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Canberra International Music Festival: While You Sleep
29 April @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm AEST
Roland Peelman’s programs for the CIMF are always fascinating, and this year he has scoured the world for works that reflect the human need for exploration. Highlights include the Australian Haydn Ensemble and Sydney Chamber Choir performing Haydn’s oratorio The Creation; the world premiere of Brian Howard’s String Quartet No 5, Blue Poles, a musical response to Jackson Pollock’s famously controversial painting; and a series of curated sound walks through the nation’s capital (see our April feature about the link between creativity and walking). A festival tradition is to focus on a particular composer for a series of morning concerts – this year it is Papa Haydn’s turn, with his six glorious ‘Sun’ Quartets, Op. 20, performed by five superb ensembles: Orava String Quartet, Alma Moodie Quartet, the New Zealand String Quartet, Flinders Quartet and the Australian Haydn Ensemble.
Limelight Editor’s Choice
The answer to Haydn’s Creation anno 2022 lies in this state-of-the-art production that delves into the furthest ranges of human consciousness and performance physicality. Based on the classic idea of Fugue as a musical construct and as a state of mind, composer Kate Neal and animator Sal Cooper have created a work to rival Escher’s dizzying tracks of thought and vision.
“Cooper and Neal animate the string quartet, putting the players into motion so that they trace intricate tracks and lines of flight across the stage on foot and on wheely chairs. Those tracks correspond to tracks traced earlier, on screen, by cars running through a cartoonish landscape of twisting highway flyovers. As the cars stop and begin reversing, Neal’s music also reverses, running its melodic line in retrograde. The technical precision of string-playing was undisturbed as the players whizzed across the stage, while Abela’s playing was masterful” (Th. Ford, Arts House 2018)