Rubiks Collective: Pythia Prize 2019

Rubiks Collective launch the 2019 Pythia Prize, in celebration and support of the creativity, individuality and artistic innovation demonstrated by Australia’s female and gnc composers.

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The Pythia Prize is an annual commission project, launched by Rubiks Collective in 2017. Now in its third year, the Prize recognises the need to address gender representation and equality in contemporary music, and celebrates the incredible work of Australia’s female and gender nonconforming (gnc) composers.

The Pythia Prize is open to all Australian female and gnc composers. There is no age limit on the prize, and no requirement to be currently living in Australia. The recipient of the prize works closely with Rubiks to develop a new work over the course of a year. The Pythia process centres around collaboration, the exchange of ideas and regular workshop sessions – ensuring Rubiks nurture our winner’s creative vision to create something truly special.

The Pythia Prize is one of Rubiks’ greatest achievements. We’re incredibly proud of the work of our first two winners, Samantha Wolf (2017) and Christine McCombe (2018).

Samantha’s work ‘Want Not’ has been performed by Rubiks in four different countries, was recorded by ABC Classic FM for their ‘New Waves’ podcast, and received the prestigious 2019 Sue W Chamber Composition Prize from the Sydney Conservatorium. Christine’s new work is exploring exciting new territory for the ensemble, drawing philosophy, psychology and poetry together into an electroacoustic soundscape that will premiere on December 5 at the Melbourne Recital Centre.

These new works have allowed all of us to explore rich creative ground, to push our artistic practices, and to highlight the work of women and gnc composers in the Australian musical community.

Our ACF campaign will support the 2019 edition of the Pythia Prize, with all funds supporting the commission and promotion of the 2019 winner’s work. The winner will receive a $4000 honorarium, and will work with Rubiks to create their new work ahead of a premiere at the Melbourne Recital Centre in September 2020. The winner will also receive a professional recording of Rubiks performing their work.

Additional funds raised will be used for the promotion and administration of the Prize, and for the first time we’ve added stretch goals into our target. If we’re successful in reaching our initial target early, we’ll be aiming even bigger! Additional donations will support the documentation of our 2019 winner’s work, and our Pythia launch party – an event where we premiere our latest Pythia music video, host a q&a session with the winner, and celebrate with all the supporters who help to make Pythia possible.

All donations over $2 are tax deductible, and we hope you’ll come on the Pythia journey with us!

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Rubiks is one of Melbourne’s most dynamic contemporary art music ensembles, bringing together Australia’s most exciting and versatile young performers. Since debuting in 2015, the ensemble has been hailed as “a formidable contribution to Australia’s growing community of contemporary music makers” (Partial Durations) and commended for “incredibly personal, strangely spiritual and ultimately deeply touching” performances (Limelight Magazine). With a particular interest in storytelling and cross-art collaboration, Rubiks has quickly established a reputation for excellence, delighting audiences with their unique programming and dazzling virtuosity.

Rubiks is passionate about working with the artistic pioneers of our time, and the ensemble has collaborated with Australian and international artists including Marcus Fjellström (SE), Amy Zhang (US), Bec Plexus (NL), Ashis Sengupta (IN), Kinds of Kings (US), Short Black Opera (AU), Samuel Smith (AU) and Invenio Singers (AU).
Rubiks’ international appearances have included performances in Germany, England, the Netherlands and at the closing events for the 2018-19 Australia Fest in India. National festival appearances include the Metropolis New Music Festival (Melbourne) and City Recital Hall’s Extended Play Festival (Sydney). Rubiks are also a resident ensemble in the Melbourne Recital Centre’s acclaimed ‘Local Heroes’ chamber music series.
In 2017, Rubiks launched the Pythia Prize, an annual commission project that supports an Australian female or non-binary composer to collaborate with Rubiks on the creation of a new work. The inaugural Pythia Prize winner was Samantha Wolf, and her work was performed in both Australia and Europe, featuring in Rubiks’ first international appearances. The ensemble is currently working with 2018 winner Christine McCombe, on a new work due to premiere in December 2019.