The BOLT Ensemble is a chamber music ensemble like no other in Australia. Where standard practice for chamber ensembles in Australia has been that the musicians in the ensemble ‘interpret’ a composition and commission composers to ‘author’ the composition, BOLT functions much more like a rock band or contemporary theatre company where the music is created/authored in-house by the members of the ensemble as led by BOLT artistic director James Hullick. In BOLT’s early development most of the authoring was by Hullick, but in today’s conception of BOLT, works are often created collectively and often without Hullick’s authorship. The most recent BOLT work WINDSPOKEN, was authored by BOLT’s Ensemble Leader, flautist Belinda Woods, and poet berni.m.janssen. Other common processes of authorship for BOLT are spontaneous collective improvisation; collectively devised structured improvisations; graphically scored compositions; notated composition etc.
Formed in 2004, BOLT has focused on delivering large-scale projects, working with collaborators across the arts, engaging with new technologies, and building future talent through various community arts activities. Collaborators have included: Berni Janssen (poet); Michael Kieran Harvey; Arcko Symphonic Ensemble; Richie Allen (robotics); Jonathan Duckworth (interactive sonic interfaces) etc. The ensemble has shared the bill with international acts ie: Yoshimio (The Boredoms); Merzbow; Phoenix Ensemble; Stelarc etc. — and in leading venues around the world, ie: SuperDeluxe (Tokyo); Café Otto (London); Gare du Nord (Switz.); Melbourne Recital Centre. BOLT has been a key ensemble in JOLT Arts Festivals and Tours in Tokyo; Hong Kong; Switzerland; and the UK since 2011.
Belinda Woods - Ensemble Leader/Flute
Hullick - Director/Piano/Guitar/Voice
Timothy Phillips - Conductor
Karen Heath - Clarinets
Gideon Brazil - Woodwinds
Adam Simmons - Woodwinds
Mary Doumany - Harp
Peter Neville - Percussion
Andrea Keeble - Violin
Zac Johnston - Violin
Phoebe Green - Viola
The Ensemble has recorded extensively with ABC Classic FM: The Arcko collaboration THESE COMPULSIVE BEHAVIOURS for the Melbourne Festival 2014 was broadcast by the ABC; the recent WINSPOKEN performance at The Meat Market (2016) will be podcast for International Women’s Day (2017).
Community Engagement projects have seen BOLT mentor musicians of The Amplified Elephants (musicians with intellectual disabilities), Australian National Academy of Music, and Noise Scavengers (youth sound artists from Northern Geelong). These projects have led to significant outcomes including the machine sound show The NIS with the Elephants, which toured UK and Tokyo in 2014.