Speak Percussion Staff

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Co-Artistic Director

Eugene Ughetti

Eugene Ughetti is the founding artistic director of Speak Percussion. His artistic output is primarily an exploration of the materiality of percussion, but his work could also engage with ideas like drum aged rum, supersonic performance or the percussive military. Eugene is known for tackling complex and ambitious art music projects whether as director, composer, performer or conductor.

He has worked with some of the world’s guiding lights in new music including Pierre Boulez, Liza Lim, Steve Reich and John Zorn.

Eugene’s works have been presented at Darmstadt (Germany), Roulette (New York), SONICA (UK), Ruhrtriennale (Germany), Mona Foma (Hobart), Arts Centre Melbourne, Transart (Italy), Lucerne Festival (Switzerland), Noordezon Festival (The Netherlands), PICA (Perth), SIPFest (Jakarta), National Museum (Singapore), George Town Festival (Malaysia) among others.

Eugene has worked with most of Australia’s leading new music ensembles including conducting ELISION in the world premiere of Richard Barrett’s CONSTRUCTION in the 2011 Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. He has worked with some of the world’s finest conductors including Valery Gergiev, James Levine, Pierre Boulez and Charles Dutoit. He has composed works for The Australian Ballet, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, ABC and Bionics Institute.

Eugene won the inaugural Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship (2012), MCA/Freedman Fellowship for Classical Music (2011), OZCO Creative Music Fellowship and various national Art Music Awards for his work with Speak Percussion.

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Co-Artistic Director

Kaylie Melville

Melbourne-based percussionist Kaylie Melville is a soloist and chamber musician dedicated to contemporary music performance. Noted for her “extraordinary ability to impart a sense of musicality to even the smallest gestures” (Partial Durations), Kaylie is an Artistic Associate with new music pioneers Speak Percussion, co-Artistic Director of the contemporary ensemble Rubiks Collective and frequently works with leading Australian ensembles and orchestras. In addition to performance, her practice incorporates improvising, directing, curating and education.

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CEO + Executive Producer

Ashley Dyer

Ashley Dyer is a producer, performance maker and workshop facilitator based in Melbourne, Australia.

Most recently, 2017-2022, he worked as the Program Manager at Dancehouse – Australia’s leading presenter of independent contemporary dance - overseeing the delivery of all their artistic activities. These included: keynote projects Dance Massive and the Keir Choreographic Award and artistic and community development initiatives like their Emerging Choreographers Program and Dancehousing.

He was employed by Next Wave Festival 2012 as an Associate Producer, and between 2007 and 2011, as part of the artist run initiative Quarterbred, he curated and managed a diverse range of programs and works including Erskineville’s Live Art festival Tiny Stadiums. In May 2013, the same year as Eugene, he was awarded a Creative Australia, Early Career Fellowship by the Australia Council for the Arts.

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Artist in Residence

Aaron Wyatt

Aaron is an accomplished violist who is an assistant lecturerer at Monash University and is also recognised as the first Australian First Nations person to conduct one of the major Symphony Orchestras in Australia. He has played in a wide variety of ensembles across many genres, and has toured internationally, including with the award winning Decibel New Music ensemble. Aaron is also the developer behind the Decibel ScorePlayer app, the group’s cutting edge, animated graphic notation software for the iPad.

He was nominated for a Helpmann Award for his role as musical director of the premiere season of Cat Hope’s new opera, Speechless, at the 2019 Perth International Arts Festival. Aaron has also recently taken on the role of director of Ensemble Dutala. The brainchild of Yorta Yorta soprano and composer Deborah Cheetham AO, the group aims to bring together Indigenous classical musicians from around the country. Most recently, he premiered Cheetham’s new work, Nanyubak, for viola and orchestra as a soloist with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

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Resident Creative Director

Duré Dara OAM

Duré Dara OAM is Indian by race, Malaysian by birth and Australian by choice. Since the 60s, she has frequently performed on ABC radio, recordings and at festivals and concerts around Australia as an improvising musician and contemporary jazz player most notably in a duet with David Tolley. She is widely celebrated as a trailblazing restaurateur, business woman, women’s equity activist and percussionist.

She has received the Medal of Order of Australia for services to the community and women’s groups. She was selected on the Inaugural Women’s Honour Roll by the Victorian government; was named a Legend of the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival; has received the Vida Goldstein Award for excellence in trade; and was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at Parliament house in Canberra from the National Restaurant and Catering Association.

