Percussion Duo: Amy Valent Curlis and Arwen Johnston
Amy Valent Curlis has built her career on diversity. Current projects include Collision Theory (percussion duo), Nick Larkins and the Bones (garage rock band) Jack Howard and the Ambassadors of Love (Burt Bacharach band) and Arcko Symphonic Ensemble (Focusing on contemporary Australian compositions). Amy is passionate about presenting Australian music and has been part of dozens of premieres. She has appeared on numerous film and TV soundtracks, including Summer Heights High, has performed as soloist with 5 different orchestras (including 2 concerti written for her) and has toured as support act to Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. She has run music classes for adults and children with severe physical and intellectual disabilities. She toured Northern Territory performing and running workshops on Aboriginal Communities and is currently teaching drum kit and percussion to students from grade 2 – Year 12.
Arwen Johnston studied at the Victorian College of Arts and completed a post-graduate degree in Amsterdam, Holland where she founded the percussion group Spǽnge, performed regularly with Transcenturia and Opera Minora, was percussionist in the musical “Grace” and collaborated regularly with designers and artists. She has toured Australia with rock legends Roger Daltrey and Alice Cooper, toured Australia and New Zealand with Andrea Bocelli and Delta Goodrem, performed with comedian Jerry Lewis, toured Europe with Geminiani Orchestra and performed in Asia with The Macau Orchestra. As a diverse freelance percussionist, Arwen regularly tours Australia and works with a variety of regular ensembles including the Melbourne Opera Company, Concentus Australis, Australian Philharmonic and the Australian Mozart Orchestra. She is also a casual performer with the Melbourne Symphony, Arcko Symphonic Ensemble, Gloriana choir and Alpha Sinfonia. Arwen has had numerous works written for her and has recorded music for film soundtracks, orchestras, composers and rock bands both in Australia and Europe including music for the Beijing Olympic Games (2008).