies. Engaging with native flora and fauna, her illustrations are whimsical and encourage an appreciation for Australia’s nature. Ingrid also has an interest in the effects colonialism has had on the Australian landscape, especially with introduced species and endangered native species of plants.
Shay lives as an artist and photographer whose motivation for mathematics and physics through environment and nature bleeds into his inspiration towards his art.
Growing up as a member of the Boorooberongal clan of the Darug Nation of Western Sydney, in a family of artists, his art practice is influenced in subtle ways by the connection to land, family and what it means to be living in Australia today.
While at university majoring in Mathematics, Shay has acquired a deep fascination for theoretical and mathematical physics and together with a lifelong passion for the natural world, he is motivated to pursue a life as an educator and academic researcher. Shay sees his art as a form of self-reflection, as well as it aiding him to question with curiosity the mysteries of the universe.