Andrew Haveron, Adrian Wallace, Romano Crivici, Robert Harris
Romano Crivici formed the Elektra String Quartet in 1990. It came to be considered one of Australia’s most innovative and prolific ensembles in the contemporary music scene. Performing both nationally and internationally with tours of South America and Europe, it presented an always exciting and accessible range of music, with particular focus on Australian composers, and the compositions of its director and founder, Romano Crivici.
Members of the quartet have changed over the years:
Mirka Rozmus, Jacob Plooj, Chris Latham, Romano Crivici on violin; Rudi Crivici on viola and Adrian Wallis, Marcus Hartstein, Peter Morrison, Emma Luxton, on cello.
The present incarnation includes:
Andrew Haveron and Romano Crivici; violins, Robert Harris; viola and Adrian Wallis; cello.
Elektra String Quartet's latest album, 'Ebb & Flow'
Elektra String Quartet
Elektra Collektive Unconscious
Alex Henery, Robert Harris, Carla Thackrah, Romano Crivici, Jess Ciampa
The Elektra Collective, again formed by Romano Crivici, takes many forms. They are musical collaborators, joined in their love of improvisation combined with contemporary creative music making and all with classical training. As such, Elektra Collektiv is comprised of varying transient and autonomous sub-identities.
They have worked with each other in many different contexts over many years,
ranging from the Sydney and Queensland Symphony Orchestras, Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, Spaghetti Western Orchestra,
through to top contemporary ensembles such as Elektra String Quartet, AZ Music, The Wiggles, Monsieur Camembert, INXS, Jochen Gutsch/Hinterlandt, Astrid Zeman, Barrie White, Itch-e and Scratch-e, Lindsay Kemp,
Tango Paradiso, Synergy, Seymour Group, all over Australia and in recent performances across Europe…..
Some of the major projects composed and devised by their director Crivici that have involved the Elektra Collektiv have been:
Heart of the Matter; a 70 min work for 13 performers, fusing image, poetry, music and song composed by Romano Crivici and inspired by iconic objects from the Powerhouse Museum. Commissioned by Powerhouse Museum and Australia Council.
Yamatji Man a major multi-media performance collaboration between Crivici and Mark Atkins for didje, narrator and 6 musicians. Australia Council Grant.
Slavic Grooves and Meditations for 5 musicians based on slavic folk songs, toured Europe in 2014 and had its Australian premiere as part of the Sydney Fringe Festival in 2015.
Songs of Psyche for voice and 5 musicians with looping device. Written with an Australia Council grant and performed at thr Sydney Conservatorium.
Multiple Heads a collaboration between Elektra Collective and the poet Andy Rantzen. An album was recorded in 2019.
Paranormal Music Society
Blair Greenberg, Romano Crivici, Linsey Pollak
The Paranormals (as they were fondly called) had a cult following in Sydney and were known for channeling the works of dead composers (especially Hidegarde Spumoni – a lesser known Baroque composer) and playing music whose notes were determined by rolls of a giant dice. They improvised requests called out by the audience. Things like: “the pinnacle guinea pig races”, “haddock”, “Bob Marley goes to Turkey”, “Rawhide” and so on.
They recorded two albums (but only released one – “Moving On”)
They were a legend in their own time.
And Romano himself says...
"I realise that some things can only happen at certain times in one’s life, and ultimately depend upon that perfectly strange, almost incongruous chemistry of the right combination of individuals. There we were - Linsey Pollak, (ex-serious classical clarinet player turned Balkan folk and weird wind instrument player/maker) Blair Greenberg ( serious purveyor of world music on tabla, African instruments and electronic tuned percussion) and myself (a classically trained musician in the process of letting go the mirage of becoming a straight musician in a respectable symphony orchestra)
The music came from a shared space of intense, almost child-like play, usually in front of an audience, but often simply getting together and improvising because, well, we needed to; the group space we shared, both with each other and our audience was unique.
Even though a lot of the material in our shows was totally improvised, we would on occasion get together for a week or so before a tour and work up some repertoire, so as not to be totally at the mercy of improvising to audience requests, and this album, in part, was the outcome of one of those sessions."