Various – The Inaugural Perth Festival of Improvised Music

Inaugural Perth Festival of Improvised Music LP front cover
Inaugural Perth Festival of Improvised Music LP back cover
Inaugural Perth Festival of Improvised Music LP side 1

Inspired by Jon Rose’s first Relative Band Festival held in Sydney in 1984 – where Ross Bolleter, Tos Mahoney, Mark Cain and Richard Ratajczak all performed–, the first Perth Festival of Improvised Music took place in April 1985 at Praxis Gallery in Fremantle, Western Australia, and was directed by flautist Tos Mahoney, half of the Fremantle-based Alone Together duo with Ross Bolletter, whose first cassette also appeared in 1985. The musicians performing during the 1st Perth Festival formed the nucleus of free music improvisation in Western Australia during the 1980s and, to a large extend, still do today. The festival also included performances by saxophonist Steve Moore and singer Gillian McGregor, both visiting musicians from Great Britain. There was a 2nd edition of the Perth festival in 1986.

Instead of documenting the festival’s proceedings in chronological, successive solos, duets, trio, etc, producer Robbie Muir chose to create a continuous mix from the individual tracks he recorded. He completely succeeded in recreating a collective performance incorporating music theatre, invented instruments and contemporary music elements. The musicians themselves favor abstract sound textures, long held notes and extended techniques, which all melt effortlessly in Muir’s mix. Ross Bolleter is well-known today for his ruined piano outdoor performances, but at the times he was merely using inside-the-piano techniques in his music.

01 Perth Festival of Improvised Music (24:14)

  • Gillian McGregor
  • Ross Bolleter & Tos Mahoney
  • Mark Cain & Steve Moore
  • Richard Ratajczak, Gillian McGregor & Tos Mahoney
  • Ross Bolleter, Richard Ratajczak & Mark Cain
  • Tos Mahoney & Mark Cain

02 Perth Festival of Improvised Music – continued (23:58)

  • Richard Ratajczak
  • Ross Bolleter & Steve Moore
  • P.F.I.M. Ensemble

Ross Bolleter, piano, piano accordion
Mark Cain, woodwind, didgeridoo
Gillian McGregor, vocals
Tos Mahoney, flute
Steve Moore, soprano saxophone
Richard Ratajczak, double bass
The P.F.I.M. Ensemble = all the above

Total time 48:12
LP released by Impro Records, Perth(?), Australia, 1985

Download or download (alternate link)

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11 Responses to “Various – The Inaugural Perth Festival of Improvised Music”


  1. 1 danmoxon October 22, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    thanks again for more amazings posts – I cant believe you manage to find some of this stuff!

  2. 2 continuo October 22, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    I can’t believe such records keep popping up at my door either!
    Thanks for your comment, Dan.

  3. 3 Robert October 22, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Hi, thanks a lot for posting this! Downloaded it 2 times. Always get a mistake, when I try to unzipp it. Both tracks seem to be broken…?

  4. 4 continuo October 22, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    It works well for others, including me. Have you tried 7-Zip to extract files?

  5. 5 ctrl_z October 22, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    Hi, I usually use 7-zip and gave me error. I can only get about 54 mb file. Can you verify? Thankx!

  6. 6 Robert October 22, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Tried again, this time with 7zX and keka (I have a Mac), but had no success. – Downloaded some music from your side already, never had any problem so far. Don’t know what’s wrong. Whatever it may be, thanks anyway.

  7. 7 mart October 24, 2012 at 7:19 am

    @numa, the first and last upload url’s are the same. Can you please send the correct url for Wayne Siegel? Thx!

  8. 8 ctrl_z October 24, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    sorry bother again. I use a pc but this time I used a mac to unzip the file. I used the “Unarchiver”, “stuff it” and “unrar x” and … error. Perhaps the problem is your mac. It’s a recent model? Sorry again. Keep up the great work you do.

  9. 9 ctrl_z October 24, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    Alternate link works! Thanks!

  10. 10 ethnoscelsi October 26, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    Likewise for me, using a PC the first link was defective (I tried it twice), and the alternative link worked.
    Thank you Continuo, for another extraordinary post.

  11. 11 Bruce the Moose October 31, 2012 at 2:24 am

    I had the same problems as Robert – 3 download tries. Oddly, both files were broken at the precisely the same size and length. The alternate link worked fine. Again, thanks for the many wonderful things.


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