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Ready to fly 02:47


The fifth and final of "The Usefulness of Art" concert series 2017-2018

“The Kites of Tianjin”, a fresh, new work by Adam Simmons, inspired by the Chinese city’s renowned “Wei Kites”, created by Wei Yuantai (1872-1961) who made kites for the Emperor and whose great-grandson, Wei Guoqiu, continues the tradition today. Wang Zheng-Ting and Adam were treated with great hospitality by Wei Guoqiu during their visit to Tianjin in April this year.

“The work explores the idea of breath giving life – the way the wind brings a kite to life, the way sound is created by blowing, and indeed the way we rely on breath throughout our lives. I feel that in a way all of my instrumental learning has been simply about learning to breathe. Using the kite as a metaphor for existence, one can visualise the challenge of negotiating the unknown, harnessing the uncontrollable, yet still we seek ways to give our dreams flight.
- Adam Simmons

1. Can you see the wind?
2. Bamboo, paper and string
3. A thing of beauty
4. Ready to fly
5. Fengzheng Wei over Tianjin skies
6. Free as the birds
7. The art of breath



released November 19, 2018

Overall concept and composed by Adam Simmons except Track 5 composed by Adam Simmons and Wang Zheng-Ting

Performed by
Wang Zheng-Ting - sheng
Adam Simmons Creative Music Ensemble:
Adam Simmons – shakuhachi, tenor saxophone, alto flute
Cara Taber – alto saxophone, flute
Gideon Brazil – tenor saxophone, flute, alto flute, piccolo
Paul Simmons – soprano saxophone, bass flute
Sam Boon – baritone saxophone, flute
Gemma Horbury – trumpet
Gavin Cornish – trumpet
Bryn Hills – trombone
Howard Cairns – double bass
Niko Schauble – drums
Nat Grant – drums, glockenspiel
Carmen Chan – marimba
David Brown - guitar
Pete Lawler – space drum

Wang Zheng-Ting - sheng

Kites by Rachaeldaisy
Visual projection by Jean Poole
Costume design by Christine Crawshaw
Initial Dramaturgy by Sally Blackwood
Recorded by Myles Mumford at fortyfivedownstairs, May 5-6, 2018
Graphic Design by Celsius Design
Photography by Sarah Walker

Special thanks to
- Wei Guoqiu for his passion and generous spirit
- Mary Lou and all of the wonderful staff at fortyfivedownstairs
- Brian Ritchie, David Jones, Ian Pidd and Owen McKern for support of this endeavour and many others.

This project is supported by the City of Melbourne Arts Grants Program.



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Fat Rain Music Melbourne, Australia

"Fat Rain" is the rain that comes on a hot sultry afternoon, those large splotches that fall singularly from the sky, splattering in the gravel and exploding on windscreens...

Founded by Adam Simmons, Fat Rain's focus is on improvised and jazz music but basically dedicated to providing engaging music, believing good art is not simply entertaining but should leave an impression!
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