South Bank, London (1979-)-Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Sweden, Thailand, UK, USA etc-Performance Space, Sydney(1996-2002), Canberra ACT (2002-7), Sydney Conservatorium of Music (2003-).
An international ensemble creating and performing new music and polymedia, composed and improvised
"phenomenal musicianship" (Sydney Morning Herald, 1995)
"sonic powerscapes" (Sydney Morning Herald, 1996)
"cutting edge...eclectic...consummate" (BBC Radio 3, 1997)
"continue to push the parameters of music and multimedia...probing the nature of performance art" (Sydney Morning Herald, October 2004)
"intelligent musical innovation .... the sound world took the ear into alluring and unexplored domains" (Sydney Morning Herald, September 2005)
"those doyens of computerised music" (Sydney Morning Herald, 2008)
"creates amazing soundscapes" (Sydney Morning Herald, December 2009)
"created surprising meanings and juxtapositions ... a fascinating complex interaction of regular and irregular sonic patterns of textural virtuosity ... It is a brave new world that hath such music in it." (Sydney Morning Herald, November 2014)

Creating, performing and publishing new sound and intermedia arts

Director: Roger Dean

Home/Current   austraLYSIS    austraLYSIS Electroband   Roger Dean    Hazel Smith    Members    HearSeeRead

Go here to see austraLYSIS' Current and Recent activities; here for an article about the development of technologies within our creative and performance work.


austraLYSIS incorporates LYSIS, the former European contemporary music group, commenced 1970 in the UK. Both were founded by Roger Dean (double bass, keyboard, composer, computer interaction) and Hazel Smith (violin, text-creator). LYSIS was co-founded with John Wallace (trumpets, composer), Ashley Brown (percussion), and Colin Lawson (clarinets). austraLYSIS has premiered, commissioned and/or created more than 150 musical compositions and new media works. It has appeared in most parts of the world, including Europe, Asia, North America, and Australasia. In 2015, for example, it presents its new work in Australia, Norway and the US. It has made more than fifty commercial sound recordings, intermedia CD-Roms, works for radio, and its broadcasts have been heard all over the world.

     austraLYSIS is committed to both composed and improvised new music, sound art, and text and image intermedia work. It presented a concert devoted to Stockhausen on the South Bank in London in 1980, in association with the Philharmonia Orchestra and the composer himself and it has given many performances of his works elsewhere—it has similarly focused on the work of Xenakis, Cage and Reich in presentations in Australia and elsewhere. We have also placed particular emphasis on work from Australia and the UK and collaborated with some of the most imaginative performers involved with contemporary music, sound and new media, in Australia, including Keith Armstrong (intermedia artist); Simon Barker, Tony Buck, Ken Edie, Nick McBride and Daryl Pratt (percussion); Anthony Chesterman (oboe/cor anglais); Laura Chislett (flute); Elliott Dalgleish and Sandy Evans (saxophones, flute); Peter Jenkin (clarinets); Georges Lentz (violin); Stephanie McCallum (piano); Martin Ng (computers); Georg Pedersen (cello); Ian Shanahan (recorders). Originally primarily a performance group, austraLYSIS is now primarily a creative group, producing electroacoustic and computer-interactive music and polymedia.
Composers, improvisers, writers, video artists who are members include: Keith Armstrong (installation and video artist); Daniel Blinkhorn (composer and audio-visual artist);Sandy Evans (saxophones); Phil Slater (trumpet and computers); Hazel Smith (writer and performer); Greg White (computer interaction; sound design); David Worrall (composer and visual artist); and from the USA, Will Luers (video artist and writer).

     austraLYSIS frequently relates its sound works and performances to other artistic media. For example in the case of the visual arts, it has performed compositions by the artist Tom Phillips (UK); collaborated with Alan Davie (UK); created music related to the painters Fred Williams and Michael Johnson (Australia) and Frans Widerberg (Norway); and collaborated with Australian 3D artists such as Sieglinde Karl and Darani Lewers. Similarly it has been been involved in developing music/movement works such as TimeDancesPeace with the theatre and dance group Kinetic Energy. austraLYSIS has also created a number of text and sound pieces which were commissioned by the ABC including Bird Migrants (2014), The Afterlives of Betsy Scott (2007), The Erotics of Gossip (2001), Returning the Angles, Nuraghic Echoes (1996), and Poet without Language (1991) — all by Hazel Smith and Roger Dean — Poet Without Language was the ABC's nomination for the Italia Prize in 1992.
Since 2011 it has collaborated with renowned installation artist Keith Armstrong, and with American video-artist Will Luers. austraLYSIS also collaborates with other ensembles, notably in 2010 (and again in 2012) with the enterprising vocal ensemble Halcyon, a fellow-member of the New Music Network. The combination of vocal and electroacoustic expertise has allowed some rare and some premiere performances.

