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From the Smith Family "Positive Notions of Mental Health" Project, August/September 2010

In August/September 2010, Ambient Orchestras ran music workshops for Year nine students at Sunshine College as part of The Smith Family "positive notions of mental health" project. The project encompassed music, drama, creative writing, visual art and sport. The music group named themselves in[sect], and were a standout of the performance on the evening of 26 October 2010, performing beautifully modern instrumental rock pieces with spoken word from the creative writing crew. Congratulations to The Smith Family on co-ordinating such a valuable project.

      "The Year 9 Students at Sunshine College loved the music workshops facilitated by Ambient Orchestras. It gave them an opportunity to develop their music skills, work collaboratively as a team and learn from a professional musician. The Smith Family would highly recommend Ambient Orchestras to other schools and community groups". Leesl Wagner, Smith Family

      "I loved it. It was worthwhile, a great experience. Thank you John, Thank you The Smith Family." Sunshine College student feedback.

      "It was awesome." Sunshine College student feedback.

From the Hunt Club Community Arts Centre Performance, June 2009

Hunt Club Ambient Orchestra performed at Errington Community Centre on Wednesday 17th June, 2009. Over 80 people attended.

     "Just seeing the smiley, happy faces of all the performers and the energy they put into their performance was awesome and intimate for the families." Audience Feedback

     "Experiencing adults with a disability engaged by music and being heard by an audience. Very creative." Audience Feedback.

     "The performance; music created was amazing. For the hour I was able to switch off and be taken to another place." Audience Feedback

    "Loved it and I can't wait until the next one. Keep up the great work." Audience Feedback

Download more information in this two-page performance evaluation and summary (PDF, 60KB).

From the Art of Difference Festival March 2009

Footscray Ambient Orchestra performed in the ARB Gallery at Gasworks as part of the Art of Difference Festival/Block Party on Saturday 14th March 2009. It received a resounding response and there was not a spare seat in the house.

     "The sounds of the Footscray Ambient Orchestra were immediately captivating. The small band of focussed musicians created sounds that ranged from the gentle and expressive to the strong and vibrant. Although apparently not ‘trained musicians’ in the usual sense, these players were confident and well prepared, and they had the audience captivated with their original and creative soundscapes." Maureen Mahon, Music Teacher

     "The sounds created by the group members working in conjunction with spoken word and a visual artist was very moving. I loved it." Daniel Oke, audience member.

     "The artistic sensitivity and skill displayed by the participants left me breathless." Kylie McGowan, audience member.

     "To witness such amazing music and insightful poetry was the highlight of the night." Joe Banks, audience member.

The 'Go Show' at Melbourne International Arts Festival, 2008

     "Walking into the foyer, we were stopped in our tracks by the arresting sounds of the Footscray Ambient Orchestra. This small ensemble created music that was both surprising and beautiful.
     Surprising, because the instruments which included keyboards, cymbals and bass guitar,were not played in the conventional way of following notation or chord symbols, but were used to create different timbres. Some of the sounds blended with others, some were in contrast.
     From the gentle sound of a cymbal being caressed with a slowly moving metal spoon to the low hum emanating from a long held note of a keyboard, the effects were magical." Maureen Mahon, Music Teacher

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