Easily traversing multiple disciplines, covering sound • visuals • motion • words • interactivity • performance • learning and any other elemental dimensions to which he is drawn, Olev is a hands-on creative producer, digital artist and educator advocating for innovation, excellence and fun.
Being highly sensitive and responsive to a diversity of individuals, organisations and communities and their needs, and having the skills and experience to take on a breathtaking variety of creative, technical and business challenges, Olev's success as a facilitator for understanding, conceptualising and producing great explorations in the arts and design is legendary :)
HI, WELCOME to my portfolio site. Check out some of the fun initiatives and projects I've been involved in recently. If you wish to comment or have an idea for project possibilities, email me: olev-(at)-olev.com.au
>>> FAREWELL, DEAR VELJO! On January 21, 2017, the giant of 20th century Estonian folk music, composer VELJO TORMIS passed away at 86 years of age.
In Sydney in 1986, Anni Meister and I formed a small choir to explore modern Estonian folk song, particularly through the work of the neoclassically-influenced Tormis. We named ourselves ‘Kiri-uu’ after a word from a folk song arrangement of his, unbeknown that this word had much greater meaning than we could have imagined.
His profound cultural intuition through music prevails as a beacon that shines far beyond his own lifetime and continues to inspire Kiri-uu and countless others. MORE...
Been so busy lately - here's what's been going down in the last 6 months ...
24 February 2016
Mural on glass design for the redevelopment of the iconically modernist Ruth Everuss Aquatic Centre at Lidcombe.
Information design for Cabarita Park shelter depicting the park's illustrious waterside history.
Publication design and tech illustration: everything you need to know about Mobile Wheel Alignment for Heavy Vehicles.
Promoting a local sense of community with 16 short film oral histories of people living in the riverside suburb of Chiswick.
Celebrating renowned Estonian composers' birthdays with live performances and media appearances.
In memory of the fallen diggers from Rhodes, display wrap design, to adorn Sydney Water infrastructure kiosk.
Interior mural design of the community, for the community, at Berala's new Community Centre.
Tracks from my back catalogue appear on new Estonian music anthology 'Esto-Muusika' triple CD release.
Thoroughfare mural design at Lewis Avenue stairway, Rhodes, is finally up.
Lecture and live performances at the inaugural Electronic Folk Music Festival in Viljandi, Estonia.
>>> Glass wall divider public art for the Ruth Everuss Aquatic Centre foyer at Lidcombe. Based on historic research and archive material, preparations are currently under way with artist Angela Pasqua in preparing a creative response to the unique iconograpic modernist swimming centre built in 1959 that's presently being redeveloped for Auburn Council.
>>> HISTORY IN THE SHADE. The City of Canada Bay Council is upgrading the brick picnic shelter at Cabarita Park, overlooking Hen and Chicken Bay off Parramatta River. In consultation with the Friends of Cabarita Park and Wharf and together with Angela Pasqua, we're creating a public artwork depicting the marvellous history of the area and revealing many forgotten facts about this unsuspecting little hideaway.
"Three of the inlets in Hen and Chicken Bay, including Canada Bay, were named after 58 French-Canadian prisoners who had been deported to Australia, after their part in the 1837-1838 uprising against the British administration that challenged British colonial sovereignty in the Canadian province of Quebec. The deportees were held at Longbottom Stockade in Concord and later pardoned. In 1970, to mark the 130th Anniversary of their landing, a monument to them - originally erected in Cabarita Park - was unveiled by the Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau."
"Measures taken as a result of the uprisings in Lower and Upper Canada represented significant steps in the evolution of responsible government and parliamentary democracy in Canada and Australia."
And there are plenty more fascinating secrets where that came from. Come by when it launches later this year!
>>> MOBILE WHEEL ALIGNMENT FOR HEAVY VEHICLES booklet. The unstoppable septuagenarian, Bruce J. Reilly - armed with a wealth of knowledge gained through years of closeness to the workshop floor and holder of 23 patents for a range of laser wheel alignment equipment for trucks, buses, trailers, cars and 4WDs - is publishing an encyclopaedic tome of specialist yet common-sense insights that will help owners and maintainers of heavy vehicles to increase tyre life, save on fuel, improve vehicle safety and, thereby, look after the environment.
I'm pleased to have been providing the design, copy refinement and artwork, along with instructional video, website and other promotional pieces to advertise his laser alignment equipment and help see his technical vision through.
Bruce is also a highly respected marine engineer and is often invited to observe as visiting engineer on major American ships, occasions for which I have designed various maritime-themed collateral manifest as calling cards.
