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Joelistics Presents Film School: Still the Quivering Air

December 3, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


“Who knew in the midst of writing a collaborative album of weird beats and psych jams I would find treasured collaborations with film makers and dancers?

Joelistics Presents Film School: Still the Quivering Air is a lot of things, it started off as an album and evolved into a series of collaborative filmed dance pieces that work as a unified whole drawing imagery from Asian ghost stories recontextualised in suburban Melbourne.

With this music and the film, I wanted to weave an eerie feeling, reminiscent of empty streets, a distant sense of dread and the hypnotic patterns of lockdown life. I wanted the dancers to personify our collective fear of sickness and loneliness and how those fears dance at the edge of every moment we hold dear.

Musically it is a blend of Pan Asian psychedelia, post rock stylings and lo fi synth scapes, made from the scraps of your ancestor’s vocals, dusty loops and traditional Chinese and Western instruments.

The underlying feeling of this project is a meditation on the anxiety of our times and the transcendence that comes from facing fear.”


You can also watch the opening night premiere with Joel Ma and Film School collaborators in conversation with Margot Tanjutco here:
*Please note, for best quality audio and visuals, watch the film (Still The Quivering Air) via the above YouTube link.


Created by Joelistics

Directed by Rhys Graham

Devised in collaboration with Joel Ma, Elle Shimada, Yumi Umiumare, Tony Yap, MaggZ, Parvyn Singh, Mindy Meng Wang and Hailey Cramer

Produced by Rhys Graham and Natalie Nalesnyik

Yumi Umiumare
Tony Yap
Elle Shimada
Hailey Cramer
Parvyn Singh
Francesca Mountfort
Joel Ma

Music composed by Joel Ma

In collaboration with;
Guzheng -Mindy Meng Wang
Cello – Francesca Mountfort
Violin – Elle Shimada
Guitar – Mat Robb
Drums – Thomas Mitchel
Vocals – Parvyn (Parvyn Singh)
Vocals – HAYCH (Hailey Cramer)

Visual ID by Kemal Ezedine

Cinematographer – Alex Cardy

Editor – Natalie Nalesnyik

Gaffer – Hannah Palmer

Steadicam – Hannah Palmer

Colour Grader – Daniel Stonehouse / Crayon

A production of Daybreak Films, 2020

Image credit: Joel Ma. By Claudia Sangiorgi Dalimore.


Producer, artist, multi-instrumentalist and sometimes rapper, Joelistics (Joel Ma) is recognised as a unique voice in the Australian music scene.

In 2002 he founded seminal alt-rap group TZU, who built a solid reputation around their electric live performances and inventiveness in the studio across four albums, Position Correction (2004), Smiling At Strangers (2005) Computer Love (2008) and Millions of Moments (2012).

Along the way they picked up nominations for the Australian Music Prize, a J Award and an APRA Award.

Under the moniker Joelistics’ his anticipated debut album Voyager arrived in 2011 and was nominated for an Age Music award. Written whilst traveling with a laptop between China, Mongolia and Europe, it opened up a new lane in Australian hiphop.

The Age wrote, “Joelistics’ love of beat poetry takes his narratives and vistas to a level as vivid as any great Australian poet.”

His second album Blue Volume was one of the Sydney Morning Herald’s Top 20 albums of 2014.  Rolling Stone described it as “a celebration and mourning of the current state of the world, voiced by a smart, incisive writer.”

In 2014, he co-wrote a piece of musical theatre In Between Two with James Mangohig exploring his mixed race identity and family narrative interlaced with searing hiphop premiering at Darwin Festival (2014) and enjoying seasons at Carriage Works for Sydney Festival (2015), Adelaide’s entertainment center for OzAsia Festival (2017) and Arts Centre Melbourne for Melbourne Festival (2017).

In 2015, Joel focused on producing and co-writing for other artists notably with internationally acclaimed group Haiku Hands  cowriting and providing production for their debut album and at the same time worked closely with Mo’ju (AKA Mojo Juju) including providing production for the celebrated track Native Tongue which was nominated for an Aria award, an Age award and won the Triple J best film clip award (2018).

In 2019 Joelistics collaborated with Mo’Ju again on the joint album Ghost Town under the name Mojo Juju x Joelistics, earning him the inaugural Music Victoria award for best producer.

He has written for and collaborated with noted artists such as Tim Rogers, Emma Donovan, Ecca Vandal, Hermitude, Wil Wagner, Parvyn Singh and even Madonna amongst others.

In 2021, Joelistics is set to release an album of production based work and collaborative tracks under the name Joelistics Presents Film School.

The album is a departure for Joelistics as vocalist and instead concentrates on his production of beats and synths, 70’s Asian pop samples, psych-rock journey music and studio improvisations also ambitously exploring experimental compositions for strings, guzheng (Chinese harp) synthesizers, samplers and drum machines.

In 2018, Joelistics starred in the ABC young adult science fiction show Nowhere Boys playing the main villain Zeb in Season 4.

Currently, Joel operates a series of music studio in Brunswick, Victoria called Oven’s Door studios.


Facebook: Joelistics
Instagram: @joelistics
Bandcamp: Joelistics

Joelistics Presents Film School: Still the Quivering Air is presented as part of Mapping Melbourne 2020-21.

Featured image credit: Rajahan 1 by Kemal Ezedine.




December 3, 2020
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm