Surfing a New Sound with Freyja Garbett

Performing at the Music Lounge – 2nd December

Freyja Garbett sees music and surfing as symbiotic forces and integral parts of her life, and for as long as she can remember, both contribute equally to her overall sense of self, well-being and creativity.

“Over time, though music has become my source of income, it is most importantly where I express myself and share stories with others. Surfing is my source of rejuvenation and mental clarity and provides a sense of freedom and spontaneity that often spills over into my musical compositions, sparking new ideas and perspectives.”

Freyja Garbett

Piano Teacher, Musician and Composer, WollCon

It made perfect sense to combine the two for her new suite of work called ‘Music from the Waves’ which she will perform at the inaugural WollCon Jazz Festival in September. Freyja describes the music as a multi-movement suite combining electro-acoustic sonic palettes to encapsulate and audiate the synthesis between music and surfing.

In the words of author Tom Schnabel: “Just as no two jazz solos are alike, neither are two waves ever identical, and good surfers or jazz musicians find renewal and inspiration in the spirit of improvisation.”

Freyja Garbett - Photo by Amy Kennett

Photo: Amy Kennett

“Many surfers have drawn a philosophical connection between these two disciplines. This is the first step in my journey in creating music that unites these two loves of mine, and I am excited to be able to share it with our local music community at WollCon.” – Freyja

By exploring the idea of data sonification, using a form of motion capture device, Freyja creates an audio representation of the motions and movements of surfing. The data collected from this device is used to inspire compositions and improvisation, creating new and experimental music that pushes the boundaries of traditional jazz.

Her work not only aims to innovate the jazz genre but also encourages and empowers female representation in the jazz world.

Freyja has been a big fan of Sandy Evans OAM since she started to delve into jazz at the age of 15.
“I consider myself fortunate to have participated in the Sydney Young Women’s Jazz Workshop while Sandy was actively teaching. It is a true honour to collaborate musically and step on stage alongside Sandy.”

Dr Sandy Evans is an internationally renowned composer and saxophonist and has a passion for improvisation and new music. Her dedication to pushing the boundaries of jazz as well as her extensive background in composing, performing and teaching, brings a wealth of musical expertise and experience to every performance.

Sandy Evans Freyja Garbett and team from the Waves

“Her involvement inevitably enhances any performance, blending different musical influences and exploring new sounds ensures an engaging and thought-provoking performance.”

A little over halfway through her Master’s degree at Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and part of the inaugural cohort of the Equity in Jazz Scholarship, Freyja says the experience has been incredibly enriching, thanks to the guidance and mentorship provided by her supervisors, Jo Lawry and Simon Barker.

“I am super lucky to be surrounded by an inspiring group cohort, which includes Jess Green, Tamara Murphy, and Gian Slater, each contributing their unique perspectives and talents.  We have already performed at the Iconic Phoenix Central in May this year and are planning an overseas European trip early next year, where we will present our projects to an international audience.”

Freyja continues to teach jazz piano at WollCon and over the past two years she says she’s had the privilege of working with a remarkable group of students who bring both musical talent and a genuine enthusiasm for jazz to each session.

“The Wollongong Conservatorium is a beautiful place to work, and I am excited to continue guiding my current and future students on their journey of becoming skilled jazz musicians and improvisers.”

Catch ‘Music from the Waves’ at the Music Lounge.

Saturday 2nd December, 8pm
Music Lounge, Wollongong
Tickets: $15 – $30