Adrian Sherriff is a performer, composer, teacher and multi-instrumentalist.
In his childhood in West Papua, Adrian regularly experienced transitions between cultural contexts ranging from the stone age to the information age. The breadth of perspective that this encouraged has deeply informed his development as an artist.
Adrian’s musical foundations are drawn from his studies of European classical, Afro-American jazz, South Indian classical, Japanese shakuhachi, Balinese gamelan and experimental music traditions. In each of these traditions, Adrian has studied and performed with master musicians of international calibre. Adrian has also studied and performed musics from Sumatra, Latin America, North India and Africa. Amongst his teachers, South Indian master drummer Karaikudi R. Mani has been a particular source of ongoing inspiration.
Adrian was awarded a Bachelor degree in trombone and flute from the Victorian College of the Arts with Honours from Monash University in South Indian classical percussion. His Masters degree from the Victorian College of the Arts involved studying, performing and exploring connections between shakuhachi, South Indian classical music adapted to bass trombone, gender wayang and bata. In recent years, Adrian has developed an interest in electro-acoustic music as a means by which to connect his diverse musical interests. A focus of this research has been the development of the Zendrum and EWI as open ended electronic performance instruments. Adrian is currently employed as a Lecturer in Music at Melbourne Polytechnic in Performance, Intercultural Music and Electroacoustic Music. In this position, he founded and directs the Melbourne Polytechnic Laptop Ensemble, an extra-curricular grouping of students and staff which explores the implications and possibilities of laptop computer performance.
Since 1995, Adrian has been a frequent performer at the Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane Arts Festivals as well as regionally throughout Australia. Internationally, Adrian has performed across the Asian subcontinent, South East Asia, Australasia, North America and Europe. His current performance projects include: Kewti – a trio with fretless guitar, bass trombone and drums, a shakuhachi and tabla duo with Sam Evans and Loops – an trio with electric bass, zendrum and electric guitar. He has been an ongoing member of the Australian Art Orchestra, The Wide Alley, Andrea Keller’s Bartok Project and the Bennett’s Lane Big Band amongst other ensembles.
“stunning a capella bass trombone solo” John Kelman (7.07.10 allaboutjazz.com)
“What Adrian Sherriff performed on the bass trombone, an instrument not generally known for its agility, was breathtaking. His range of expression seemed to have no limits. Brilliant and sparkling in the high register to the darker hues of the contrabass range and playing with tasteful conviction, Adrian created suspenseful musical arcs.” Stefan Herkenrath (12.07.09 Munster)
Lecturer, Music - Higher Education