Our Story

“Topology are the most creative and important composers of new contemporary classics in Australia today”

– Christopher Lawrence, ABC Classic FM, 2013

Established in 1997, Brisbane-based Topology are established leaders in musical creativity in Australia, prolific creators of new original work, expert collaborators across genres and art forms and award-winning music educators. Nominated for a 2014 ARIA Award for Best Classical Album (Share House), Topology has a well-established reputation for their signature work. The quintet experiments with surprising combinations of music genres, theatrical staging and cross art form collaborations to create exciting, thought-provoking music experiences for audiences of all ages, backgrounds and tastes. Resident Artist at Brisbane Powerhouse for 18 years, Topology has released 15 albums, produced countless evening-length works, presented an award-winning concert series, and toured extensively nationally and internationally.

The founding members of Topology are John Babbage (composer, saxophone), Robert Davidson (composer, bass), Bernard Hoey (composer, viola), Christa Powell (violin) and Kylie Davidson (piano, ’97-’11), with Therese Milanovic (piano) coming onto the scene in 2009. Each of the principals is classically trained but together they have an assortment of musical paths under their belts that range from chamber music to pop, jazz to electronica, orchestral to progressive rock. This unique combination of virtuoso musicians brings a distinctive flavour and soundscape to each new work.

Topology are famous for the breadth and depth of their collaborations. Undaunted by stylistic barriers, the quintet has created stunning new work with partners in theatre (Geoffrey Rush, Neil Armfield), classical music (the Brodsky Quartet, the Southern Cross Soloists), contemporary art music (Terry Riley, Speak Percussion), dance (Expressions Dance Company, Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre, Jody Oberfelder), theatre (Queensland Theatre Company, Abhinaya Theatre Company), puppetry (Dead Puppet Society), contemporary jazz (Trichotomy, Loops), popular songwriting (Kate Miller-Heidke, Katie Noonan), comedy (the Kransky Sisters, Gerry Connolly), Asian music (Dheeraj Shrestha, Ubiet) and indigenous Australian music (William Barton).

Topology have an energetic community engagement and education program called Top Up, in which they work closely with schools and communities to compose, mentor and perform with young people, emerging artists and the greater community since 1998. The State Award Winner for Excellence in Music Education at the APRA AMCOS Art Music Awards 2015, the program has grown exponentially over the years reaching thousands of participants around regional Australia every year.

Festivals and venues featuring Topology include the Ghent Festival of Flanders, Olympics Arts Festival, ISCM World Music Days, Salihara Festival (Jakarta), Singapore Arts Festival, Castlemaine Festival, Brisbane Festival, Darling Harbour Jazz Festival, ­Sydney Spring Festival, Queensland Music Festival, Brisbane International Film Festival, Adelaide Festival, Darwin Festival, Midsumma Festival, Lincoln Center (New York), Extended Play (Sydney) and Flowstate (South Bank, Brisbane).