The Merge Initiative

Merge is a brand new initiative from WA Youth Orchestras nurturing interdisciplinary collaborations between WAYO and other creative industries to further the cultural and performative experience of our members. We personally seek out, commission and produce these collaborations independently, making this a completely unique offering in the Australian arts landscape. Rite & Revolution is the inaugural project of the Merge initiative.

Interdisciplinary collaboration might be an unfamiliar phrase to some; can you tell us why you feel it’s important for young artists?

As an interdisciplinary artist myself, I am an active proponent for cross-genre pollination and its benefits to one’s creative development. Practising your discipline in isolation gives you a single perspective on your craft. Practising with others multiplies this perspective, broadening your understanding of your craft, the resources available to you, and the potential for innovation. If we are the sum of our experiences, let our experiences be diverse, and give rise to innovative, explorative, impassioned works of art. Because in diversity, we find strength.


What does interdisciplinary collaboration bring to a young practitioner’s artistic journey?

Collaboration has become a key part of my practice as an independent artist, and I have no doubt that it will also become a part of many of the WAYO players’ practices as well. Some of my favourite experiences have been collaborating on shows that aren’t necessarily dance-driven but merge different artforms. Interdisciplinary collaboration is becoming more and more prevalent in the arts as we explore new ways to create work, and support each other through this difficult time. It’s so exciting to be a part of this new wave. The options are endless, and everyone learns something new from the experience.

Scott Elstermann CHOREOGRAPHER