hannah reardon-smith // cyberBanshee

Hannah performing at POLLINATOR, Nov 2020.

(they/she) is a flute-playing musicker, improviser, composer, radio and podcast presenter-producer, curator, queer-feminist, activist, educator, thinker, and writer living on the unceded land of the Jagera, Yuggera, and Turrbal People in Meanjin (Brisbane).

Hannah’s music explores the sweetness in unsettling difficulty, and reveals the monsters lurking in traditionally beautiful instruments. Their work and thinking are rooted in queer and feminist collaborative and contaminative co-creation with other “holobionts with history”—soundmakers and artmakers, physical and social environments, ecologies, histories, and narratives, exploring the emergent possibilities of making-kin and finding agency within community (soundmaking as kinmaking: musickin).

Hannah performs solo on Ableton-extended flute as cyberBanshee and are an active member of Brisbane’s experimental music community. They are a founding member of free improvisation trio Rogue Three (Brisbane/Melbourne: flute/s, trombone, and recorder/s), experimental noise-pop trio It’s Science And Feelings, as well as larger groups Matt Hsu’s Obscure Orchestra, The Flowers of Evil, and the Brisbane Conduction Orchestra led by Benjamin Shannon, and were previously co-director of Brisbane contemporary art music ensemble Kupka’s Piano. In 2019/2020 they curated the concert series Kin-Makers presented by the Brisbane City Council and Arts Queensland through Creative Sparks, were one of the “Boundary Riders” commissioned by Clocked Out and Jocelyn and Bruce Wolfe, and were awarded a stART grant through Arts Queensland to create three cyberBanshee music videos in collaboration with digital media artist Amelia Hine.

Previously, Hannah has been awarded funding by the Australia Council for the Arts, Sidney Myer Fund, Ian Potter Cultural Trust, and PPCA Trust Fund, and she has served as a peer assessor for the Australia Council. They have performed in international festivals including ManiFESTE (Paris), IMD (Darmstadt, DE), SPOR (Aarhus, DK), Kunstenfestival des Arts (Brussels), BIFEM (Bendigo, AU), Sound Out (Canberra), Totally Huge New Music Festival (Perth), Tilde New Music Festival (Melbourne), the Queensland Music Festival (Brisbane), and was invited to appear as a soloist at the 2021 BLEACH* Festival (Gold Coast; sadly cancelled due to COVID).

Hannah recently completed a PhD (under examination) at the Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University, exploring a queer-feminist thinking of free improvisation founded in sympoiesis and contamination, featuring the work and voices of women, trans, and non-binary folk practicing in the field, and interrogating the use of the word “freedom” in music in the context of settler-colonial australia. In October 2021, they will begin a postdoctoral fellowship at Macquarie University, supporting Wiradjuri trans-nonbinary Professor Sandy O’Sullivan’s ARC Future Fellowship project, Saving Lives: Mapping the influence of Indigenous LGBTIQ+ creative artists. They are also producer of the upcoming podcast, Saltwater Library, with University of Queensland DECRA scholar Dr Rebecca Olive, and co-producer of community radio 4ZZZ’s regular program Radio Reversal. Previously, they have completed an Advanced Master in Contemporary Music Performance at the School of Arts in Ghent, Belgium (2014-2016), under the mentorship of ensemble ICTUS and flutists Mike Schmid (ICTUS) and Helen Bledsoe (musikFabrik), where they undertook a detailed study of Richard Barrett’s codex scores for improvising ensembles.

Photo by Megan Keene:
cyberBanshee performing with Boom Boom Bean Selecta
with background visuals by Clunkk
for POLLINATOR (curated by Saara Roppola),
October 2020.