La Mama Musica is one of Melbourne’s longest running music nights, in operation since 1969. These days it is a curated monthly concert series showcasing creative music, improvising musicians and sound-artists at La Mama’s Theatre and Courthouse venues. The intimate settings and fabulous acoustics of La Mama’s two historic theatres allows fine musicians to perform in a very special environment, amidst the set of the current theatre production – so improvisation and flexibility of presentation is also part of our process.

The series has been organised by the curatorial team of Annabel Warmington and Adrian Sherriff for more than a dozen years. They encourage unusual collaborations, and ask the programmed artists to explore or develop something new in their work – giving each event a special air of excitement for both the artists and audience alike.

LA MAMA MUSICA, La Mama Theatre, 205 Faraday Street, Carlton

Monday 12th Feb 7.30pm

Brandon Lee​ and Andrea Keeble​ play traditional and contemporary works on koto and violin – and then orchestral percussionist and ELISION co-founders Peter Neville and Daryl Buckley play ‘Subsidence’, a new work written by Timothy McCormack for single lap steel guitar.

SET 1 – Brandon Lee (kotos) with Andrea Keeble (violin)
The koto is one of Japan’s oldest and most well-known instruments. First known in Japan in the 6th century, it has a long and rich musical history.
Brandon will be presenting a variety of traditional and contemporary works for koto. Special guest violinist Andrea Keeble will be playing the parts often taken by the shakuhachi in the traditional pieces. This will be an exciting and multicultural performance of old and new works by two fine musicians who’ve not played together before.
Andrea and Brandon will also join Peter and Daryl for an improvised session at the end of the night.
SET 2 – ‘subsidence’ by Timothy McCormack
Peter Neville with Daryl Buckley (one lap steel guitar, bows):

subsidence, a half-hour work for two players performing upon an electric lap-steel guitar. plumbs a nearly featureless world of soft but charged noise to reveal its subterranean motion. At times static, at times turbulent, the movements and behaviors within this noise embody a geologic heaviness and hugeness.
Named after the gradual caving in or sinking of an area of land, subsidence enacts a slow concentration of matter and energy which give way to a protracted, eventually cataclysmic implosion. Press into the earth – all your weight – a gradual subsidence.

The work is composed by Timothy McCormack for two of the founding members of the ELISION ensemble, Peter Neville and Daryl Buckley. ELISION has performed at venues such as the Hebbel Theater Berlin, the Berlin Philharmonie, Saitama Arts Theatre Tokyo, Pompidou Centre, Sydney Opera House, Queensland Art Gallery, and Vienna Konzerthaus; and at festivals such as Wien Modern, Maerzmusik, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Festival Ars Musica of Brussels, Züricher TheaterSpektakel, the 50th Warsaw Autumn Festival, Ultima Oslo, TRANSIT Festival Leuven, Spitalfields London, the Chekov International Theatre Festival of Moscow, BIFEM, the Shanghai New Music Week, and Festival d’Automne à Paris. The ensemble has worked with Timothy McCormack since 2007 and looks forward to a future project entitled KILN, his new major work for ELISION and the Line Upon Line percussion trio.

LA MAMA MUSICA Monday 5th March, 7.30pm

La Mama Courthouse, 349 Drummond St, Carlton

“Mother, Daughter, Lover”

Gemma Horbury visuals, electronics, trumpet, voice

Emily Bennett voice, electronics

Sophie Dunn violin

Belinda Woods flutes, saxophone

Sarah Childs saxophone

Ros Jones (trombone)

Miranda Hill double bass

Nat Grant (percussion, electronics

LA MAMA MUSICA Monday 16th of April, 7.30pm

La Mama Courthouse, 349 Drummond St, Carlton

THIRD RAIL, with special guest MIKE COOPER (UK)

THIRD RAIL is a reunion of the ensemble-formerly-known-as the Wollongong Anarchist Noisemakers Kollective, Gary Butler (electric guitar, electronics, found objects), Warren Burt (laptop) and Houston Dunleavy (clarinet), with occasional special guests. The core members of the Wollongong Anarchist Noisemakers Kollective relocated to Melbourne and in 2005 renamed the ensemble “Third Rail“.

Houston Dunleavy explains the name: “The third rail is the rail that runs between the two outside rails, providing electricity to the train. So it is a source of power – it is underground – and if you touch it, it will kill you. It also avoids the problems of applying for funding with an antisocial acronym!”

Cat Hope wrote in her book ‘Experimental Music: Audio Explorations in Australia’ : “. . . for all-out crazy chaos, nothing quite beats the free-spirited approach of the Wollongong Anarchist Noisemakers Kollective (WANK).  This group takes Cornelius Cardew’s Scratch Orchestra model of the 1960s, and its politicisation of music, and gives it an Australian flavour.

The Age reviewed Gary Butler’s performance at 2004’s What Is Music? Festival: “He may have looked like a serial killer, but this was about controlled chaos.


Special Guest – Mike Cooper

Mike Cooper is an English guitarist and electronics sound artist, regularly touring the globe and making an extraordinary array of collaborative work.  In 1999 with the release of the c.d.r. Kiribati on his own Hipshot label he created the self-titled Ambient, Electronic, Exotica genre; a 21st century version of 50’s visionary Exotica musicians such as Martin Denny and Arthur Lyman, incorporating field recordings from his many travels with lap steel guitar and digital effects.                                   Subsequent releases on various labels (Room40, Sacred Summits, Discrepant) have been critically acclaimed, and described as ‘..a hypnotic travelogue unlike anything else.’ in this review –                                                                    On Mike’s YouTube Channel there are over 40 examples of his video and super eight film works of various lengths including a 50 minute video titled Hotel Hibiscus City downloadable onto mobile devices in 14 parts –


Warren Burt is a composer, performer, video artist, sound poet, writer, instrument maker (both in hardware and software, electronic and acoustic) and a few other things. Before arriving in Australia in 1975, Warren Burt was “searching for the weird” in his native state of New York, picking-up hints of the experimentations in performance, poetry and visual art that were happening in New York City during the 1960s. Since the 1970s he has continued to perform and exhibit his compositional works internationally. Through mixing playful improvisation with machine interaction systems, Warren Burt creates musical objects that require an open-ended attitude to “listening and experiencing”.


Houston Dunleavy is a composer, conductor, improviser, clarinettist, academic, etc. He has conducted, and had his music performed in the USA, the UK, France, China, Taiwan, Thailand, Italy, Singapore, Japan, Puerto Rico and Wollongong.


Gary Butler plays electric guitar with a wide variety of objects, and electronica, from sex toys to rubber chickens. “If Fred Frith and Henry Kaiser became boring to you, you have ripened for the next step! . . .I have received a great pleasure from tracking a flight of fancy – of the actor taking both ordinary, and simply improbable, sounds from such a banal tool as a guitar!”



FEB 12 | MARCH 5 | APRIL 16





La Mama Theatre 205 Faraday St, Carlton

La Mama Courthouse 349 Drummond St, Carlton


Tickets Info/

$15 Full $10 Concession

Phone Booking/

03 9347 6142