Padma Newsome is a composer, concert violist and multi-instrumentalist, and music educator born in Alice Springs, Australia in 1961. Newsome trained as a concert violist at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and toured throughout Australia, China and the Pacific in the late 70’s and early 80’s. In the 1980s he left classical performance to spend six years on an ashram in New South Wales where he taught yoga and studied Indian classical music.
Newsome began formal studies in composition in the 1990s at the University of Adelaide (BMus (Hons), MMus) and continued at Yale University (MM, MMA) on a Fulbright Post-graduate Scholarship. His musical palette expresses colours of the modernist avant-garde, folk music from India and chamber music remnants along with the energy of the pop/rock world. He composes for traditional large and small ensembles, the electro-acoustic medium, improvised chamber ensemble and for dance, theatre and film.
Newsome is the musical director and composer for Clogs, an improvising ensemble that has toured throughout Europe, the U.S., Australia, and Canada. Clogs has released five albums on the Brassland/USA and Southern Records/Europe labels. In addition to work with Clogs, Newsome was a writer, orchestrator, arranger, violinist, keyboardist with American rock band, The National from 2001-2010.
Newsome’s music has been performed by ensembles and soloists such as the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Academy of Melbourne, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Da Capo Chamber Players, Locrian Chamber Players, Brooklyn Rider, The Heliand Consort, clarinetist Evan Ziporyn (Bang on a Can), guitarist Bryce Dessner, violinists Katie Lansdale and Jennifer Choi, jazz cellist Erik Friedlander, and violists Paul McMillan and Georgina Grosvenor.
His teachers have included Dr Martin Bresnick, Dr Joseph Schwanter, Pundit Ashok Roy, Alexandru Todicescu, Graeme Koehne, Eleanor Havda and Dr Evan Ziporyn.
Padma resides in Mallacoota, Australia, where he composes, records, mentors, teaches, and conducts the Mallacoota Choir.
Nick Fischer is a multi instrumentalist (kit drums, percussion, bass and six string guitars). Brought up through the Nagle College music program on the bass guitar he then went on to teach himself six string guitar and kit drums. He began to teach these instruments both privately and in primary schools 12 years ago. His knowledge of multiple genres is extensive and has taught and performed, jazz, folk, funk, rock, blues, country, ska, reggae, heavy metal, alternative, world, pop and African styles. His extensive knowledge of multiple genres allows him to reach many people of all ages and abilities. He has been an inspiration to local youth and music peers in Gippsland, teaching and mentoring some of Gippsland’s finest young talent. He has delivered several arts/music government funded schemes in the last 5 years and he also runs ukulele, recording, percussion and band work shops at schools, events and festivals.
Nick has in the last 3 years has extended his repertoire to include event management, and has been directing music nights and also a weekend family music festival in Nowa Nowa (Mingling Waters Music Festival). He also was one of the main organisers of the Bruthen Blues Festival’s successful Artists Exchange Program which flew two Victorians to Oregon for a small tour and brought the Fret drifters from Oregon to Bruthen.
He has been performing regularly in Gippsland, Melbourne and N.S.W., over the last twenty years, and played alongside some of Australia’s finest talent including; Sally Dastey, Squeeze Box Wally (Jimmy Barnes), Garot Costigan, Fiona Boyes, Tim Burnham, Ben Smith, Mark and John Grunden, Mike Tahanna, The Nudgels .