From the composer – Peter Knight talks Way Out West

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

“The way I think about my practice is that it exists at points of intersection. I work across cultures, across disciplines, across genres and so on, and so although my practice is diverse there is that link between the different things I do. Way Out West certainly fits in with that and was hugely important in my development as an artist as it was the first project I started for myself that integrated instruments and musical approaches from non-western cultures.

When Way Out West started it included Dung Nguyen, who is a multi-instrumental virtuoso across guitar, and a range of Vietnamese instruments. When Dung left, we had to get two musicians to replace him! The band is now comprised of myself, Paul Williamson, Lucas Michailidis, Satsuki Odamura, Howard Cairns, James McLean and Ray Pereira.

The band draws in a lot of jazz influences, along with influences from other cultures. Influences include Miles Davis, John Zorn’s Masada group with Dave Douglas, and Oumou Sangare from Mali. There are also lots of recordings of Vietnamese traditional music that Dung played me that were important early on. On the whole though, Way Out West really is a band and I think has a band sound. Paul Williamson has written beautiful tunes for the group as has Howard Cairns and their approaches to their instruments also make the sound of the group.

Way Out West is a fun band, it grooves hard, it is lush and there are lots of beautiful melodies to sit back and enjoy. Canberran’s will also get to hear one the most extraordinary percussionists alive – Ray Pereira does not tour so much these days, don’t miss the chance to hear him. ”

-Peter Knight
Way Out West

Catch Way out West during the Canberra leg of their album tour on Thursday 10 August at the Ainslie Arts Centre. Tickets are $27 concession, $27 group 4+ or  $33 full available at the door or online.

  • Photo: Tim Turner