AIR 2022 awards announced

Genevieve Lacey and Marshall McGuire won Best Classic Album or EP at the 2022 Australian Independent Record Labels Association (AIR) Awards for their album Arborpublished by the ABC.

The recorder virtuoso and harpist collaborated digitally during Melbourne’s 2020 lockdown to record the album, which features baroque and new and experimental music. They then took the material on a national tour presented by Musica Viva Australia.

Genevieve Lacey and Marshall McGuire accept their award at the 2022 AIR Awards. Photo © Tony Lewis

In an interview for limelightLacey said the project was inspired by oak-birds, which “collect tiny, exquisite fragments and turn them into an extraordinary whole… A place where they dance and sing very theatrically in order to attract a mate.”

limelight gave the album a 4.5-star review, saying, “Lacey’s recorder and McGuire’s harp dive and flit among the eclectic musical treasure of their animating spirits, holding for our admiration first a then another musical gem: some old, some newly forged.”

“The metallic sheen of contemporary works by Erkki Veltheim and Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey, with their use of multitrack and electronics, contrasts with the old-world patina of the music of Playford, van Eyck, Purcell, Froberger, Biber and de Rore Other (living) composers – Lou Bennett, Andrea Keller, Lachlan Skipworth, John Rodgers and Bree van Reyk – inhabit a Janus space poised in ruin and rejuvenation.

“Lacey and McGuire are masters of whatever they study. The result is a horizonless haven filled with ‘objects of delight’. A boundless gazebo and the perfect antidote to cabin fever.

The winners of the 2022 AIR Awards were presented at Freemasons Hall in Adelaide – the first time the event has taken place live in two years.

The AIR Awards celebrate Australian independent record labels and artists, defined as those based in Australia who operate without major label support. Founded in 1996, AIR today represents over 350 members and accounts for approximately 85% of all Australian recorded music.

2022 AIR Awards. Photo © Tony Lewis

Other nominees for Best Classic Album or EP were Nat Bartsch for his album Hopethe Australian Chamber Orchestra for the film’s soundtrack Riverthe Grigoryan brothers for It’s us and the soprano Mirusia live concert.

Jazz/funk band Hiatus Kaiyote won Best Independent Jazz Album or EP for their album valiant mood. Their co-nominees were Joseph Tawadros for Hope in an empty citythe Hilary Geddes Quartet for Park sideMelbourne bassist Sam Anning for Oatchapai and the singing duo Baby and Lulu for Album Three.

The Best Independent Label award, sponsored by Moshtix, recognized the efforts of I OH YOU, while the Outstanding Achievement Award, sponsored by Merlin, went to Warren Costello. Costello has been recognized for his work supporting independent artists for over 30 years through the Liberation and Bloodlines labels. Sadly, he recently passed away, so the $5,000 professional development award will go to his daughter, Caitlin Costello, to further her career as an entertainment lawyer.

AIR CEO Maria Amato congratulated all nominees and winners saying, “It was great to come together to celebrate the success of the vibrant and resilient independent sector! We thank the South Australian Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, Music Development Office, Tourism SA and Events SA for being our main sponsor and thank our supporting partners and label members for their continued support.

Andrea Michaels, Minister for the Arts, said: “The Government of South Australia, through the Music Development Office and Events South Australia, is proud to support the 2022 AIR Awards.”

“The AIR Awards recognise, promote and celebrate the work and success of Australia’s independent music sector, which has a significant impact on our culture, wellbeing and economy.”

“I would like to congratulate all of this year’s nominees and winners and hope they enjoyed their time in Adelaide – Australia’s only UNESCO City of Music.”

The full list of winners of the AIR Awards 2022 is available here.

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