Collision Theory

COLLISION THEORY, percussion duo
Amy Valent and Arwen Johnston
with Caerwen Martin, violoncello
KATY ABBOTT- The Empty Quarter

Sunday 5ID October 2008 2 pm
Gisborne St, East Melbourne
Melways 2F Kl

Meet the artists

Collision Theory* percussion duo strikes to the core. Two women – Amy Valent and Arwen Johnston – draw on the wealth of new and established composers from their native Australia.

Simultaneously they weave their audiences through a myriad of Argentinean tango, Japanese Taiko drumming, Middle Eastern dance rhythms and contemporary sounds. The core of their repertoire is performed on 5-octave marimba and 4-octave vibraphone. Bass recorder, hand drums, taiko, flute, a range of tuned percussion and found objects combine to create breathtaking performances.

Collaborations with performers and composers from across the world add to the vitality. Double bass, soprano, cello and choir have, at various times, collided with the duo to open up a profusion of musical sounds.

Amy Valent is an active freelance performer. She has appeared with numerous orchestras as soloist, including three concerti written for her. She has performed throughout Australia in bands, including supporting Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Plant and Robert Page on their Australian tour.

Studies with Dave Samuels, Michael Burritt, Anders Astrand. Mark Ford, James Campbell have led to performances in Sweden and USA (Percussive Arts International Convention).

In 2000 and 2001 she founded and directed the Melbourne International Percussion Festival, bringing together performers from 5 continents for performances and workshops.
Amy has recorded soundtracks for numerous Australian films and television series. She has been involved in performances supporting human rights and the environment.

Arwen Johnston is timpanist with Melbourne Opera and percussionist with the Australian Philharmonic. She works with many ensembles as a baroque timpani specialist, has recently formed the HOS trio (tango trio) and been working with the Melbourne Symphony Outreach program.

Arwen has toured Holland and Spam with Bartok’s Concerto for 2 Pianos/Percussion, France and Holland with Shostakovich’s lost film score Odna and Geminiani Orchestra’s European tour. Whilst in Amsterdam she was percussionist with the musical Grace.
Arwen has performed two concerti, has had numerous works written for her and has recorded music for film soundtracks, orchestras, composers and rock bands both in Australia and Europe.

Caerwen Martin – Having studied in Croatia, Germany, England and Australia, Caerwen often performs New Music and has done so with many different ensembles at many different festivals and hi many places around the world including Maps Kobenhaven, David Chesworth Ensemble USA and Slovenia, Naked Raven Europe, Skin Quartet Sydney, Portland USA, Belgium and Johannesburg, and as a Soloist in Croatia.

Her mam focus is the Silo String Quartet which she founded in 1998 but she also plays with projects such as Aphids, Arcko Symphonic Project, David Chishom’s Snow, Libra Ensemble, Chamber Made, Astra, Raga Dolls Salon Orchestra and The Black Arm Band. Caerwen has been composing for various live ensembles, film, dance and theatre since 1993 and has completed 2 CDs of her work.


Caerwen Martin – Aqueous (2000)
Andrew Ford – Soave sia il Vento (2005)
Caerwen Martin – Leaves (2003)
Nigel Westlake – Songs from the Forest (2001)
Arwen Johnston and Amy Valent – Awaze (2007)


Presentation of 2008 Lyrebird Commission
Katy Abbott – The Empty Quarter (2008)(premiere performance)
Lindsay Brunsdon – Pipo (2000)
Alberto Ginastera -Playera (1893)
Arvo Part – Spiegel im Spiegel (1978)