News location:

Thursday, July 25, 2024 | Digital Edition | Crossword & Sudoku

CIMF / Vibrant artistic fusion to music and storytelling

Spiralling high above from the third floor, Véronique Serret’s violin and voice combined with William Barton’s percussive didgeridoo and Tamara-Anna Cislowska’s spacious piano in the opening performance of Barton’s 2006 Birdsong at Dusk. Photo: Dalice Trost

Canberra International Music Festival / Concert 8, High Stakes. At the High Court of Australia, May 3. Reviewed by CASSIDY RICHENS

Artists William Barton (didgeridoo, voice), Véronique Serret (violin, voice, percussion), Tamara-Anna Cislowska (piano, percussion) and Aunty Delmae Barton (voice) presented an all-Australian program of powerful juxtaposing melodies, exciting rhythmic eruptions, and gentle moody moments, in the High Stakes concert at Canberra International Music Festival.

The spacious qualities of the aesthetically pleasing High Court of Australia’s Public Hall – with its 24-metre-high ceiling and marble floor – a suburb choice for the genre-defying contemporary musical experience and powerfully expressed presentation of compositions by the late Peter Sculthorpe, festival composer in residence Holly Harrison and two new collaborative works by artists Barton and Serret.

Spiralling high above from the third floor, Serret’s violin and voice combined with Barton’s percussive didgeridoo and Cislowska spacious piano in the opening performance of Barton’s 2006 Birdsong at Dusk. Their dedication to the creation of new music and the exploration of contemporary approaches immediately obvious.

Shared in spoken word and song, William’s mother, Aunty Delmae, offered a message of peace and love in Kalkani, adding her rich opera-trained voice to the trio’s immersive sound to symphonically and poetically express eagles soaring above ancient lands. 

William Barton (didgeridoo, voice), Véronique Serret (violin, voice, percussion), Tamara-Anna Cislowska (piano, percussion) and Aunty Delmae Barton (voice). Photo: Dalice Trost

The spotlight turned to Cislowska, in a compelling performance of Peter Sculthorpe’s Djilile. Like Barton, Cislowska was a close associate of Sculthorpe, having first performed his piano concerto with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra at the age of 14. 

The trio’s performance captured the elegant simplicity of the Australian bush and the composer’s wish to evoke the harmonious ways in which traditional owners inhabit the land.

Part bluegrass, part metal, Holly Harrison’s Ice Giant – commissioned by Ensemble Offspring for Véronique Serret, placed the brave performer perfectly where she wanted to be. 

Far away from the prescribed boundaries of western musical genres, Serret’s performance demonstrated artistic curiosity, musical flexibility, and virtuosity.

Barton portrayed the immense possibilities of his instrument in a performance of two modern musical compositions co-written with Serret – Kalkani (“eagle” in Kalkadoon language) and Heartland (commissioned by CIMF, 2019). This unique combination of voice, didgeridoo and violin, a final testament to their vibrant artistic fusion and soulful approach to music and storytelling.

Who can be trusted?

In a world of spin and confusion, there’s never been a more important time to support independent journalism in Canberra.

If you trust our work online and want to enforce the power of independent voices, I invite you to make a small contribution.

Every dollar of support is invested back into our journalism to help keep citynews.com.au strong and free.

Become a supporter

Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

Review

Review

Share this

Leave a Reply

Related Posts

Reviews

Power play makes for exciting theatre

"The production of Mary Stuart provides an opportunity to experience something of the very essence of power play and how it makes for exciting and challenging theatre," says reviewer JOE WOODWARD.

Follow us on Instagram @canberracitynews