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Vanessa is an artist dedicated to exploring how sound shapes our lives. With a long history in experimental music, Vanessa uses this body of knowledge to consider how we listen through site-specific explorations of space and place, and our potential to explore new ideas through sound. Trained as a percussionist, Vanessa relies on this sonic investigation of objects to build compositions, create contexts for improvisation, and collaborate across art-forms and disciplines. She has toured the world for 25 years, premiering over 100 works by significant national and international composers, presenting work at major international festivals, and collaborating with improvisers, dancers, artists and more. She lectures and teaches at undergraduate, postgraduate and higher degree research levels in music research, artistic methodology, 20th and 21st century music history and culture, new music performance, percussion performance and improvisation. Key projects include Sounding the Condamine (examining the history of the Condamine Bell in outback Queensland), The Piano Mill (a purpose built structure/instrument in the Australian bush), Water Pushes Sand (examining intersections between Sichuan Opera and improvisational practices with Australian Art Orchestra), Sonic Dreams (a series of compositions about extinct and imaginary sounds) and Here and Now (her first book, examining approaches to music making in an Australian context). Vanessa works extensively at the intersection of research and performance, as a Music Curator and Artistic Director including the Australian Percussion Gathering (2010/2016), Transplanted Roots International Percussion Symposium (2017), 100 Ways to Listen at World Science Festival (2017), and Co-Festival Director of Tyalgum Festival (2018 onwards). Together with Erik Griswold, Vanessa directs Clocked Out, who create original music for prepared piano, percussion, found objects, and toys.  Their albums include Time Crystals, Foreign Objects, Water Pushes Sand, and Every night the same dream. Clocked Out also produces innovative concert series, events and tours, for which they have received the APRA-AMCOS Award for Excellence by an Organisation (2011), Experimental Music (2017) and two Green Room Awards (2000). In addition Vanessa has received an APRA/AMC Excellence as an Individual (2017), Excellence in Performance, Regional Area and Experimental Music (2018). She was a finalist in the Aria nomination in jazz for Water Pushes Sand (2017), and has received prestigious opportunities including Civatelli Ranieri Residency (Italy), Banff Residency (Canada), Australia Council Project Fellowship, and Asialink Residency (China).


  • Member
    Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre1 Jan 2003
  • Deputy Director
    Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre, Australia2015
  • International Research Fellow
    Orpheus Institute, Belgium2013 - 2014
  • Higher Degree Research Coordinator
    Queensland Conservatorium, Australia2018 - 2018
  • Program Director, Doctorate of Musical Arts
    Queensland Conservatorium, Australia2017


  • Co-Director
    Tyalgum Music Festival2018
  • Co-Director Clocked Out
    Clocked Out (trading as Ecstatic Music)2000


  • Doctor Of Musical Arts
    University of California, San Diego, United States1995 - 2000
  • Master Of Arts
    University of California, San Diego1 Jan 1993 - 1 Jan 1995
  • Bachelor Of Music In Performance
    University of Adelaide
  • Diploma Of Music
    Flinders Street School of Music, TAFE, SA1 Jan 1987 - 1 Jan 1989