Since initially forming in 2013 as a tight-knit ensemble of friends and collaborators working amongst Sydney’s musical landscape, Grown Ocean has evolved into more of a perpetually restless community of musicians guided by the artistic vision of award winning pianist, composer and improvisor Novak Manojlovic than a conventional musical project.
While the band’s first record ‘We Are Very Far’ (2016) is a meditation on distance led by a driving rhythm section and fronted by three horns, their sophomore release ‘Memory Gardens’ (2021) brings a chamber influence to the fore – where the addition of a string quartet achieves an almost programmatic study on the subjects of home and youth. Grown Ocean’s approach to performance is unique – incorporating elements of rock, electronic, chamber and jazz aesthetics – yet their music is always buoyed by a pervading sense of community, earnestness, and expression. For this performance they will present a specially curated set drawn from their two releases.
Novak Manojlovic is a pianist, composer and improviser whose work describes a fascination with contrasts; new and old, acoustic and electronic, diatonic and atonal, abrasive and meditative. In navigating the friction between conflicting aesthetics across the breadth of his output, one can hear his efforts to move traditional composition and performance practice into a contemporary context through electronic manipulation, visual augmentation and harmonic iconoclasm. In 2019 Novak was awarded the prestigious Freedman Fellowship Award.