C14 Coming Together

  • Thursday, 5 May 2022

  • Fitters' Workshop

    Printers Way, Kingston ACT 2604

  • In Association with

Presented by the Saturday Paper

Since 2014 about 2000 letters were written to asylum seekers on Nauru, expressing sympathy and offering support. All letters were returned to sender, unopened. Thanks to Katy Abbott and her subtly understated work, some of these words now live on.



Katy Abbott,  Hidden Thoughts II: Return to Sender  

Frederic Rzewski,  Coming Together  (1971) 



Flinders Quartet

Dimity Shepherd, mezzo soprano

Richard Piper, actor


Theo Carbo

Flora Carbo

Ben Ward

Niki Johnson

Jacob Abela

ARTIST Learn more about the artist

Artist Flora Carbo


Flora Carbo is a Melbourne based saxophonist who is quickly becoming one of the most exciting young artists in the Australian jazz scene.

Having studied with Julien Wilson, Melissa Aldana, Jeff Clayton and Scott McConnachie, Flora has performed extensively in Melbourne and around Australia and at festivals including Wangaratta Festival of Jazz, Melbourne International Women’s Jazz Festival and the Stonnington Jazz Festival.

Recently completing a Bachelor of Music (Degree with Honours) at the University of Melbourne, she has worked with world renowned artists including pianists Barney McAll and Andrea Keller, as well composing and playing with The Rest Is Silence, AAALTO and the Flora Carbo Trio (who released their debut album ‘Erica’ in 2018).

In May 2017 she won the prestigious James Morrison Scholarship at the Generations in Jazz Festival, in 2016 she was selected as one of the 10 finalists in the National Jazz Awards.

Flora was nominated for the Freedman Jazz Fellowship in 2019 and 2018 and as a finalist for the Young Australian Jazz Artist of the Year at the 2019 Australian Jazz Bell Awards. In 2018, Flora toured internationally with the ‘Company 2’ circus production ‘Scotch and Soda’ and participated in the 2019 Banff Workshop for Jazz and Creative Music in Banff, Canada. Flora’s sophomore recording ‘VOICE’ was released in April 2020.

Artist Ben Ward, double bass


Ben Ward is a musician, working predominantly on the lands of the Gadigal and Bidjigal, whose practice has recently focussed on altered tunings, texture and improvisation. Outside his work on the double bass with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra he is inspired by the wonderful community of musicians in Sydney. Place and history are currently important foundations of his artistic thought. A recent highlight is an ongoing collaboration with cellist Freya Schack-Arnott which has produced an album “in landscape” (2020) and which has a set of upcoming releases for nyckleharpe, synthesised sounds, double bass and cello.

Artist Flinders Quartet


Flinders Quartet (FQ) is instantly recognisable as one of Australia’s most loved chamber music ensembles. They are a quartet for the 21st century and a highly respected force in Australian chamber music, entering their third decade with acknowledged musical skill and maturity.

Over twenty years, FQ has followed a unique path and continues to live up to its motto of “caring for tradition, daring to be differentthrough its busy schedule of activities.

2022 sees FQ presenting their annual subscription series in three Victorian venues; premiering nine new works by Australian composers, touring nationally for Musica Viva Australia; appearing at Adelaide Festival and Canberra International Festival of Music; completing a two-year Margaret Sutherland performance and recording project; continuing in their mentorship roles for John Noble’s Quartet Program and Musica Viva Australia’s Strike a Chord championship; and supporting emerging composers through the quartet’s seventh annual Composer Development Program.


Richard has spent almost his entire 43-year career on stage. Trained in London, he was soon performing on the West End in Grease and Elvis, and came to Australia in 1985 with cult cabaret band The Bouncing Czecks. MTC: The Lady in the Van, Twelfth Night, Born Yesterday, Double Indemnity, Ghosts, Music, Queen Lear, The Gift, Drowsy Chaperone, Rockabye, Entertaining Mr Sloane, The Give and Take, Dumb Show, The Daylight Atheist (Green Room Award), Betrayal, Man the Balloon, Life After George, Measure for Measure, Comedy of Errors. Malthouse: The Black Rider, ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore. STC: The Secret River, Gross und Klein, Great Expectations, Moby Dick. Bell Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The War of the Roses, Henry V, Henry IV. STCSA: Moby Dick, Marat Sade, Restoration. Musical Theatre: Come from Away, Oklahoma!, King Kong, Billy Elliot, Rocky Horror. TV: Wentworth, Underbelly. Films: Pirates of the Caribbean. 


Dimity Shepherd is one of Australia’s favourite mezzos. A four time Green Room Award winner, her career spans the worlds of both traditional and contemporary opera. She has been sought after as a performer of new Australian works, most recently the acclaimed Lorelei. She appears regularly on the operatic and concert stages around Australia

Artist Niki Johnson


Niki Johnson is a percussionist and composer-performer whose musical practice incorporates contemporary classical repertoire, improvisation, interdisciplinary collaboration, and performance art. She is a 2021 nominee of the Classical Freedman Fellowship, and currently undertaking a Master of Research at Monash University, developing her sculptural percussion practice.

Niki is a member of the experimental and animalistic duo Throat Pleats with co-director Solomon Frank, and she collaborates with sculptors, theatre professionals, and experimental musicians to create new artworks existing in the liminal spaces of art mediums. She is a 2019-2022 Speak Percussion Bespoke Artist, and has performed with chamber ensembles such as Ensemble Offspring and Synergy Percussion.

