Reviews


2018

'A glimmering solo performance by Claire Edwardes of Vermont Counterpoint on vibraphone and xylophone.' Angus McPherson, Limelight Magazine

'Percussionist Claire Edwardes’s scintillating account of Vermont Counterpoint illuminated its contrapuntal intricacies.' Murray Black, The Australian

'The world premiere of Raqad for marimba, by Paul Stanhope, glittered with irresistible rhythms.' Jessica Duchen, Limelight Magazine

Clairaudient CD - 4 stars SMH "Clairaudience. Noun. The supposed faculty of perceiving, as if by hearing, what is inaudible. (Compare Clairvoyance)." The fifth solo release of percussionist extraordinaire and new music maven Claire Edwardes features six collaborative works created by an intersection of composers, performers, poets, artists and architects. This is not something to throw on while you're cooking dinner: it's an immersive hour which demands (and rewards) active listening. Most of the sounds come from Edwardes and her glorious toolbox of timbres, but the acoustic tangs and bings are threaded with layers of electronica to create a rich and confusing sound world. Am I imagining Edwardes faintly humming? Or is it a digital modification of the acoustic noises? A voice over? Or perhaps something more mysterious, something not really there …? Above all, there's more to this recording than meets the ear. Best experienced in a single sitting, Clairaudient takes you from Vincent Ho's delicate Nostalgia through to Steve Reich's dizzying Vermont Counterpoint, via the music poetry of Melody Eotvos, the dry, pacey Work from Marcus Whale/Tom Smith and Damien Ricketson's intro-extro-spective Time Alone. It's quite a trip. Harriet Cunningham, Sydney Morning Herald

Clairaudient CD - 4.5 stars Limelight Magazine 'Claire Edwardes has forged a formidable international career as a virtuoso percussionist...this album is named for the ability to hear sounds from the spirit world that are not audible to the human ear. It’s appropriate, as much of this extraordinary recording is quite otherworldly. Time Alone, by Damien Ricketson is particularly entrancing, shifting and shimmering through a textural landscape of echoes and overtones. Five works by Australian composer Melody Eötvös utilise electronics, poetry and unusual instrumentation to riveting effect. It’s also immediately apparent from the first bars of Nostalgia by Vincent Ho that this album has been beautifully recorded, the vibraphone's tones languidly glistening in space. This thoughtfully conceived collection is expertly performed and brilliantly realised with a subtlety that will repay repeated listenings.' Lisa McKinney, Limelight Magazine
 

Clairaudient CD - 'Edwardes’ recording of all the parts is a tour de force of precision playing, and her arrangement is, in my view, far more compelling than the original combination.' Michael Hannan, Loud Mouth

'Clariaudient is a fascinating collection of recent works for solo percussion and fixed-media electronic music, superbly interpreted by Claire Edwardes.' Michael Hannan, Loud Mouth

"Titled Stained Glass, Drury’s new piece for vibraphone and electronics began with the glistening sound of bowed and gently struck bars, the work shimmering into a wind-chime-like haze of glitter beautifully rendered and shaped by percussionist Claire Edwardes. In a shift of texture, Berio’s 1985 work Naturale saw violist James Wannan join Edwardes,..Deeply infused with folk idioms...this was a finely nuanced performance of what was perhaps the weightiest work on the program, Edwardes and Wannan finding a deft balance with the electronics and a thoughtful comraderie." Angus McPherson, Limelight Magazine

'Delivered by Edwardes in tandem with her percussion – this was complex, fragmenting work that saw rhythms and speech disintegrate in a heroic performance by Edwardes, halting speech and jittery tension building across the percussion until punctuated by bass drum in an anxious finale.' Angus McPherson, Limelight Magazine

2017

'I heard your interview on the radio a couple of days ago, and absolutely loved it.  The tone and content of the whole interview was wonderful.
You are such an engaging, dynamic, principled and inspirational figure in Australian music.  Bravo for everything that you do for music and for all of us, both on the stage and off the stage!' Tim White and Defying Gravity (percussionists, Perth)

'Thanks, too,  for your sorcery, dedication, and for being such an inspiration to us Oz composers. How very much we need people like you - and how rare you are! Let’s (please) continue to make music together!' Ross Edwards (composer)

'The second movement, “No Man’s Land”, of Andrew Ford’s War and Peace(2004), is dominated by high-pitched intricate textures combining violin harmonics with percussion such as crotales, vibraphone, triangles and small gongs. It is mysterious but also very moving in its evocation of the terrors of the battlefield. For me this is the standout item of the Kammerbox release.' Michael Hannan, Loud Mouth, The Music Trust

“Although so much smaller in scale than the SSO, and braver than the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Ensemble Offspring offers a more incisive vision, consistent commissioning and engagement with new media and theatrical idioms that an increasing number of composers see as part of their remit. Equality of opportunity figures strongly too, evident in the ensemble’s 2017 program, entirely comprising works by female composers.”Keith Gallasch, Real Time

“It’s a ballsy move to open a concert of such uncompromisingly demanding (albeit beautiful) music with a work which systematically undercuts artistic pretention. But when you play these works with such persuasive articulacy, you can get away with pretty much anything. Bravi.” Harriet Cunningham, A Cunning Blog, Who Dreamed It?