>>> CHISWICK: CHANGES AND CONNECTIONS multimedia history project: community stories
For the City of Canada Bay and in collaboration with artist Angela Pasqua, conducted a multimedia project with the aim of promoting a local sense of community in the riverside suburb of Chiswick.
Together with a couple of photography workshops and a photo comp along local themes culminating in an exhibition, we gathered oral histories and impressions of living in Chiswick from both old and new residents.
A selection of the 16 resulting short films were screened on a balmy late spring evening outdoors at Lysaght Park. Watch them on YouTube.
LEGENDS OF CHISWICK : Tom • Wendy and Olga • Barrie • Ian • Katherine, Maxwell and Warwick • Arnold and Ashleigh • Ian and Paula • Domenica • Ross • Tina, Anthony and Antonio • Scott • Elizabeth • Anita and Pratap • Mirella • Anne and Nan • Pauline
Inside their treasure trove of a house, enjoying the hospitality and generosity of daughter Anne and her irrepressible 97-year old mum Annie (Nan) Tulley recounting enchanting stories of days gone by.
>>> Commemorating Estonian composers
As part of the celebrations, I was invited by Estonia's international jazz festival organiser Jazzkaar to perform at their Autumn season's opening concert at the national art museum Kumu, with my vocal / electro / visual interpretations of Ingrian-Finnish folk song, themselves based on Veljo Tormis' song cycle Ingrian Evenings - part of a larger group of songs of 'Forgotten Peoples' that also includes runic verse from Livonian, Votic, Izhorian, Vepsian and Karelian folk traditions.
While there - and thanks to pop star Vaiko Eplik's hospitality - a couple of impromptu gigs and various media appearances packed out the itinerary.
Yours truly enjoying Veljo's backyard, by the Gulf of Finland, 1992
Touching base with Vaiko / Promo with Ivo Heinloo at Klassikaraadio
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> > > In a black suit, Muska proceeds from the front row of the hall to the stage, opens two laptops and pulls on earphones and a headset mic. The hall is totally blacked out and what follows is a truly pyrotechnic audio-visual display, surreal-psychedelic avant-garde disco that exceeds all public expectation. < < <
Music Editor, Eesti Päevaleht
7 September 2015
Jazz meets desktop accapella. On the same bill with musical luminaries Kadri Voorand, Liisi Koikson and guitarists Jaak Sooäär and Paul Daniel - two contrasting readings of Tormis' Ingrian-Finnish sound-wordplay >>> liile ja lailee, allalee ja lailee; tulla alla laarilaa ja alla laarilaane; aalintulla illalei tuliali lailaa; tinna taana; sulavala ralla ja vei vei vei; aalintulla illiralla tuliali lailaa; siliali, saliali, soliali lei <<<
With Jon Mikiver and Maarja Merivoo-Parro at ERR Raadio 2, on the breakfast show 'Hommik!', promo-ing the recently released triple CD anthology of expat recordings, Esto-Muusika, and gifting the 2005 self-published collectible, Sõrve: 50 Fabulous Years of Sydney Estonian Summer Camps.
Postering with Vaiko and live at the GenKlubi, Tartu
High NRG from Vaiko Eplik and Eliit
Thumpin' out a remix of an Estonian version of the Delltones 'Hangin' Five', with Arno Muska helping out on visuals
The cabin luggage -compatible rig
Live at the Sinilind, Tallinn
KABLI BEACH, PÄRNUMAA
Looking across to Latvia from mum's old backyard, contemplating the next tour
>>> Tribute to our fallen diggers from the local area. In partnership with the City of Canada Bay and Sydney Water, developed an artwork installed on the infrastructure kiosk in McIlwaine Park, Rhodes, adjacent to Concord Road and the park's public toilets and picnic tables.
The artwork references local soldiers and their family stories from the More Than Just A Name project, featured as part of the commemorations of the Centenary of ANZAC.
>>> Mural for the new Berala Community Centre. For Auburn City Council and working with portrait photography of the local community by Damian Shaw, designed interior wall mural consisting of 150 headshots and random quotes.
Cell distribution determined using random number generation in Microsoft Excel spreadsheet
>>> ESTO-MUUSIKA Expatriate Estonian Records 1958-1988. Having amassed a sizeable collection of expatriate vinyl and becoming increasingly aware of the fact that this aspect of Estonian culture is seriously underrepresented in the Estonian musical landscape, pop sensation Vaiko Eplik has released - on his Mortimer Snerd label - an anthology of recordings in exile spanning 3 decades.
