Ensemble Offspring’s latest tour of regional NSW, The Surge, revisits classics from the 1990s alongside five new commissions that reflect on the cultural, climate and political situations in which Australia finds itself today. The concert, which includes an intriguing video component, programs a pair of iconic Australian works by Peter Sculthorpe and Nigel Westlake alongside five newly commissioned pieces. To create the individual sound world of The Surge, the Ensemble has teamed up with acclaimed guitarists Andrew Blanch and Vladimir Gorbach. Limelightcaught up with Blanch to find out more and invited him to take a deep dive back to the ‘90s.

How did you come to be involved with Ensemble Offspring as a part of this project?

It began a few years ago when I approached Ensemble Offspring about collaborating on some repertoire for the unusual combination of two guitars, percussion, piano, clarinet, violin and double bass. Through a process of toing and froing with Claire Edwardes, a concept emerged that seemed artistically exciting and worth pursuing. The Australia Council thought the same, and it is with their support that this idea has been able to become a reality.