Stroll through an ocean of music, encircled by illuminated art.
Join Maori Sonic Weaver WHAIA, acclaimed Australian string ensemble DeepBlue, master percussionist & South East Asia gong expert Michael Askill, and Persian violinist Greta Kelly for an euphoric musical experience under the night sky.
Take a walk through an ocean of musicians, illuminated by awe-inspiring light installations with original contemporary classical music by Australian composer Dr Corrina Bonshek that is inspired by cycles and patterns of nature.
This extraordinary production includes 30 talented young local musicians, design elements made during intergenerational art-making workshops informed by local indigenous arts and culture and the region’s marine life, and 3 local Indigeneous creatives.
This show is preceded by a residency with concurrent programs of community engagement in areas of music performance, visual art, and collaboration with local indigenous creatives (supported by an elder and preliminary consultation).
Up to three local first nation creatives will be invited to create new visual, musical or dance elements for inclusion in Song to the Ocean in the week leading up to the show in consultation with Elders, and in dialogue with Whaia, composer & artistic director Corrina Bonshek, musician Greta Kelly and artist Tiffany Beckwith-Skinner.
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Located outdoors within a 25m diameter circular performance area encircled by 18 light sculptures and PA speakers (positioned facing into the performance zone).
Each light sculpture is 190cm high and 100cm wide. The sculptures are made of fire resistant fabric stretched over fibreglass poles that are affixed into brackets that are screwed into 1m diameter circular steel base weighing 20kg. Each sculpture has wind tolerance of up to 60km/per hour.
Audiences can freely enter or leave the performance zone (cued by a voice-over). We find many audience members choose to picnic or sit outside the performance zone, and then come in during the performance.
Audience capacity inside the performance area is 300 at any one time. We’ve found this event easily attracts 700 to 1,000 audience members.
If you have a LCD screen, you may choose to stream a live feed of the show and increase audience engagement.
Corrina Bonshek & Collaborators is led by composer and artistic director Corrina Bonshek whose vision is to bring artists and audiences from all cultural backgrounds together to celebrate our shared connection to the spectacular, biodiverse ecosystems that support us.
It is supported by the long-standing collaboration of Greta Kelly and Bonshek, who have been producing together since 2016, beginning with the highly successful ‘Song to the Earth’ which premiered at Bleach* Festival 2017 & 2018, 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Arts & Culture Festival, Flowstate Southbank 2018, Rainforest Fringe Festival Sarawak Malaysia 2019, Phoenix Central Park Sydney 2019, Hervey Bay Whale Festival 2021, Kingston Butter Factory 2021, Opening of Rockhampton Museum of Art 2022, Redlands Performing Arts Centre 2022.
Our touring capacity is supported by experienced producer & tour manager Greta Kelly, who has delivered seven national and nine international tours in the past 10 years. It is also supported by the successful grant-writing partnership of Bonshek & Kelly who secured $77,855 in RISE Funds in partnerships with DeepBlue as performing partner for three performances of Song to the Earth in 2021-22. Bonshek & Kelly supported Fraser Coast Tourism & Events to secure a Festivals Australia grant ($49,749) for the creation of 'Song to the Ocean' and its presentation at Hervey Bay Whale Festival in 2021.
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Unique Selling Point
The project brings musicians, community participants and audience together in a rich sensory experience enhancing their connection to the ocean, and growing their appreciation of marine and shore ecosystems, and their desire to protect them. The combination of heart-expanding music, awe-inspiring lighting, and interactive immersion is immensely appealing to audiences who get to walk through the performance, and go on a sound adventure.
Participating artists and musicians frequently comment on how they felt differently about their practice, feel more connection to the environment, and are part of an arts community that transcends different beliefs and backgrounds that sometimes separate us.
The team will provide a:
- one minute Song to the Ocean highlights video
- three minute showreel
- and six minute video with interviews of Elders, artists and audience members
- media release
- images and copy for socials
- newspaper and radio interviews with participating artists
Local string and percussion teachers are sent the invitation to participate which they distribute to their students. Example: https://deepblue.net.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Instrumental-Invitation_STTO_HBWF_2021.pdf
Local artists are sent (with the assistance of council galleries) the invitation to participate in the art-making workshop. For example: https://deepblue.net.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Invitation_ArtWorkshops_STTO_2021.pdf
There are options of:
- adapting the work in consultation with local Elders and Indigenous creatives to celebrate ancestral language and culture; and
- a residency with two concurrent programs of engagement in music performance and visual art.
Indigenous creatives will be invited to create new works for inclusion in this show in dialogue with the show’s creators. They may choose to perform with Whaia, whose whale song, traditional instruments can connect with traditional owners in a powerful exchange that is deeply spiritual. Professional broadcast-quality documentation will be made, and be kept as a legacy item within the community and/or be shared publicly.
In the music-making residency, 30 high school aged students attend workshops led by DeepBlue and Dr Michael Askill to learn expressive performance techniques and confidence in a performance where there are no barriers between the audience and musicians.
In the art-making residency, 18 artists of all ages will attend workshops, co-led by artist Tiﬀany Beckwith-Skinner and a local indigenous artist that reﬂect on the region’s marine life. Tiffany also conducts workshops with young artists to create their own illuminated wearable art inspired by the ocean.
To increase engagement 'Song to the Ocean' is ideally programmed during school term.