The release includes material by a variety of independent expat artists from Canada, USA, UK, Sweden, Argentina and Australia.
My work is represented on the 1980-1988 disc and consists of the 1980 debut single Tulyak, 3 tracks from 1985's Old Estonian Waltzes - including a version of the Deltones surfing classic Hangin' Five - and 3 tracks from 1988's electro / vocal choir Kiri-uu's self-titled debut LP.
The talented academic, broadcaster and musician Maarja Merivoo-Parro has researched, compiled and written an insightful and detailed account of this creative phenomenon, forming an informative and attractive package - designed by Marti Laurimaa - that seeks to redress this particular cultural blind spot.
• You can buy the CD here: Lasering
• Listen to Maarja's Space Beach band at: soundcloud.com/space-beach
My portrait of Ingrid Slamer (at Stamsund, Lofoten Islands, Norway - acrylic on canvas, 1984), whose amazing husky alto voice can be heard gracing the Old Estonian Waltzes LP.
>>> WONDERWALK, the mural and stairway artwork at Lewis Avenue Rhodes, is now up. Check it out next time you're at Ikea.
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foto : Aron Urb
>>> Live from Viljandi, Estonia. Held on April 18-19, the festival "embodied modern technology, leaving that which has gotten in the way of time far behind in favour of effects, beats, bass and sonic journeys into the distant future".
As producer of Estonia's first electronic folk music album 'Old Estonian Waltzes' - released in 1985 - I gave an audio-visual account of the LP's inception, background and presented a selection of recent re-mixes.
"Estonia's first Electronic masterpiece!"
Pop-composer, producer, singer and multi-instrumentalist Vaiko Eplik
> > > I'm watching the 'Postimees' direct telecast online from Viljandi, from the Electronic Folk Music Festival, of Olev Muska's presentation and the connection intersects in the most positive of ways. I hope that this will become on-demand viewing and should be shown, first thing, to all students at the commencement of studies on September 1. < < <
> > > A techno re-mix of Collage's Kadriko, drum'n'bass version of the Saaremaa Waltz - a piss-take on expatriate Estonian solemnity - and then, as he's listening to folk song, grand daddy discovers with the little toe on his left foot, reggaeton; with the little toe on his right foot, post-rock; and quite casually combines these into one. < < <
Berk Vaher / Social Commentator / 18 April 2015
Following my presentation, I took care of the event's VJing duties after the scheduled VJ called in ill. The fast and furious multi-instrumentalist and artist Pastacas (Ramo Teder) takes a moment to loop his voice while Luis Peixoto from Portugal gives his traditional instruments the techno transformation.
fotos : Aron Urb
Performed a quick set at the Kultuuriklubi Kelm, Tallinn.
The walls were covered in patterned wallpaper, so we chucked the video onto the ceiling.
>>> Old Estonian Waltzes from Australia.
Kükitamistants / the Squatting Dance:
With an LP I released 30 years ago - Old Estonian Waltzes - gaining renewed interest among the next generation of Estonian music enthusiasts, I've been invited to perform / speak at Estonia's inaugural Electronic Folk Music Festival - Elektroonilise Pärimusmuusika Festival - on April 18 at the Estonian Traditional Music Centre in Viljandi, the home of one of the biggest music festivals in the Baltics, the Viljandi Folk Music Festival.
Other artists featured on the bill include Sven Grünberg, Maarja Nuut, Pastacas, Epifolium, Trad.Attack! and meisterjaan.
See you there!
" Elektroonilise Pärimusmuusika Festival tahabki koondada selle uue esilekerkinud žanri väljapaistvamad esindajad Viljandi pärimusmuusika aita et ühepäevase festivali raames pakkuda teemakohaseid loengud/seminare ning mõistagi palju muusikat – ambientsetest helirännakutest kuni biidise-bassise tantsumuusikani välja."
Electronic Folk Music Festival
18 April 2015 17:00
Traditional Music Centre Viljandi
Festival pass: 15 € / 10 € (until 15 march)
The State Library of NSW, in its committment to preserving selected websites of lasting cultural value for long-term access by the Australian community, has included the NEIGHBOURHOOD STORIES website in the National PANDORA Archive (a joint venture between the National Library of Australia and the State Libraries).
>>> WONDERWALK is a public artwork being developed in collaboration with Angela Pasqua for the Lewis Avenue steps at Rhodes, City of Canada Bay, Sydney. It will feature imagery derived from stories relating to journey.