     austraLYSIS' breadth of style is illustrated on its many recordings and on those of its member musicians. austraLYSIS' most recent CD releases are Dean's double album MultiPiano (2013) (piano and computer-interaction): and Sonic Stones (2006) both on Australia's leading label for new music, Tall Poppies. The double CD Resounding in the Mirrors was released on the UK label Future Music Records (2001); the austraLYSIS Electroband's Present Tense is also on Tall Poppies; another unusual double CD comprising two 60 minute improvisations, The Next Room, is available on Tall Poppies (TP 050) joining the earlier Moving the Landscapes (TP 007). In addition, Windows in Time (TP 039) represents a range of austraLYSIS's work, with music from Xenakis to Cresswell, as well as by members of the group. austraLYSIS has also contributed to Hazel Smith's sound and performance-text CDs, Poet Without Language (Rufus RF 005) and Nuraghic Echoes (Rufus). Amongst other releases are Walking the Faultlines, chosen for inclusion on the International Computer Music Association Cyberquilt CD-Rom, their first; Wordstuffs : The City and The Body commissioned by the Australian Film Commission for their Stuff-Art site; andReturning the Angles (CD-R of sound and 3D-interactive image, SOMA 787). One of austraLYSIS's recordings was listed as a Record of the Year, by Records and Recordings, UK, and several have been nominated for ARIA awards. Substantial works of audio and intermedia feature on the CD-Rom published recently as part of Hazel Smith's The Erotics of Geography: poetry, performance texts, new media works (TinFish Press, Hawaii, USA, 2008).

     austraLYSIS also creates jazz and improvised musics. The austraLYSIS Electroband is our unique forum for computer-interactive and networked improvisation, using both acoustic and electroacoustic sound, compositional patches written in MAX/MSP/JITTER, and sound processing both live and mediated by such patches. The Electroband, involving Roger Dean, Sandy Evans, Phil Slater and Greg White, has developed since 1995 both as a hyperinstrument and as a polymorphic ensemble with orchestral and industrial sound capacities. The first austraLYSIS Electroband CD, Present Tense (TP 109), was released in late 1997; newer work is included on Resounding in the Mirrors, and on Sonic Stones. austraLYSIS made a major live webcast in the international 'Cathedral' 48 hour event, December 2001.

     austraLYSIS undertakes commissions and engagements for arts centres, festivals, broadcasting, recording and for international touring. It has completed nine overseas tours since 1990, and in 1992-3 performed all over Australia. In one such tour it was featured in three events at the leading new music festival in UK, Huddersfield, and on BBC Radio 3. It has previously been supported by the Australia Council as a 'Key Organisation' for its creative and performance work, and its work is presented by the ABC and other international broadcasters, as well as in multimedia formats. austraLYSIS is also concerned with educational work and other means of fostering appreciation. Examples of such work include Roger Dean's presentation of an ABC radio documentary on improvisation, and in 2010 two programmes for the BBC in London on Australian Jazz; his books Creative Improvisation (Open University Press, UK), Sounds from the Corner (about Australian contemporaryjazz, Australian Music Centre) and recently The Oxford Handbook of Computer Music (OUP, 2009) and the Oxford Handbook of Algorithmic Music (in preparation, 2015); Hazel Smith's book The Writing Experiment (Allen and Unwin, Australia); and their jointly edited book Practice-led Research, Research-led Practice in the Creative Arts (Edinburgh University Press, 2009).
Some of austraLYSIS efforts in advocacy are described here.

To access examples of our work see pages on this web site, our hear-see-read section and our index page; additional work is widespread on the web, including sounds on our MySpace site; for additional information on our composer-members see the Australian Music Centre site (go to our links page).
BOOKINGS and Enquiries to : austraLYSIS, PO Box 225, Milperra, NSW 2214, Australia. Telephone : + 61 481 :