Niki has recorded percussion for Fox Studios, the ABC, and 301 Studios, and performed in multiple festivals including the 2020 Sydney Festival and the 2019 Canberra International Music Festival.

Artist Theo Carbo


Theo Carbo (b. 1999, Melbourne, Australia) is a guitarist, composer, electronic musician, producer and sound engineer. Growing up as an astute student of jazz, Theo’s proficiency as a guitarist has seen him working in groups of Australia’s most important improvising musicians including Barney Mcall, Andrea Keller, Sam Anning, Nadje Noordhuis, Joseph O’Connor and Paul Williamson. A keen philosopher of music and a student of composition at the Victorian College of the Arts, Theo has recently been developing a broader practise which involves elements of experimental composition, electronic processes, solo and ensemble improvisation and studio engineering.

“Theo is a naturally gifted artist with a unique and refined take on things. His musical maturity is a great argument for the collective unconscious” – Barney Mcall

Artist Dimity Shepherd


Dimity Shepherd is a graduate of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.

She made her professional operatic debut for Opera Australia in 1998 singing the role of Rosina in the OZ OPERA production of The Barber of Seville, performances of which OPERA~OPERA wrote, “…as wondrously delicious a Rosina as I ever hope to encounter”. Her subsequent roles for Opera Australia have included Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro and Rebecca in the premiere seasons of Paul Grabowsky’s Love in The Age of Therapy.

She has been regularly engaged by Victorian Opera, making her debut for the company as Orphee in Gluck’s Orphee & Eurydice and subsequently appeared for the company in the lead role of Alice in Through The Looking Glass, and as Arsamene in Handel’s Xerxes.

Engagements by Victorian Opera since, have included the role of Nireno in Handel’s Julius Caesar, Lucy in Threepenny Opera in Melbourne and Sydney, Mercurius in JS Bach’s Der Streit Zwischen Pheobus und Pan, Jazz in the premiere of How To Kill Your Husband (And Other Handy Household Hints), the lead role of Clara Johnson in the world premiere of Midnight Son, Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro (2013 Green Room Award), the Second Secretary in Nixon In China, three principal roles in Sondheim’s Sunday In The Park With George, The Begger Woman in Sweeney Todd, Flora in La Traviata and roles in the premiere seasons of The Riders, Cunning Little Vixen and The Princess & The Pea.

And of her most recent performances for Victorian Opera, during 2018, in the premiere season of Lorelei,  for which she received a Greenroom Award nomination, The Age said, as a siren, as a singer, as a woman … Shepherd most accomplished.

Her roles for Opera Queensland include Maddalena in Rigoletto, Stephano in Romeo & Juliet and Tisbe in La Cenerentola.

Dimity Shepherd created the title role in Jonathan Mill’s The Ghost Wife in the world premiere seasons at the Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney festivals and at London’s BITE02 festival at the Barbican Centre, performances of which the Sydney Morning Herald said, “Dimity Shepherd in the title role, was evocative, illusory, extraordinary, while The Times said, Dimity Shepherd is brilliant in the role.  She creates a heartbreaking, yet flawed figure and her vocal intensity underlines the music’s strange lyricism., and The Guardian wrote, Shepherd is absolutely compelling…the musical and dramatic core of the piece…”

For leading Melbourne new-music company, Chamber Made Opera her engagements have included creating the lead role in Crossing Live and the role of Elizabeth in The Children’s Bach. Her roles for Melbourne Opera include Carmen, Smeaton in Anna Bolena and Emilia in Rossini’s Otello, in 2019, for which she received a Greenroom Award. Other operatic engagements have included a return to the Second Secretary in the Auckland Festival production of Nixon In China, and Anne in To Hell & Back for Gertrude Opera.

Her concert appearances include Sculthorpe’s String Quartet No.13 Island Dreaming in the 2002 Sydney Festival, Vaughan Williams’ Serenade To Music as part of the opening events of the Melbourne Recital Centre, Messiah for the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Society and for the Melbourne Symphony, and Charles Gaines’ Sound Text for the Melbourne International Festival and a solo recital in the program of the 2019 Port Fairy Spring Music Festival.

2020 originally included a return to the role of Carmen in Opera Australia‘s national touring production and  to her role in Lorelei for Opera Queensland and appearances as the vocal soloist in the Melbourne season of the Australian Ballet‘s production of Anna Karenina.

Artist Jacob Abela


Australian keyboardist and composer Jacob Abela is a soloist and chamber musician specialising in the new music field. Jacob is Australia’s leading voice for the Ondes Martenot, a French keyboard instrument which predates the synthesiser. Jacob is a founding member and co-director of new music outfit Rubiks, who have enjoyed critical acclaim for their contribution to Melbourne’s contemporary music scene.

Jacob also performs regularly with the Melbourne and Sydney Symphony Orchestras, and has appeared with renowned ensembles such as Ensemble Offspring, Argonaut Ensemble (BIFEM), Speak Percussion, and Synergy Percussion. Festival credits include the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival (USA), Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music, Metropolis New Music Festival, ISCM World New Music Days, Sydney Festival, and Mathemusical Conversations (Singapore).

Richard Piper


Richard Piper has had a long and distinguished career in Australian theatre, as actor, singer and composer. He has performed in forty productions for Melbourne Theatre Company, and made countless appearances for companies all over the country. He played Billy’s Dad in the original Australian production of Billy Elliott, and most recently, the mayor in Come From Away at Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre.