The Vorstand Circus is classically trained experimental composer Jason Allen. Writing and performing since the early 1990s, Jason has created experimental works influenced by Cage, Feldman, Riley, Glass, Reich, and Branca, as well as producing chamber pop, baroque rock, and psychedelia. 2022’s solo shows will focus on live MIDI guitar and vocals, invoking early Terry Riley and Philip Glass.
Adelaide's ACME New Music Co was an influential collective of experimental compsers and performers that existed from the late 1980s until the early 2000s. Alumni include Stephen Whittington, Melite White, David Kotlowy, Vanessa Tomlinson, Quentin SD Grant, Lilly Leaver, Raymond Chapman Smith, Saam Edwards, David Charles Harris, and PJ Noack. Jason was a regular composer and performer with ACME from 1993 to 1996 while he completed his Bachelor' of Music (Composition) at Elder Conservatorium. His time with ACME included two solo shows at ABC Studio 520, a live broadcast on ABC Classic FM, and performances at two Adelaide Fringe Festivals.
Jason was a live sound engineer and sound designer in Melbourne from 1996 to 2002, working for insitutions including The Australian Ballet, Opera Australia, and The Melbourne Theatre Company. During this time, he completed a Graduate Diploma in Contemporary Music Technology at La Trobe University. After moving to Switzerland in 2002, Jason built a home studio and taught himself album production. His first self-titled solo album of psychedelic chamber-pop featured 11 tracks that each represented Jason emulating different songwriting and production styles; The Flaming Lips, Grandaddy, The Divine Comedy, Elliot Smith, Eels. It was released to independent and university radio in Australia and garnered regular airplay.
Jason followed up with his first release as The Vorstand Circus in 2005 - 'Sworn In On A Stack of Dictionaries'. 'Sworn In' uses the twin narratives struture of Neutral Milk Hotel's 'In The Aeroplane Over The Sea' to tell two personal stories of alienation; one of Jason himself isolated in a foreign country, and the tragic story of an old friend. Similar in sound and style to The Arcade Fire's 'Funeral', the album was critically well-recieved and made the longlist of the inaugural Australian Music Prize in 2005