The Shannon-Goodrich Ensemble is an original world-jazz outfit formed in late 2004, fronted by Melbourne, Australian musicians, Clare Shannon (piano) and Elissa Goodrich (vibraphone). It sees these two respected artists move out from better known roles as supporting musicians for bands such as Bahia, Combo La Revelacion, Phil Bywater’s Buried Treasure and Wendy Rule to front their own ensemble as co-soloists and composers. The Shannon-Goodrich Ensemble’s music is the unique culmination of diverse musical backgrounds (latin, jazz, world and contemporary classical) and a lifelong friendship. 2005 saw the Ensemble record and release their debut CD Crossing Over; a project inspired by Astor Piazzolla and prose from Amnesty International’s Anthology, distributed through Newmarket music in Australia, supported by Arts Victoria.
In 2006 the Ensemble undertook a new music project – Worlds Within Worlds – in collaboration with Australian-Iranian translator / writer – Ali Alizadeh, creating a feature-length body of work inspired by Ancient Sufi poet Rumi’s prose. This new collaborative composition is supported by The Sidney Myer Fund. The song cycle component was performed for Voiceprints, Melbourne International Arts Festival 2007 to critical acclaim.
About Worlds Within Worlds CD:
The Shannon-Goodrich Ensemble’s Worlds Within Worlds CD (Newmarket music - in Australia) (2008) is supported by Arts Victoria Rocks. Worlds Within Worlds compositions and recording feature some of Australia’s finest jazz, Latin and world musicians in unique combinations: Clare Shannon (composer, piano) and Elissa Goodrich (composer, vibraphone & marimba), with guest artists: Ria Soemardjo (voice), Phil McLeod (accordion & cello) Phil Bywater (saxophone), Anita Hustas and Tamara Murphy (double bass), Alejandro ‘Alex’ Vega (percussion). Worlds Within Worlds’ instrumental and vocal tracks explore Rumi’s themes of love, loss and awakening across the spectrum of emotions. Ancient Persian rhythms and modes can be found in the original tunes which push the expected boundaries between Latin, contemporary jazz and worlds idioms.
What the critics have said about Worlds Within Worlds performances:
“Inspired jazz poetry” Melbourne Weekly Review, 21.04.2007
With “translations by Iranian-born poet Ali Alizadeh … Exquisite calm, torn by spiritual longing. … an ear-opening testimony ...in an exciting new format.”
John Jenkins, “From Page to Stage” The Australian, Arts, 15.10.2007
(Worlds Within Worlds- song cycle in Voiceprints, Melbourne International Arts Festival)
And Crossing Over CD and performances:
“The alluring combination of piano and vibraphone in a jazz setting”
“Clare Shannon and Elissa Goodrich are ardent improvisers with an ability to corral traditional folk, latin and contemporary classical ideas into a convincing jazz framework” Jessica Nicholas, The Age, 30.04.2005
“Elissa Goodrich’s striking live soundtrack…striking evocative percussion”
Richard Watts, The Program - Reviews, 22.02.2005
“Most promising debut album…, Shannon and Goodrich certainly capture the spirit of these masters (Chick Corea and Gary Burton) opening with a twisting and turning unison melody before settling into a cruisy groove…nimble improvised solos...beautiful music that explores some of the ensemble’s darker textures...” Ariel Valent, Crossing Over CD review, for Trad and Now magazine, Summer 2005/2006
Clare Shannon - piano / composer
Graduated from the VCA in 1997 and has been performing, touring, recording and arranging for 10 years. Regular ensembles include Latin-jazz and pop outfits: Bahia, Combo La Revelacion, La Cura, Beth George, Swish and Rouge. The Shannon-Goodrich Ensemble brings to light Clare Shannon’s wonderful lyrical talents as both piano-soloist and composer. Clare appears & has contributed compositions on Melbourne Latin recordings including: Victor Ricardo’s Labyrinth (1999), Combo La Revelacion (2001), Bahia’s self-titled CD (2004) and Beth George’s self titled CD (2006) & The Shannon-Goodrich ensemble’s Crossing Over (2005) & Worlds Within Worlds (2008). In 2005 Clare Shannon received a grant from the City of Melbourne to support her Shannon-Goodrich ensemble’s concert series.
Elissa Goodrich - vibraphyone & marimba/ composer
Graduated from VCA in 1998 and continues to work as a freelance percussionist and composer with various ensembles and contemporary theatre & dance projects. Musical outfits include: Phil Bywater’s Buried Treasure, Wendy Rule, Slide Into Sound, the Male Welsh Choir, Judith Durham, The Klezmer Trio, Ria Soemardjo. Elissa Goodrich continues to perform and compose for director Bagryana Popov’s theatre productions including: White Neda, La mama, (1998), Stories from the Hidden City, Melbourne Museum, (2002), Subclass 26a, 45 Downstairs, (2005) and for Melbourne based choreographers including: Ilan Abrahams, Josie Daw and Ru Atma. Elissa Goodrich’s autonomous physical theatre projects (as deviser/director/musician) include: Invisible Cities I & II, Hawthorn Town Hall, for National Heritage Fest, (2001 & 2002) Binded Flight, Dancehouse, Carlton, (2003) & Golden Chains, La Mama Theatre, (2005). In 2006 Elissa participated in Time Place Space 5 Residential Laboratory hosted by QUT and The Performance Space and premiered Slide into Sound’s ‘Playing Space’ installation at Otago Museum, New Zealand, supported by Australia Council for the Arts (individual grant/ Inter-Arts). In 2007 Elissa’s percussing scape was one of 20 international works performed for Soundwaves Festival, Brighton UK and Elissa and Ria Soemardjo performed the song cycle from Worlds Within Worlds for Voiceprints, Melbourne International Arts Festival (2007). 2008 sees Elissa sound work ‘4pm News’ featured in upcoming Sound Art Festival, (CCCB, Barcelona, Spain); co-create; music theatre project Persephone with Wendy Rule; physical theatre work Sunflower with Bagryana Popov, and, devise-direct Blood Wedding (The Open Stage, July 2008) – a physical theatre & music work inspired by Garcia Lorca’s play.
Discography includes: Phil Bywater’s Buried Treasure Looking Up Newmarket music (2003), Wendy Rule’s Lotus Eaters Shock (2003), The Wolf Sky (2006), Meditations (2007) Judith Durham and the Male Welsh Choir Live in Concert Musicoast (2003), Ria Soemardjo Sift (2006), Come Together, Live at the Corner 2004 Triple RRR (2005). Little Oberon Shock/GTV9 (2005) The Shannon-Goodrich Ensemble’s Crossing Over Newmarket music in Australia (2005) supported by Arts Victoria & Worlds Within Worlds (2008), supported by Arts Vic Rocks & The Sidney Myer Fund.