They found each other in the UNSW undergraduate music program, now quintet Anoesis is taking on the world.
It’s been a short, giddy climb for Anoesis, the five-member student jazz ensemble formed just two years ago and this week playing in one of the world’s great jazz competitions.
The breakout quintet has been shortlisted for the semi-finals of the 2019 Bucharest International Jazz Competition, ranked the third best in the world.
The five UNSW undergraduates describe themselves as “composer-improvisors”, combining nuance in their musical expression with a carefree writing style and ethos.
“What we play isn’t a protest,” says Anoesis guitarist Eitan Muir, “but we experiment with different [types] of interpersonal relations.”
“We’re not writing with a specific genre in mind or a really distinct set of qualities about what’s good or bad, or what’s right and wrong, what fits and doesn’t fit with what we’re doing,” Muir says. “So there’s a lot of freedom in the compositions, the way that we play.”
The five members of the ensemble comprise Muir on guitar, Greg Stopic on alto saxophone, Alistair Johnson on tenor saxophone, Tomas McKeever Ford on upright and electric bass and Patrick Rogers on drums. For the competition, the band pulled in local drummer Cy Donkin as an overseas cover for Rogers who faces a clashing UK tour with pop act Ruby Fields.