Aussie jazz drummer brings together the most unlikely of musical styles

Australian improvisers are renowned around the world for taking American and European music traditions and spitting them back out in new powerful ways.

Bands like The Necks and solo acts like Oren Ambarchi have redefined minimal improvisation practices, and bring a spiritual and ritualistic element to every performance.

Simon Barker is most definitely another of Australia’s intangible cultural assets. His unique approach to improvising combines his American and European music education with influence from our closer regional neighbours: South Korea, the Cook Islands, and Tahiti.

It is this kind of ‘local’ influence that sets Australian musicians like Simon Barker apart from their American and European counterparts – and should be greatly celebrated. Barker’s technique is matched by his ability to make rhythms flow like water, bringing excitement and balance to every phrase.

His influence has been spreading through the Australian jazz scene for years now as Australian musicians continue to make their mark from a fresh vantage point far away from the world’s traditional cultural centres.

This Guest Post was written by Alon, the co-designer of a new interface for electronic percussionists called AirSticks. These sticks combine the physicality of drumming with the unlimited possibilities of computer music.