Go to the website for more info:
>>> ARTWAYS end-of-project exhibition / event at MDS' new Jacaranda venue. Guests joined in for canapés and drinks in celebrating the achievements of our local young people through this great little 2-year multimedia project and were amazed at the wealth of hidden talent on display.
The participating artistes:
A CD souvenir of sound and music making during the Artways project:
A selection of teacks from the CD:
TRACK 3 : Explorations
Boady played bass and drums ... and taught me how to play a straight 2/4 beat on real live drums!
TRACK 4 : Local Rap (excerpt)
Various local dudes rapping. Rapping workshops conducted by Musicians For Making A Difference (MMAD).
TRACK 6 : Forbidden Love
An original tune by Skye, put through the production mill.
Boady and Skye
>>> ClassMovies for Miller Public School. In response to the ClassMovies documentary making initiative and with an emphasis on early action for success in teaching numeracy and literacy, I filmed, photographed and post-produced the kids / staff / facilities at Miller Public School in their element.
CLIP SOUNDTRACK : Think About That Question
>>> Design and artwork for a set of suburban street banners
>>> NOVA EMPLOYMENT film comp - ARTWAYS entry
Voting has started for the 2014 FOCUS ON ABILITY film competition.
Be sure to spread the word across your connections, pages, social media outlets and help create the buzz. Remember there are some amazing prizes for the 'most online votes' so make sure everyone votes for our film.
Whilst you're there, enjoy the work of fellow contestants - you can literally spend days watching these inspiring, funny, heartbreaking, heart warming films / docos. And give some comment love.
Here's our entry 'Pull the Focus' for ARTWAYS / YOUTH OFF THE STREETS:
Now hurry up and cast a vote:
>>> HEALTHY LIVING. Part of a federally funded Healthy Communities Initiative for Liverpool City Council, provided design, artwork and image enhancement for the HEALTHY LIVING IN LIVERPOOL COOK BOOK.
"Healthy living is about more than just good food and exercise. It's a lifestyle choice. In this book, we celebrate the joy of taste, smell, colour, texture, nutrition and the way in which these elements are creatively woven into the fabric of our social and cultural lives to produce magical moments of well-being."
View the online iMag here:
>>> ARTWAYS @ KOCH. MACARTHUR DISABILITY SERVICES and KOCH CENTRE / YOUTH OFF THE STREETS are collaborating for the Artways project on an 8-week short film project 'Focus on Ability'. Here we are at the Koch Centre recording studios, bangin' away with the soundtrack component ...
Here's a snippet from sampling ourselves:
... and Koch's Sari singing:
PATTERNS - CULTURAL AND NATURAL
Auburn Town Square is suddenly awash with colour, its Central Stairs bedaubed in a brand new giant tapestry of patterns that reflect the Auburn community. More ...
Connected with FATHER RILEY'S KOCH CENTRE / YOUTH OFF THE STREETS for the Artways project to run some music and recording classes during Term I.
NORTH STRATHFIELD PROJECT WINS AWARD
'Our Local Heritage' project, including the North Strathfield Shopping Village heritage preservation and precinct renewal, wins the Keep Australia Beautiful NSW / Sydney Water / Office of Environment Heritage and Heritage Council of NSW Heritage Award. Congratulations to the City of Canada Bay Council and all those involved! More ...
COMMENCED ROLE OF FACILITATOR for the NSW Government Department of Education and Communities Office of Communities two year funded ($100,000) Youth Opportunities program at Macarthur Disability Services. Entitled Artways, the Youth Development and Mentoring Program is intended to enable young people to participate and lead in community development activities. More ...
To coincide with the LAUNCH OF THE NORTH STRATHFIELD NEIGHBOURHOOD STORIES PROJECT, the once local resident, former High Court judge the Hon Michael Kirby, launches his latest book at Concord Library and is surprised to hear a recording of him singing his old school song to a brass accompaniment. More ...
2012 / 2013
Local stories, and the community experiences, aspirations and values evident within them have been used to inform the development of the cultural elements within the physical PRECINCT RENEWAL PROJECT of North Strathfield Shopping Village. More ...
The City of Canada Bay Council Library Services has established a MOBILE MULTIMEDIA LAB. More ...
Street banner designs for a City of Canada Bay cultural project at Five Dock, CELEBRATING AEOLIAN MIGRATION TO AUSTRALIA. More ...
MULTIMEDIA / INDIGENOUS ARTIST IN SCHOOLS PROJECT at Leppington Public School with artist in residence Uncle Steve Williams. More ...
RECLAMATION: Twilight Exhibition and Event at Cabarita Park - a late afternoon of wonderment and fun hosted by the City of Canada Bay. More ...
