About Vanessa Tomlinson

Vanessa is a percussive artist dedicated to exploring how sound shapes our lives, awakening our ears to new sounds, in new spaces, with the hope that attentive listening will lead to attentive custodianship of place. Trained as a percussionist with a long history in experimental music, Vanessa uses this sonic approach to build compositions, create contexts for improvisation, interpret composers voices and collaborate across art-forms and disciplines. She has toured the world for 30 years, premiering over 100 works by significant national and international composers. Vanessa contributes to her field as a Director of Transplanted Roots, and Artistic Director of Australian Percussion Gathering, BaDaBoom Percussion, The Piano Mill, and Tyalgum Music Festival. Vanessa was Head of Percussion at Queensland Conservatorium 2003 – 2021, and is currently Director – Creative Arts Research Institute, Griffith University. She is on Tzadik, Etcetera, Room:40, Hathut, Mode, and Innova labels.

She is playing the work of Michael Askill – a percussionist, composer, musical director, musical ambassador and educator recognised for his enduring contribution to Australian contemporary music and for his original blending of Asian and Western sounds. Michael was a founding member of Synergy, Australia’s most important percussion group and has recently performed Songs from the Bardos with Grammy Award nominee Tenzin Choegyal and the legendary Laurie Anderson. Michael co-composed In The Between (inspired by the Tibetan Book of the Dead) with Riley Lee, Tenzin Choegyal and James Khidir.