Alon Ilsar

Image courtesy Alon Ilsar

Residency: 13 February – 26 February

Alon Ilsar is an Australian drummer, composer, sound designer and instrument designer who will be developing a new work during his residency in February. Ilsar will work with his creative team including Andrew Bluff, Daniel Krass and Matthew Hughes on The Hour, a new audio-visual live performance

This work explores our relationship with maths, religion, nature and technology through music, movement, sound design and interactive animation.

This unique collaboration will feature Alon Ilsar on drums and AirSticks, a new custom gestural instrument created with software developer Mark Havryliv, that allows the triggering and manipulation of sounds and visuals by slashing and striking through the air. This will be Ilsar’s first performance after returning from a year-long artist residency at New York’s Brooklyn College.

The hour long piece composed by Ilsar will be visualised by animator Matthew Hughes, and brought to life by interactive designer Andrew Bluff, with sound designer and director Daniel Krass unifying these elements and shaping the narrative arc.

The Hour is a meditative experience created to make the listener/viewer feel a sense of true synaesthesia, melding sound and visuals and stretching time in all directions through morphing rhythms.


Alon Ilsar is an Australian drummer, composer, sound designer and instrument designer. He is co-designer of a new interface for electronic percussionists called the AirSticks, using the instrument in projects such as The Sticks, Tuka (from Thundamentals), Kirin J Callinan, Velize (US), Cephalon (US), Monotreme (US), Bondi Dreaming, Silent Spring, Drumonair and Brian Campeau.

He has been heavily involved in theatre and film as drummer, composer and sound designer. His diverse projects include Belvoir Theatre’s ‘Keating! the Musical,’ Sydney Theatre Company’s ‘Mojo,’ Scottish production for deaf and hearing audiences ‘Kind of Silence,’ Meow Meow with the London Philharmonic, Alan Cumming, Jake Shears, Eddie Perfect, Tim Minchin, Circus Monoxide as musical director,  Lance Horne, Zohar’s Nigun, Aronas, Captain Kirkwood, The Colors Tribute Band, Gauche, Trigger Happy, Tango Saloon, Facemeat and Darth Vegas.

Ilsar is completing a PhD in instrument design through the University of Technology, Sydney’s Creativity and Cognition Studios, under the supervision of Andrew Johnston. He is currently artist in residence at Brooklyn College’s PIMA in New York working on new collaborations with musicians, visual artists and dancers such as Trevor Dunn, David Grubbs, Jim Black, Briggan Krauss, Kyle Sanna, Dana Lyn and Hannah Cohen of Neshamah Dance Company

Andrew Bluff is a digital interaction artist, blending software engineering, surround sound design and immersive visuals to explore new frontiers of technology based music and digital media.  By introducing interactive technology to established live performance practices he creates synesthetic audio-visual events for live musical performance, physical theatre and interactive art installations. Bluff is currently undertaking doctorate studies to research how immersive virtual reality techniques may be combined with live performance to create interactive mixed-reality experiences at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS).

Danny Krass is a sound designer and director having worked on a range of projects including International Waters (Fire Exit); Blackout (Showroom/Tron); Blackbird (Citizens Theatre); Who Cares (Royal Court); Milk, Swallow, The Devil Masters, Quiz Show, Spoiling (Traverse Theatre); Magic Sho, Josephine Bean, Huff (Shona Reppe) Kind of Silence, Smokies (Solar Bear); Pondlife, Martha, The Little Gentleman, The Voice Thief, White, Kes (Catherine Wheels); Up To Speed (Imaginate); My Friend Selma, Invisible Army, (Terra Incognita); Robin Hood (Visible Fictions); My House, A Small Story (Starcatchers); Peter Pan (Sherman Cymru); Mikey and Addie, Littlest Christmas Tree, Rudolf,  Mr Snow, The Little Boy that Santa Claus Forgot (macrobert); Skewered Snails, He-La (Iron Oxide); The Infamous Brothers Davenport (Vox Motus/Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh); One Thousand Paper Cranes (Lu Kemp); To Begin, The Tin Forest (NTS): Sanitise (Melanie Jordan) and Kind of Silence (Solar Bear)

Upcoming projects include Coriolanus Vanishes (Fire Exit); Without A Hitch (Room 2 Manoeuvre);  Heroine (Mary Wells) and  At A Stretch (Melanie Jordan).

Matthew Hughes is a Sydney based software designer, musician and composer. During his composition study at the Australian Institute of Music, Matthew developed a fascination for synthesizers and the manipulation of music through computers. He soon started creating programs to visualize his music, and his work at AIM culminated in a series of compositions that fuse computer programming and electronic music to create unique audio-visual experiences. Since graduating, Hughes has been honing his skills, diving deeper into the world of both computer-generated animation, and sound synthesis.