Ad Hoc Music Collective

Ad Hoc Music Collective is a body of musicians, composers and educators dedicated to performing and teaching original, new and improvised music.

Ad Hoc Music Collective was founded in 2004 by Andrea and Helen Mountfort (Cosmo Cosmolino, My friend the Chocolate Cake, Fine Blue Thread) to enable their own compositions to be performed and to experiment in the creative process in music composition.

Ad Hoc Music Collective has performed at Musica concert series, Music of the Soul concert series, Acoustica , Apollo Bay Festival as well as  appearing as support act and accompanying Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu at the Merepin Arts Festival, Daly River, NT (2008). Ad Hoc has accompanied “Paint What You Hear” painting workshops for children at Woodford Folk Festival, ArtPlay (Melbourne), Royal Melbourne Children’s Hospital and Heide Gallery.  It has also been performing “Suite Actuality” at the Festival of Slow Music (Ballarat),Conduit Arts and the Abbotsford Convent in Melbourne. In Dec 2017, Ad Hoc performed for Andrea Keeble’s launch of her new CD “Congratulations“.


Suite Actuality for Strings, Voice and Visuals, performed by Ad Hoc Music Collective. Music by Andrea Keeble and Visuals by Dotahn Caspi.

Video One:  3 mins

Video Two:  15 mins

What is our reality?
Are our sense experiences the same?
What do we really see, hear … and feel?

Suite Actuality is an evocative exploration of sound, sight, perception and emotion. Based around three traditional string quartet movements inspired by the composer’s own photographs, Suite Actuality then sets out a challenge: Through this multi-sensory exploration, can we create a common experience, and share a rich internal understanding?

The original images, by themselves just moments in time and space, occupy a niche in the performance. Together with the quartet movements, these set pieces in turn inspire live responses from visual artist Dotahn Caspi, which likewise further challenge the musicians to four improvised movements that bend and flow around everything occurring on stage.

In presenting and creating these fixed and fluid multi-sensory responses, the composer and performers continually ask the audience: Do you see what we see? And together, what do we feel?

Suite Actuality is aesthetic and expressive, atmospheric and challenging. The fifty-minute performance weaves classical, jazz and modern themes with vocal and visual avant-garde improvisation, all masterfully rendered by the versatile Ad Hoc Music Collective.

The Musicians of Ad Hoc Music Collective

Andrea Keeble (violin & Director), Helen Mountfort (cello), Anita Hustas (double bass), Phil Bywater (saxophone, clarinet, flute), Suzanne Simpson (violin/viola), Heather Stewart (violin), Jason Bunn (viola), Dan Witton (voice, double bass, tuba), Adam Simmons (saxophones, clarinets, flutes, shakuhachi, fujara, toys), Kynan Robinson (trombone), Phillip McLeod (‘cello, ‘bass, piano accordion), Erica Rasmussen (percussionist), Elisse Kleiner (flute), Carolyn Connors (voice).


The participatory Workshops are a demonstration of the creative processes and performance skills required in composition writing and performance.

Mission Statement
Ad Hoc Music Collective workshops explore music with teachers, students and instrumentalists of all standards through improvisation and performance skills.

Ad Hoc Music Collective advocates creative freedom and greater awareness in the learning process in order develop performance confidence, enhance musical expression and general well being.

Structure of the Workshops
Teachers are introduced to new ideas for learning activities for their students, strategies for teaching technical and expressive performance skills, and ways to facilitate the development of “unprepared performance” (VCE) in their students.

Students (beginners and advanced players) who have an interest in composition, will be able to enhance their performance skills, explore and respond to a range of musical genres, and develop their creative expression.

Participants are guided in demonstration and applied exercises through a range of approaches towards improvisation and to reveal a range of creative strategies to devise an original composition. Ad Hoc Music Collective perform original compositions to reiterate the processes covered.

The concept of “Noise” is explored in relation to expanding the tone colour palette, the use of extended instrumental techniques required and musical and non-musical motivations.  A greater awareness of sound is developed and skills to organise sound are considered  (such as through the use of imitation, modulation, difference in metric feel, instrumentation, contrast, repetition and variation).

Performance skills and the production of a composition are focussed on with particular reference to the use of relevant notation, technological tools (such as the loop pedal) and recording applications. At the conclusion of the Workshop, the performance of the semi-improvised original composition is presented and recorded. Participants will be given a hard or soft copy of this recording.

Other Considerations:

  • addressing specific individual interests
  • effective rehearsing
  • instrumental and practice techniques
  • the benefits of Alexander Technique and Feldenkrais Method
  • tailoring to each group size (minimum 4), standard, instrumentation and environment
  • workshop adaptable for School Music Camps or scheduled music or ensemble rehearsal class


“Andrea was able to gauge the level of the students immediately and provide suitable extension activities while giving them a vision for their future through her own playing” Judy Hill (Head of Strings, Baimbridge College, Hamilton Vic.)

“Andrea helps students to explore musical form and structure in their pieces in ways that develop their understanding of how music works in a broader sense. She nurtures confidence in performance by helping students to explore ways to relate to their audience, and to maintain focus and relaxation… the Ad Hoc Music Collective [are] engaging educators [and demonstrate] superb musicianship”

Heather Cummins (Co-Director of Music, Resonance String Orchestra Strings Program Co-ordinator, Woodend Primary School, Vic)

“Fresh, compassionate, inspiring”
Sonny Chua (Composer, Director of Music at Mac.Robertson Girls’ High School, Melbourne Vic)