2016

"At one concert I witness the audience clap enthusiastically for Mozart but give a standing ovation for percussionist Claire Edwardes's powerhouse performance of Flash by Matthew Hindson. That reaction gives lie to the cliché about classical audiences being old and, by extension, conservative." NZ Herald, August 2016

“powerhouse playing from Edwardes.” The Australian, March 2016


2015

“Golden Kitsch by Elena Kats-Chernin was a revelation...Claire Edwardes playing like a high priestess.” Canberra Times, November 2015

“Her absolute mastery of all things percussion was truly spectacular to watch...The performance was deservedly met with a standing ovation.” Limelight Magazine, July 2015

“Edwardes' virtuosity combined with Grandage's clever writing made for a particularly enjoyable aural feast.” The Age July 2015

“There are old and new friends to be found in Edwardes’ excellent recital. For American ears, Edwardes’ Australian English imparts a welcome slant on the spoken parts of the Rzewski and Sierra.” La Folia 2015

“Claire Edwardes has a beguilingly adventurous spirit & generous disposition. She communicates nothing but positive, healing vibes by way of her conspicuous and almost unique gift for finding the point at which theatricality and musicianship can happily co-exist." SOS January 2015

“an intriguing window into Edwardes' enterprise, energy and continuously renewing creative engagement.” Sydney Morning Herald, January 2015


2014

“Edwardes, as usual, played and sounded like she had a symphony orchestra at her fingertips (or should that be mallet-tips?).” Sounds Like Sydney, October 2014

“played as ever with Edwardes’ capacity for finesse and passion - Xenakis’ music might be conceived in part algorithmically but Edwardes makes its beauty self-evident.” RealTime, July 2014

"Claire Edwardes was brilliantly edgy in Xenakis's Rebonds A/B.” Sydney Morning Herald, April 2014


2013

“while Edwardes is a stylish and brilliant performer, she plays without fuss, moving apparently seamlessly between the...often a huge array of percussion. 4.5 stars” Arts Hub, October 2013

“To say she is virtuosic is redundant; she's more, transforming what must clearly look promising on manuscript paper into sonorous, shimmering aural opulence.”  Australian Stage, July 2013

“joyous gem of a percussionist” Sydney Arts Guide, June 2013

 
2012

“Sorceress of percussion, Claire Edwardes, infused the performance with her particular magic. Focused, graceful and virtuosic...” Canberra Times, August 2012

“Edwardes performs all the music with great expression, enviable technique, and an unusually deep insight into all sorts of compositional styles and eras.” American Record Guide, June 2012

“the immensely talented Australian Claire Edwardes showed her mastery of a galaxy of instruments.” Dominion Post, Wellington June 2012
 

2011

“The eye-catching percussionist Claire Edwardes.” Sydney Morning Herald, November 2011

“Edwardes colours everything she plays with exuberance, intelligence and sensitivity and offers us here a great percussion primer.” Limelight Magazine, November 2011

If it is impertinent to identify any of these as the stand out performer on the night, then certainly the one who most captures the attention was Edwardes. It highlights why is she is recognised worldwide as one of the most striking and important percussionists of her generation.” Kristof Raw, September 2011
 

2009

“This is one of the best CD’s I have listened to this year...There are several aspects to this disc that mark it as unusually important. Firstly, it records some of Claire Edwardes’ best playing. The performances are assured, fluid, coherent (where necessary) and pleasantly, refreshingly straightforward.” Music Forum Magazine, May 2009
 

2006

“Claire Edwardes' amazingly voluptuous percussion performance..” Adelaide City Messenger, 2006
 

2005

“She plays everything cold bloodedly and exact but is never clinical or routine in her approach. Add to this her positive presentation and it is clear that she is the sort of musician who composers would be inspired by." NRC Handelsbad Amsterdam, 2005

“Edwardes’s enthusiasm was hard to resist...with spellbinding intensity” Sydney Morning Herald, 2005
 

2004

“Edwardes produced a presentation that was electric from start to finish” The Age, 2004

“Edwardes’ strength and energy was breath-taking.” The Mercury, 2004
 

2001

“Edwardes was a fine soloist and played with sensitivity and unusually focused concentration.” The Washington Post, 2001
 

2000

“With elegant flexibility and empathy she managed to integrate with the orchestra, and to rise up from it...in a confident manner.” Eindhovens Dagblad, 2000
 

1999

“The winner, Claire Edwardes, played… with infectious brio and clear involvement...This was a gripping and professional display…” The Age 1999