The Marais Project
If you love interesting, out of the way music and relaxed, concert settings you will love The Marais Project! Jennifer Eriksson originally founded the group in 2000 to perform the complete works of Marin Marais an 18th century genius of my instrument, the viola da gamba. Over the years our repertoire has greatly expanded and now includes a huge range of wonderful vocal and instrumental music for the viola da gamba from the 1300s to the present day. They also commission and arrange new music for the ensemble.
The Marais Project is a celebration of music for the viola da gamba centred around the work of Marin Marais, the great French virtuoso viola da gamba performer and composer. By way of the Project I aim to perform the complete works of Marais and other music for the viola da gamba. This objective is an Australian “first” in that the complete Marais solo, duo and trio suites have never been performed in this country.
Over the years since our formation in 2000 we have extended our repertoire beyond the French baroque to include mediaeval & renaissance music as well as commissioning and recording nearly ten new Australian works.
Being a ‘project’ rather than a fixed ensemble has freed us to engage in a number of wonderful collaborations with individuals and groups such as The Early Dance Consort, Seaven Teares, “Mara!, jazz pianist and composer Kevin Hunt, Sydney Chamber Choir and composers such as Stephen Yates, Rosalind Page, Dan Walker, Paul Cutlan and Matthew Perry.
Since our inception we have enjoyed the support of the ABC and have appeared on ABCFM, Radio National, 702 Local Radio and featured in Limelight magazine. We also greatly value the interest and support of 2MBSFM, 3MBSFM and 4MBSFM, Musica Viva, Alliance Francaise Sydney, The French Consul General, New South Wales Early Music Association, the Australian Viola da Gamba Association, Sydney Classical Guitar Society and Sydney Conservatorium as well as several Music Clubs and a growing number of Festivals.
The Marais Project is featured on the following titles
The Marais Project is joined by international countertenor, Russell Harcourt, in a brilliant collection of largely Australian songs and instrumental works exploring light and darkness, love and loss.
Two brings together the nationally renowned talents of Marais Project founding members, Jennifer Eriksson, viola da gamba, and Tommie Andersson, gallichon, theorbo and baroque guitar, in a seldom heard way. Each plays alternate brackets of solos on their respective instruments before embarking on a joint performance of a splendid suite by Marin Marais.
The Marais Project’s latest offering, The Garden Party, has a festive anniversary flavour and includes several world premieres, not the least of which is the Eriksson-penned title track.
The title of this CD is suggestive of the music yet to come. The album draws together several threads implicit in Marais' purpose and their Swedish roots. At the core remains the Viol de Gamba music of the French baroque, but also newly commissioned Australian compositions - spinning forth in new directions.
Over its long history The Marais Project has continuously pushed the boundaries of the viola da gamba repertoire whether in presenting the long neglected works of Marin Marais and his French baroque contemporaries or launching the electric viola da gamba in Australia.
The concept behind "Lady Sings the Viol" was to create a CD of "covers" of popular tunes. Five very different singers individually and collectively perform songs from 1300 to the present day including music by Piaf, John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin's bassist), Schubert and Australian composer Elena Kats-Chernin.
Representing a landmark in the maturity of early music performance in Australia, The Marais Project presents "Love Reconciled", a recording to play often and savor deeply.
Members of The Marais Project
Jenny Eriksson completed her initial musical studies at the NSW State Conservatorium of Music studying music education and cello with Barbara Woolley. She subsequently studied the viola da gamba with Jaap ter Linden at the Rotterdam Conservatorium for three years where she completed post-graduate studies in baroque music.