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Administration and Marketing Coordinator

Jasmin Wing-Yin Leung

Jasmin Wing-Yin Leung is a composer, musician and organiser who works within composition, improvisation and installation settings. She is interested in the sonic possibilities of resonance, intonation, hauntings and the environment. She plays the Erhu and has developed an extended practice for this instrument. Jasmin’s work has been presented in Australia, China, Europe and North America, including at the NOWNow (Sydney), BIFEM (Bendigo), impuls Festival (Graz), Organhaus (Chongqing), Metro Arts (Brisbane), Spectrum (New York) and Audible Edge (Perth).

Jasmin studied Electroacoustics at the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt Weimar, and Composition at Akademija za glasbo Univerze v Ljubljani and the Queensland Conservatorium of Music Griffith University. Since 2014 she has regularly visited Hong Kong to study the Erhu. In 2017, she was a resident at the Ostrava Institute for New Music in Czechia. In 2019, as a recipient of an Asialink Arts Creative Exchange she was resident at the Organhaus Gallery in Chongqing, China. In 2021/2022 she was made Associate Artist of the Australian Art Orchestra through their ‘Pathfinder’ Music Leadership program.

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Special Projects Producer

Biddy Connor

Biddy Connor has composed, arranged and performed for film, television, theatre, large-scale community events and games. In 2016 she was a finalist in The Melbourne Music Prize Outstanding Musicians Award.
Biddy is the Artistic Director/violist/vocalist for The Letter String Quartet (TLSQ), an innovative and captivating ensemble who push the sonic possibilities of the string quartet into new realms. TLSQ have been nominated for a Green Room Award (Contemporary Sound Performance).
Biddy has worked with Spirtualized (Supersense Festival 2017), Mick Harvey, Winged Victory for The Sullen (USA), Jherek Bischoff (USA), Jen Cloher, Thelma Plum, Holy Holy, John Cale (Supersense Festival 2016) and Richard Frankland.
In 2021 Biddy was the artist in residence for Chamber Maid’s Orange House By The Sea Residency.

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Technical Assistant

Rohan Goldsmith

Rohan Goldsmith is a drummer, sound artist, videographer and vintage drum restoration specialist, who self-engineers electronically-processed percussive music under his pseudonym Draft Echo. In all of his work, Rohan’s conscientious attention to detail serves to allows beauty, colour and intuitive creativity to flourish. His current musical practice is a kinetic blend of percussive instrumentation, synthesis and manipulated samples, improvised and self-dubbed in real time using tape and digital hardware. His music conveys a spectrum of emotive tonal and textural gesture; guided by engagement with natural and developed environments, tempered by human connection and given form through a nurtured, relational symbiosis with creative machinery.

Rohan has written and performed for contemporary Australian bands such as Seagull, Sparkspitter, Open Swimmer, Quivers and Naomi Keyte. He has performed extensively around Australia, including appearances at Laneway festival, Womadelaide, Winter Wilds, Bigsound, Groovin’ The Moo and Adelaide Festival. His collaborative sound works with media artist Tara O’Conal have been exhibited in Margaret Lawrence gallery, Blindside Ari, Kings Artist-Run and Ace Open. Recent engineering contributions include recordings on Seagull’s 'What Went Wrong / Could Go Right’ double LP, Jaala’s ‘Gap Tooth’ and Mindy Meng Wang / Fia Fiell's ‘Undercurrent’ on Meng Wang's LP ‘Phoenix Rising’.

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Associate Artist

Zela Papagergiou

Zela Papageorgiou is a Naarm -based percussionist, creating and performing in the fields of contemporary-classical music, Sound Art and improvisation. As a chamber musician and creative collaborator, she has appeared with leading organisations and ensembles including Speak Percussion, Play On, Ad Lib Collective, and is the core percussionist for Forest Collective. She has performed in local festivals such as Melbourne Music Week, Melbourne Festival, Brunswick Music Festival, Midsumma Festival and Art After Dark. Zela was a Bespoke Artist in Speak Percussion’s inaugural Bespoke Artist program (2020-2022), where she composed and premiered Dissipative Structures, an immersive work for 7 spatialised performers, synchronised to a pre-existing video work by renowned Australian Artist Cameron Robbins. She has participated in artist residencies with organisations including The Australian Tapestry Workshop (VIC), and in 2024 will attend the Bundanon Artist in Residence program (NSW).

Zela’s passion for cross-genre, collaborative and interdisciplinary music-making extends to her work in music education and community engagement. She performs regularly in programs that introduce young audiences to music, and recently undertook two school residencies with Musica Viva as a teaching artist. Zela is a current recipient of Creative Victoria’s Creators Fund, working on a research project that explores techniques in electroacoustic percussion.

