Cockatoo Calling
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In 2011 we launched a new project for contemporary Australian music on Cockatoo Island.  For more detailed information please visit

Cockatoo Calling
Creating places + spaces for innovation in music

What are we doing:
Establishing a creative development and performance space for Australian musicians and composers with residential, performance and showcase opportunities on Cockatoo Island.
Aerial cockatoo island
Currently there are no dedicated opportunities for residencies focusing on the creation and development of contemporary Australian music (to the best of our knowledge in the country).  Other performing arts such as dance and theatre include this as an integral part of their creation process.

There is also a lack of opportunities within this sector for the development  of musical performance and presentation beyond the standard format of an ensemble or  band playing music.  Very few producers work within this sphere.  This is despite a two way interest between Festival, arts venues and Producers with musicians. 

What it will look like?

In the short term, Cockatoo Calling activities may include, but are not limited to the following:

•    Residency and creative development opportunities for musicians 
•    Performances opportunities and place to try out new works or ideas
•    Opportunities for showings of works in progress to the industry
•    Master classes for musicians
•    Skills development mentoring opportunities for musicians
•    Workshops, talks and performances for the general public

Cockatoo Calling will be a place of engagement for musicians, composers, music lovers and the curious of all ages.  It will enable the meeting of minds, nurturing of artists and creativity, putting in place the musical building blocks of the future with special emphasis on creative development and performance. 

Long term strategy and goals:

•    Developing new infrastructure for artists and audiences, such as more easily accessible performances
•    The development and producing of new music projects
•    Skills development and mentoring for artists
•    Engaging and building audiences
•    Developing a connection point for artists and industry


Pilot commenced in April for one year.  This project will continue in 2012 with the support of Arts NSW.. 

Program of activities:

Residencies  between 1 week to 1 month, with a workshop or work in progress performance at the end of each residency.  In the first year, the goal would be to have six to twelve residencies.

Accommodation – there is an opportunity to stay on the island during the residencies.  Subsidy support is available for tent accommodation.

Performance program – performance opportunities at reasonable rental.  Pending the outcome of a current funding application we hope to present  regular events of established artists with a carte blanche to experiment new works.  If you are interested please let us know.

Performance opportunities for more experimental artists.  Establishment of regular event for eclectic work. 

Projects in the pipeline

We also hope to run a performance program and follow on from our successful pilot program of live must held in November 2010, with a month featuring Australian music to coincide with ABC's Australian Music month.  In 2010 we featured the Java Quartet with Bobby Singh, Kristin Berardi and James Sherlock, the Scrapes, the Vampires, Hinterlandt and My Goodness McGuiness.  Thanks to everyone who came along. 
Opportunities exist for philanthropic contributions for this scheme, which will facilitate the creation of new Australian works.  Donations are tax deductable, with places + spaces being listed on the cultural register.

For more information on our our support for creative arts projects and how you might become involved please contact Joanne Kee or visit

Contact Joanne Kee for more information:
0414 973 095                   

This initiative has been realized through places + spaces and is supported by the Australia Council and the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust.

  Australia Council logo    Federation Trust logo

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