>>> PATTERNS - CULTURAL AND NATURAL. In a collaboration with artist Angela Pasqua, hundreds of artwork contributions from local artists and the community, created during public consultations, were adapted, integrated and output onto Alupanel strips and attached to the stair risers.
Funded by Auburn City Council and sponsored by Auburn Central Shopping Centre and Tong Li Supermarket, the project was part of a Town Centre revitalisation initiative aimed at contributing to placemaking and improving the public domain.
Meet you at the steps!
Angela and Olev with Auburn Council's Arts Coordinator, Jenny Cheeseman
>>> ARTWAYS. During 2013 and 2014, Macarthur Disability Services is hosting a regular schedule of workshops to enable participants of all persuasions to explore and upskill in a range of creative and team endeavours.
With four iMacs, two PowerBooks, a roomful of PCs and cameras, audio recorders and lights, the lucky participants are more than equipped to blast their way out of any writer's block!
If you're interested in coming along and taking part, contact MDS: www.mdservices.com.au
>>> To coincide with the LAUNCH OF THE NORTH STRATHFIELD NEIGHBOURHOOD STORIES on March 20 at Concord Library, the once local resident Hon Michael Kirby launched his latest book, A Private Life - Fragments, Memories, Friends.
Reflecting upon those early days in his upbringing, the Hon Mr Kirby waxed lyrical about the merits of public schooling and his pride in the original school song. Imagine, then, his surprise at hearing back his own voice - recorded during the oral history interview for the project I conducted, earlier - superimposed upon a brass and percussion arrangement!
When Michael broke out in song during that interview, I couldn't help imagining this fine baritone voice leading an austere and courageous charge in the name of public schools everywhere and so, very promptly, I set out with an equal sense of purpose to pen and record the accompaniment which premiered at the launch.
Michael was later seen to be negotiating with the school principal to have the original song resurrected.
MICHAEL KIRBY "I'm very proud of my education and of my teachers and of the values I received at my school, starting with Strathfield North Infants School and Miss Pontifex, my very first teacher, who marched us up those concrete steps - which are still there - up to the top level in a lovely well-lit room where I learned the alphabet and to sing. I've still got quite a good voice!"
OLEV "Would you care to sing for us? ... "
>>> North Strathfield Shopping Village is a perfect example that highlights the benefit of taking a holistic approach to the dual process of heritage preservation and precinct renewal. It has involved working with local businesses, community, artists, oral historians, heritage organisations and council officers, taking an interdisciplinary approach throughout its development.
Check out the Neighbourhood Stories oral histories website: www.neighbourhoodstories.net
>>> Today's Library is much more than simply a repository for books or a safe haven for bookworms. Now that we are immersed in a highly audio-visual and mobile culture, its important to consider and learn about other communicative literacies; to reach beyond cliche and understand how, in this new era, the elements that produce effective expression and communication work.
The capacity and ubiquity of today's technology means that we can all be exposed to and explore new and exciting creative possibilities. As part of this evolution towards a more dynamic facility, I'm currently helping the City of Canada Bay Library Services to tailor some fun digital arts resources that can be made readily available to the wider community.
Presenting with City of Canada Bay Library Services Youth Services Specialist, Tara Klein, at the Libraries Conference 'Switch' at Sydney's Technology Park
>>> ISOLE EOLIE - imagery from the Aeolian Islands of Italy
>>> In what turned into a remarkably industrious project that produced way too much fantastic art for Leppington Public School alone to archive, Aboriginal artist in residence, Uncle Steve Williams, created a mural for the school reflecting the local area and Aboriginal cultural perspectives. At the same time, junior primary school students created their own drawings and paintings based on motifs from Steve’s work. Older students then used both Steve’s and the junior students’ work as the raw material for digital / multimedia work of their own.
The project was funded by the NSW Government, Trade and Investment Arts NSW and Education and Communities departments; and the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts.
>>> RECLAMATION - THE LOST ART OF CABARITA PARK exhibition and event. In an attempt to redress the gap within the cultural storylines of the Parramatta River, on Saturday October 27, celebrating art and foreshore, a twilight exhibition / event was held by Canada Bay Council in Cabarita Park, Sydney, to wrap up a creative research project with an environmental focus, led by four leading local artists.
As Creative Producer for stage 2 - implementation of research and event staging - and for an event that was the first of its kind in the park, I had the opportunity to oversee the production and presentation of three wonderfully contrasting works:
Check out the Reclamation website: www.reclamation.net.au