Australian Musician is thrilled to announce that our inaugural Musician of the Month is Anita Quayle, a contemporary cellist and composer with a flair for the unconventional. Anita’s current focus is Beyond The Lake, a wonderful duo project featuring cello (Anita Quayle) and guitar (Nick Delaney), incorporating electronic effects and live looping, in which they create ethereal music to calm and soothe the senses. Beyond the Lake launch their debut studio album ‘Coming Home’ on April 28 at the Toff in Town, Melbourne.
Australian Musician editor Greg Phillips sat down with Anita to discuss her career, gear and more. Photos and video assistance by Jason Rosewarne.
About Anita Quayle
Anita began her training at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) in order to pursue artistic excellence. It was during this time at VCA that she was exposed to the wonders of the Contemporary Melbourne music scene, which ignited a fire and great desire to be involved and immersed in it! Less than 1 year later (in 1999) she was invited to be a member of Chris Wilson’s legendary blues band The Crown of Thorns, and so began the incredible journey of exploring the infinite ways that the cello could be heard and represented in music. Her mission became very clear from that moment – to keep challenging genre expectations for the instrument by continuing to serve up sound, differently!
It’s now coming up to 25 years in the industry, and Anita has performed live and collaborated with a vast array of musical icons and artists. These include singers/songwriters: Eddie Perfect, Shauntai Batzke, Russell Morris, Ainslie Wills, Nat Bartsch, and Zimbabwean RnB songstress Thando; dancer Alya Manzart from Chunky Move and playwrite Adam Cass, to name a few.
Anita also returned to university to complete a Bachelor degree in Contemporary music, studying film composition and production under Niko Schauble (Bed of Roses 2011, Stingers 2004), while improvisation studies were under Imogen Manins, Dr Tony Gould (2011 Jazz Bell award, order of Australia 2007) and Chris Hale (winner of the 2012 Freedman Fellowship).
In 2018, Anita created Melbourne Amplified Strings with contemporary violinist Xani Kolac. This project pushes the boundaries of string playing, incorporating electronic effects and live-looping. That same year she became a member of Spire ensemble. Directed by Xani Kolac, this fourteen-piece all female ensemble, took to the stage at Hamer Hall to perform with Australian vocal luminaries such as Claire Bowditch, Kate Ceberano and Mojo Juju. Spire’s mission is to promote and celebrate diversity in music, by providing opportunities and lifting up female instrumentalists in our industry.
The following year, Monash University commissioned Anita to compose and record music for an advertisement campaign to launch their MLIVE season for 2019. Directed by Paul Grabowsky OA, the music academy’s diverse arts and events program challenges, inspires and connects audiences through unique, live experiences.
Recently Anita has become a musical collaborator with The Knowing Project, directed by Grammy Award winner Lamine Sonko. Drawing on ancient wisdom to create curated experiences that are innovative, engaging and thought provoking, their current body of work titled ’13:12′ is an innovative cross art-form project exploring the intersection of music, science and culture. Musically the project pushes boundaries to fuse the styles of West African, contemporary classical and jazz.
During the pandemic, Anita and her partner Nick Delaney began performing ambient effects-based music to soothe their own souls. During that time, they performed over 50 live streams and released two live albums, ‘Music for Sleep Volumes 1 and 2’. Once they began live streaming, audiences couldn’t get enough of their sonic healing remedies. By utilising effects and live looping in these live performances, Anita with her Yamaha SVC110 electric cello and Nick on a variety of guitars and fx developed a winning formula for those seeking solace in music, taking the listener’s minds away from the troubles of the world.
Beyond the Lake launch their debut studio album ‘Coming Home’ On April 28 at the Toff in Town, Melbourne. Special guest will be Music Victoria’s Musician of the year, Mindy Meng Wang, a composer, and world-leading contemporary Guzheng Performing Artist. TICKETS HERE
Beyond the Lake’s album ‘Coming Home’ is available on Bandcamp
Below Anita performs an untitled, unfinished piece of music she is developing for her solo album, to be released in the future. In the clip Anita utilises her Yamaha SVC-110 Silent cello and a Headrush FX unit.
Below Anita and Nick present one of their Beyond The Lake livestreams from earlier this year