Ensemble Offspring at Mofo 2016
“The big percussion events were sideshows by Mexican jazz drummer Antonio Sanchez performing his celebrated soundtrack to Oscar winning Birdman to a live screening of the film, and a showy solo show by deaf Scottish virtuoso Dame Evelyn Glennie. But the highlights were often more intimate. In Mona's winery barrel room, Claire Edwardes and Bree Van Reyk of Sydney organisation Ensemble Offspring built hypnotic patterns, sometimes playing blindfolded, sometimes with eyes open. Van Reyk also took the intimacy a step further with separate short performances for audiences of one. It reinforced that it is often the subtle offerings - and the venue - that sets Mofo apart.”
Adam Morton - Sydney Morning Herald, The Age.
“The dark, cool depths of Mona’s underground Nolan Gallery is a fitting stage for two of Australia’s most skilled percussionists, Claire Edwardes and Bree van Reyk. The beating of their drums and eerie tones of the xylophone bounce off the gallery walls, enveloping the crowd.”
“Ensemble Offspring may be classically trained, but they have used this training to push the boundaries of sound with true innovation, leaving audiences wide-eyed. The pair frequently tour Australia, sometimes joining other artists; keep an eye out for any opportunity to witness these powerful women in full flight.”
Melissa Davey - The Guardian.
“They open the concert with van Reyk’s own Duet with Blindfold. Standing side by side with a series of drums before them, they wrap white fabric around their heads and, completely unable to see, they begin. Immediately obvious is the necessity to trust their own instincts – and each other’s... They portray sheer confidence and an ability to let go when surrounded by risk.
The opening is astoundingly impressive, and the recital progressively so... Van Reyk’s work A Series of Breaths is next on the programme, a dreamy work that showcases the unique acoustics of the room: when she allows tones to ring, I am entirely immersed in them...”
Stephanie Eslake, Limelight Magazine
During Campbelltown Arts Centre Residency
“Bree van Reyk launches school of rock for girls – and it's massive”
Feature article in the Sydney Morning Herald, Oct 13, 2015. By Sarah Thomas.
“It's never too late to be a rock'n'roll star. Or too early, in fact.
Just ask percussionist Bree van Reyk, who has launched her own school of rock across schools in the Campbelltown area.
Van Reyk, who is Campbelltown Arts Centre's artist in residence this year, has been teaching high school girls the art of rock'n'roll in a project designed to encourage them to embrace their musical aspirations.
The project, named Massive Band, is exactly that. On Saturday the culmination of months of work will see about 70 women of all ages play a 25-minute set at the arts centre.
"I really hope that people can see that it's never too late to play music," says van Reyk. "Although a lot of the project is focused on high school girls, I've also been having open workshops which have been a call out to any women who want to come and play.
The willing musicians have been tutored under the careful watch of van Reyk and some of her musical acquaintances – Lindy Morrison and Amanda Brown from the Go-Betweens, bassist Zoe Hauptmann, drummer Alison Galloway from Smudge and guitarist Jess Green.
Van Reyk, who has collaborated with Paul Kelly, Holly Throsby and Sarah Blasko, has been playing drums since the age of 10 and says she wants to encourage more girls to take up music.”
Wall of Sound
For Performance Space's Liveworks Program, Oct-Nov 2015
“By reducing variables in performance, van Reyk’s simplicity ripened interest. It was immersive and intimate. In defiance of the good usher’s tip to ear-block if needed, I leaned in close to the swaying gong as things heated up... But it was just right. Her gong, more than a divider and a conduit, was a living sculpture we fed—Bree van Reyk with her actions and me by eager attention.”
Felicity Clark - Real Time Magazine.