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Song to the Earth - Redland Performing Arts Centre

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by Gillian Ching (subscribe)
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Event: -
Experience a unique and immersive fine music experience
Be at the centre of a live music experience like no other and walk through a 'forest' of musicians at dusk at the DeepBlue Orchestra's Song to the Earth performance on 21 to 22 May 2022 at the Redlands Performing Arts Centre.

Photo courtesy Deep Blue website


Song to the Earth will be performed by the Australian String Ensemble, DeepBlue Orchestra in a mesmerising journey that features 3 Acts:

Act I: Flocking/Spiralling
Walk among the string players as they perform a moving chorale reminiscent of Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings.

Act II: Follow the Songbirds
Follow the string players as they move to the beat of the rainforest.

Act III: Ocean of Gongs
Experience the powerful waves of sound from the gong orchestra with solo Persian violin (or shah kaman).

To add to the visual experience, Song To the Earth is illuminated by large-scale light installations and light sculptures.



I spoke with one of the composers to discuss the upcoming show.

This performance could be described as one for the senses, both visually and through sound. Is that what you were aiming for?

Absolutely. I'm a composer but I think visually about sound in terms of patterns and shapes. One of the thrills of this production is seeing my music translated into colour and visual patterns by the lighting designer.

The canvas for this light play is Mimi Dennett's 2m high light sculptures, which look like closed white lilies when not illuminated. With light, they become these pulsing, iridescent creations.

Sound-wise, the show happens within an immersive sonic space that is framed by 6-8 speakers and the audience gets to walk amongst a large ensemble of musicians. The music sounds different depending on where you walk, so there is really an invitation to explore.

Being so close to the musicians is a real plus. DeepBlue Orchestra have a really engaging performance style with choreography and gestures that amplify the music. The audience gets to stand right next to them or wander over to Australian percussion icon Michael Askill and listen to what he and his team of young percussionists are playing.

Together this makes for a rich audio-visual experience.

It is a very collaborative effort including students from Redlands being included in the show. How important is it for you to bring young musicians into the performance?[/I]

Most classical music we hear in our concert halls is written by long-dead composers. Until recently this had been the case in our education programs too. Having young musicians are involved in playing new music disrupts this.

Personally, I think it's important to show young people that it is possible both to compose and perform new music, including music that speaks to issues of today like our ecological crisis.

This show includes mentoring for young performers in new music and innovative performance practice. DeepBlue Orchestra play a lead role in this.

They have a 17-year program (YoungBlue) that inspires young string players using innovative ways of performing and creating music based on experimentation, physicality and fun. Greta Kelly of DeepBlue leads our community engagement with young musicians, whilst experienced educator Dr Michael Askill leads our engagement with young percussionists and gong players.[/I]

[I]The audience is very much at the centre of the production. That's a very innovative approach. Would you agree?

The audience gets to go on a sound adventure in this work. There is no stage or even a designated listening location. Instead, there is an open invitation to explore and walk amongst the performers. You can even look over a violinist's shoulder and see their score while they are playing!

The music does sound different depending upon where you are. We encourage the audience to take a walk and listen from different spots. For example, one of the most luscious spots in the first movement is in the centre surrounded by rich, low notes on the low strings.

Another special moment is a string section reminiscence of Barber's Adagio for strings written so that the left half of the circle plays and then the right half of the circle responds. It's fun to think of music in a melodic, harmonic and spatial way.

We're so used to exploring based on what we see. Song to the Earth is an opportunity to explore based on what you hear!

Tickets to the show are $20.00 - $35.00 and can be purchased
here with the performance starting at 6:00 pm.

This is a special event at a time when protecting and celebrating the beauty of the environment has never been more at the forefront of community conversations and the Arts. Be sure not to miss this sensational production.
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Why? Immersive fine music experience
When: 6 pm
Where: Redlands Performing Arts Centre
Cost: $20 - $35
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