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“The AirSticks - a new multi-purpose gestural musical instrument”



Dr. Alon Ilsar

Dr. Alon Ilsar

Drummer, Composer, Sound Designer and Instrument Designer


1000-1130, 20 May 2019


WLB 205, The Wing Lung Bank Building for Business Studies, Shaw Campus, HKBU

Speaker's bio:

Alon Ilsar is an Australian drummer, composer, sound designer and instrument designer. He is co-designer of a new interface for electronic percussionists called the AirSticks, using the instrument in projects such as The Hour, The Sticks, Tuka (from Thundamentals), Sandy Evans’ ‘Rockpool,’ Ellen Kirkwood’s ‘[A]part‘, Kirin J Callinan, Kind of Silence (UK), Velize (US), Cephalon (US), Aether (US), Voyager (US), Bondi Dreaming, Silent Spring, Trigger Happy, Monotreme (US) and Brian Campeau.


He has been heavily involved in theatre and film as drummer, composer and sound designer. His diverse projects include Belvoir Theatre’s ‘Keating! the Musical,’ Sydney Theatre Company’s ‘Mojo,’ Scottish production for deaf and hearing audiences ‘Kind of Silence,’ Meow Meow with the London Philharmonic, Bergen Philharmonic and Sydney Symphony Orchestras, Alan Cumming, Jake Shears, Eddie Perfect, Tim Minchin, Circus Monoxide as musical director,  Lance Horne, Zohar’s Nigun, Aronas, Captain Kirkwood, Ground Patrol, The Colors Tribute Band, Gauche, Glitch Jukebox, Tango Saloon, Facemeat and Darth Vegas.


Alon has completed a PhD in instrument design through the University of Technology, Sydney’s Creativity and Cognition Studios, under the supervision of Andrew Johnston. In 2016, he completed a one-year artist residency at Brooklyn College’s PIMA in New York working on new collaborations with musicians, visual artists and dancers such as Trevor Dunn, David Grubbs, Jim Black, Briggan Krauss, Kyle Sanna, Dana Lyn and Hannah Cohen of Neshamah Dance Company.



In this presentation and demonstration, Dr Alon Ilsar will outline the workings of the AirSticks, an innovative custom designed gestural instrument that allows the triggering and manipulation of sound and visuals in the air. He will discuss how he came to invent the instrument and the many collaborative projects thatthe  AirSticks have been used in – from working with other musicians, to spoken word performers, dancers and visual artists. The use of the AirSticks in projects involving people living with dementia, physical disabilities and autism, and the necessity in bringing creative tools to the broader community, will also be outlined.