Aviva Endean is a clarinettist, composer, sound artist and performance-maker dedicated to connecting people with each other and their environment through attentive listening. She regularly works across a range of contexts including experimental and improvised music, new chamber music, and cross-disciplinary collaborations. Aviva’s work seeks to extend beyond the boundaries of her art form and to reimagine the possibilities of sound. She has collaborated with some of Australia’s most respected arts organisations including The Australian Art Orchestra, Room40, Chamber Made, TURA, and Chunky Move, and was the recipient of the Freedman Music Fellowship (2015), the APRA/AMCOS Art music award (2020/2023), a Greenroom award (best composition for dance 2019) and the Peggy Glanville-Hicks composer’s residency (2021).

Her debut solo release cinder : ember : ashes  featuring improvisations and original compositions was released on Norwegian label SOFA in 2018 to critical acclaim, with reviews speaking to Aviva’s innovation and virtuosity, and describing the work as ‘captivating, sophisticated, stunning, miraculous’ & ‘trance-inducing’. Her follow up electro-acoustic album ‘Moths & Stars’ (Room40 2022) captured the imagination of listeners with its richly textured sound worlds; reviews claiming ‘Endean has proven time and time again that she is an expert of the aural adventure’.

As a composer and performance maker, Aviva often explores expanding the audience experience of sound by creating unusual, spatially engaged, and participatory contexts for listening. Her recent original work in this area include Stranger a performance installation for an ensemble audience (nominated for a Greenroom award contemporary and experimental performance), Vibrato Virtual a participatory sound work using mobile phone speakers (Chamber made/Liquid Architecture), Ping Pong Pop a game piece for live spinning contrabass clarinet player, audience and ping pong balls (Dark MOFO), Sonic Labyrinth an immersive and interactive sound journey for children and adults alike (Castlemaine State festival/Art Play), Domicile a performance installation work inhabiting a family home (New Music Network mini series), Intimate Sound Immersion, a performance for one blindfolded person at a time (You Are Here festival), In the Half Light, a show for solo clarinet and immersive lighting design (ASTRA Chamber Music society) and A Face Like Yours a sound work for video, foam earplugs and viewer (Darwin Festival, Sydney Contemporary Art Fair).

Her current ensembles include Hand to Earth an improvising band featuring Yolŋu songkeepers Daniel and David Wilfred (voice/yidaki), Korean born singer Sunny Kim, and Peter Knight (trumpet/electronics), and The Cloud Maker a powerful line up of 6 female-identifying musicians who draw on stories of goddesses from their many shared heritages to create music which echoes these tales of creation, regeneration and transformation.

Aviva’s staged works have been shown at DARK MOFO, Castlemaine State Festival, MONA FOMA, Darwin Festival and Sydney Contemporary Art Fair, and she has toured her solo music inter/nationally including Sound of Stockholm, Only Connect (Norway) and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (UK) and Angelica (IT).

Aviva is also active as a collaborator on interdisciplinary projects. She created the score for Chunky Move’s large scale immersive performance work Token Armies for the Melbourne International festival 2019 (winner Greenroom award, best composition for Dance) and Rewards for the Tribe (RISING, Warwick Arts Centre UK), and worked alongside dancer/choreographer Rebecca Jensen to create SLIP (Keir Choreographic award/FRAME dance biennale). Her work was also featured in films Assembly by Angelica Mesiti for the Australian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2019, and The Empyrean by Amiel-Courtin Wilson. Other collaborative projects have included work with some of Australia’s most exciting arts organisations and festivals, including The Australian Art Orchestra, Chamber Made, ASTRA, Punctum Live Arts, ELISION, TURA, Slave Pianos, and with Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey.

Aviva is the recipient of numerous Awards including the prestigious Freedman Music Fellowship (2015), the APRA/AMCOS Art music award (2020/2023) and The Creators Fund (2023). She has been a finalist for The Melbourne Prize, the EG music Awards ‘Best Avant-garde/Experimental act’ (2013 & 2018), and the Aria Awards ‘Best World Music album’ (2014). Her work with Justin Marshall ‘I Am Hear’ was awarded Best Kids Work at the Melbourne Fringe festival (2018). 

Aviva was the inaugural recipient of the Australian Art Orchestra’s ‘Pathfinder’ Music Leadership program, which offered her a one-year Associate Artist position with the company. Her other positions have included teaching as Monash University, working as ‘Emerging Artist in Residence’ with both Chamber Made and ASTRA chamber music society, and Associate Artist for the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity (Canada).  

Aviva acknowledges that her practice has been developed on the unceded lands of the Wurundjeri, Boonwurrung, Dja Dja Wurrung and Gadigal people. She commits to working respectfully to honour ongoing cultural and spiritual connections to country, as well as elders, past, present and future.

“Astonishing beauty…uncharted musical lands”

Sydney Morning Herald

“a finely tuned curatorial sensibility”

Liza Lim, Partial Durations

“A miraculous discovery of a new world”

Freistil Magazin

“Sophisticated solo improvisations from one of the most varied and accomplished artists of Australia’s younger generations.”

on ‘cinder : ember : ashes’ Joe O’Connor, Loudmouth

“Inhalations and exhalations suddenly sculpted into meaning bearing forms”

Peter Knight, Artistic Director, Australian Art Orchestra

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