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Associate Artist

Alon Ilsar

Alon Ilsar is a drummer, improviser, instrument designer and researcher. He is currently an ARC Industry Fellow at Monash University’s SensiLab researching the uses of the AirSticks, a gestural instrument he invented, in the field of health and well being, making music creation more accessible to the broader community.Alon has played the AirSticks at Sydney Festival, Sydney’s Vivid Festival, on Triple J’s Like a Version and at NYC’s MET Museum, with projects such as Trigger Happy ‘Visualised’, The Hour, The Sticks, Tuka (from Thundamentals), Sandy Evans’ ‘Ahimsa’ and ‘Rockpool,’ Ellen Kirkwood’s ‘[A]part‘, Kirin J Callinan, Kind of Silence (UK), Cephalon (US), and Melinda Smith’s ‘Conduit Bodies’ and Speak Percussion’s Before Nightfall.He has played drums in Belvoir Theatre’s ‘Keating! the Musical,’ Sydney Theatre Company’s ‘Mojo,’ Meow Meow with the London Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Western Australia Symphony Orchestras, Stephanie Lake’s ‘Manifesto,’ Alan Cumming, Jake Shears and Eddie Perfect.

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Company Motivator

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Board

Chair

Owen McKern

Owen McKern has been involved with Melbourne’s arts and music community for close to 2 decades. For 14 years Owen produced and presented the influential music program ‘Delivery’ on 3RRR and he has also presented radio programs for ABC Classic FM, 3MBS and PBS 106.7. Owen has held management positions at both 3MBS and PBS where he is currently the Program Manager. As an arts producer he has produced projects for The City of Yarra, Conical Gallery Inc., JOLT Arts Inc., The Click Clack Project and The Melbourne Recital Centre. Owen is currently the Deputy Chair of Speak Percussion.

Secretary

Andrew Hillier

In his role as Secretary, Andrew brings experience in both music and law. He is currently a solicitor with the Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office. Prior to that, he was a Judge’s Associate at the County Court of Victoria. Outside of the law, Andrew is a cellist, having completed a Bachelor of Music degree with Honours at the University of Melbourne. He has taught cello at both primary and secondary school levels and he continues to play cello in an amateur orchestra.

Treasurer

Peter McCoy

Peter joined the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) in 1983 where he was involved with the creation of the Concert Music Division of the ABC. In 1987 he was appointed Accountant, with the responsibility of creating and maintaining the business model and practices for the newly created Victorian Concert Music Division. 1998 he was appointed Business Manager and Company Secretary of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. In 2008 he acted as the Financial Director for the Melbourne Theatre Company for a year before taking a position as the Director Corporate Services for the Melbourne Recital Centre in 2010.

After 3 years Peter began financial consulting for clients such as the Australia Council, the National Theatre and Orchestra Victoria. Peter held the board treasurer position with Lucy Guerin Inc for 9 years and is currently the Treasurer of Speak Percussion.

General Board member

Sylvia Hosking

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Board member

Melanie Pose

Melanie Pose is a senior arts manager with more than 10 years’ experience in the arts festival sector. Melanie has worked at a senior leadership level in both general management and programming across a number of critically acclaimed and commercially successful arts festivals. These include Melbourne Festival, the Melbourne International Jazz Festival (MIJF) and the Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF). Melanie is currently working as an independent curator and producer consulting on a number of major projects across Australia.

Board member

Lin Bender

Lin’s extensive career in the social purpose sector spans over 40 years, most recently as CEO of the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust. Her consultancy work focuses on sustainable business models and practice that align with purpose and values. Prior roles include Strategic Development and Sector Representative to the Victorian Government on the Melbourne Recital Centre Project, General Manager – 3MBS FM Radio, National Marketing Manager – Australia Business Arts Foundation (Creative Partnerships Australia), and General Manager – Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition (Chamber Music Australia).

Lin was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in 2010 for services to arts administration through executive roles and to the music community of Melbourne.

Board member

Darise Pulfer

Darise has a diversity of experience across the corporate, non-profit and government sectors with roles in strategy, business management, banking and financial literacy to name a few.

Board member

Eugene Ughetti

Eugene Ughetti is an award winning percussionist, composer, conductor and artistic director of Speak Percussion. His work focuses on new chamber music and hybrid-arts collaboration. Eugene has worked with many of Australia’s leading new music ensembles including conducting ELISION in the world premiere of Richard Barrett’s CONSTRUCTION in the 2011 Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.He has worked with some of the world’s finest composers including Steve Reich, Pierre Boulez and Sofia Gubaidulina and with conductors such as Valery Gergiev, James Levine and Charles Dutoit.

He has been a concerto soloist with the Melbourne and Adelaide Symphony Orchestras and has given solo performances throughout the world. He has composed works for Speak Percussion, The Australian Ballet, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, ABC and Bionics Institute.