The “daring new concept” premiering at Arts House

The “daring new concept” premiering at Arts House
Kaylah Joelle Baker

Leading arts organisation Speak Percussion is coming to the Arts House on August 18 for the world premiere of their latest work Scream Star.

Commissioning renowned international composers Matthew Shlomowitz, Johannes Kreidler and Jessie Marino to work together for the first time, the piece will involve a collision of sound, screen, projection and percussion.

The on-stage percussionists bringing the experimental performance to life will be Eugene Ughetti, Kaylie Melville and Hamish Upton.

As someone who has a longstanding love of music, new sounds and percussion, Mr Upton said it had been “an absolutely amazing feeling” to work so closely with Speak Percussion’s artistic director Mr Ughetti and assistant artistic director Ms Melville.

Scream Star is a daring new concept and it has been amazing to work closely with composers, lighting designers and film archivists to create these new works together,” Mr Upton said.

“There has been a lot of collaboration to bring these visions to life.”

Described as a wildly imaginative and playful work, Scream Star will use a combination of canned laughter, green screens, Foley artists and house bands to dig into the visual unconscious shared by people raised on a diet of television and film.

All aspects of the recent work are based on the specialised and unique works of the composers involved, making the collaboration an unexpected example of sonic experimentation.

“Something Speak Percussion does really well is take risks on a large scale and work with composers that speak to our time and find ways to express contemporary living,” Mr Upton said.

“In Scream Star each piece features interactions between the percussionists, projections and screens. Audiences will see percussionists not only playing traditional percussion instruments but also pushing the boundaries of sound.”

One of the non-traditional works in particular will feature the percussionists as a camera crew operating live cameras onstage that are then being fed to large projection screens.

Speaking on the performance, which will be onstage for four nights only, Mr Upton said as well as the drawcard of music, audiences could expect a “beautiful and quite stunning” visual appeal at the concert.

Speak Percussion has commissioned and premiered more than 130 percussion works in the past.

Their work also continues to receive recognition from the Australian Performing Right Association (APRA) and Australian Music Centre (AMC) awards, and they were recently awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Group Award late last year. •

John Buncle

John Buncle

February 14th, 2024 - Felicity Jack
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