A recent review characterised Phil Treloar as an enigmatic philosopher; one for whom clarity lies in the doing. An overview of the major “Works” in his compositional output will verify this observation. Treloar’s work has been, from the outset, visionary and devoted.  The rigours of Treloar’s compositional output is equally matched by his performing career. He has performed extensively with many of Australia’s premiere groups and individuals as well as with internationals and these in the ‘legit’, the jazz, and the improvisation genres. He has established a creative legacy that has, and will remain, beneficial for generations to come.

Phil Treloar’s guiding light is Collective Autonomy, a term he coined many years ago to signify his life-philosophy, while Primal Communication: Truth–Faith–Trust, continues to be his credo.  This year he turns seventy.

Phil's special guest will be Simone de Haan, an improvisor who has followed his own muse, delving into trombone sonics and group soundworlds with a rigour most might, at best, dream of. He has rendered state-of-the-art performances by composers that range from Brian Ferneyhough to John Cage to Luciano Berio.   In addition to having works written specifically for his virtuosic abilities as a trombonist, he has also commissioned many ensemble works for the express purpose of exploring the intersection where improvised and notated music meet. Crucial to this has been a focus on audience reception. Simone has toured internationally as a master teacher, soloist, chamber musician, and conductor. He has taught, inspired, guided, and encouraged young performers and budding creative artists, several of whom are now acknowledged as leaders in their chosen field. This year he returns to performing after an extensive break.

Phil has composed a new work for solo trombone, and a new work for the duo.  In addition they will each perform a solo improvisation, and a duo improvisation.

James McLean, a young musician from Melbourne, has already made a substantial contribution to creative music in Australia having recently committed to disc landmark accounts with Mark Hannaford and James Macauley among others.

Composer/Performer, Phil Treloar, has a creative history in Australian music that dates back to the early 1970s as co-founder of the benchmark Jazz Co/Op and from then, a continuous stream of exploratory initiatives through to the present.

Dispositions is the name James and Phil have given to their newly established collaboration; one planted firmly in egalitarian soil. Fundamentally a duo which investigates spontaneous possibilities to be experienced in performance, they explore their respective compositional interests to includes other like minded individuals as situations arise. Recent recipient of an Australia Council Grant, Dispositions will record in December this year and on this occasion extend their collaborative cast to include the artistry of saxophonist, Scott McConnachie, and bassist, Sam Pankhurst. Concert performances in Melbourne and Brisbane are also scheduled for December. Meanwhile, Dispositions, September 3 at Colbourne Ave, promises to whet the creative appetite for more in the future.

 Dispositions is supported by The Australia Council, Korogi marimbas and xylophones, and Just Percussion

My search for an expressive mode that would bring together sound exploration with compositional thinking was given impetus in the early 1970s by Stockhausen’s Mikrophonie 1 and the music of John Cage, particularly the Sonatas & Interludes for Prepared Piano, Credo In Us, and Indeterminacy. A little-known trio formed in ’72 comprising myself, Roger Frampton, and Peter Evans – the latter two having worked extensively with David Ahern’s TELETOPA – met once a week over a period of about fifteen months to improvise with sound, doing so without having recourse to any established musical language or traditional processes in instrumental techniques. These highly inspirational encounters would prove to be influential in the development of my creative trajectory. 

Some forty years further on my passion for and commitment to the exploration of sound remains undiminished. Through concerted efforts I found common ground for sound exploration and compositional thinking. Then, round 1987, I clarified the parameters by which improvisation and notated composition might interact dynamically, coining the term Collective Autonomy as a reference to this field of exchange; a field upon which compositional processes and improvisation engage in structurally related dialogue; dialogue in which predetermined concepts &/or materials interact with in-the-moment discovery. The nature of these interactions varies greatly: at times unconstrained, at times predetermined &/or limited by defined contexts; at times realised in group exchange while at others, as is the case for this May 7 performance, in a solo setting. Crucial for my music’s making is expressivity – a meeting and weighing of Feelings and Thoughts, the substance of which is conveyed through an instantiated sonic topography. Each topographic contour reflects the thrust, collisions, cohesions, vortices, vertices and energies by which sonic elements are transported, shaped, and made manifest in a formed architectonic.

Several CD releases indicate various aspects of my creative enterprise and these, along with some DVD clips, can be found on my website at feeling-to-thought.com

Buried in the dark pasts of Bruce Cale (strings), John Shand (drums, percussion) and Phil Treloar (marimba, percussion) is some common history. In the same early 1980s period that Phil played drums in the Bruce Cale Quartet (a mighty band completed by Roger Frampton and Dale Barlow), John sought out Phil as a teacher and wrote about him for Jazz magazine. More recently Bruce and John found themselves near neighbours in Katoomba, and for two-and-a-half years have been playing together several times a week, with Bruce having added violin, viola and cello to his double bass, and with John having returned to the drums after a 15 year hiatus. Last year, on one of Phil's trips back to Australia from Japan (where he has been living for 25 years atop a snowy peak near Kanazawa), the Cale/Shand duo became a trio that performed in the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre. It instantly felt more like a reunion than a new project: intimate improvisations that the three mountain-dwellers call Dreams of Falling.