Sydney Festival at Casula Powerhouse: Suppression Dam

Three internationally-renowned art music ensembles will unite at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre (CPAC) for a world-exclusive performance:  Suppression Dam. Ensemble Offspring (Sydney), International Contemporary Ensemble (New York/Chicago) and Ensemble Adapter (Berlin) will present a surround-sound experience in the vast Turbine Hall, for Sydney Festival’s first ever visit to CPAC.

Featuring ARIA award-winning percussionist and Artistic Director of Ensemble Offspring Claire Edwardes, the performance sees the three avant-garde heavyweights uniting to perform two vital, transcendent pieces from forward-thinking Australian composers: The Dam by Kate Moore, and Cleave by Natasha Anderson.

“We are beyond thrilled to present Suppression Dam here at Casula – the only place in the entire world you’ll catch this incredible supergroup of art music titans!” said CPAC Director, Craig Donarski.  “This will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience on the opening weekend of Sydney Festival, complete with a glass of wine on us, or make it a meal with our in-house bistro Bellbird Dining + Bar serving up a special dish of smoked beef, pickled cabbage, confit baby onions and jus, to reflect the combining of the talents of Berlin, New York and Sydney,” he said.

The performance is prefaced by contemporary choral composer Alice Chance’s communal sound art project Audience Choir. The interactive performance calls on audience members to download an app to unlock a sound file, contributing to the soundscape. The audience is then taught simple canonic melodies, birthing an evolving and immersive music experience.

Opening the performance will be award-winning industrial chamber composition The Dam, by composer Kate Moore – the first woman to win the prestigious Matthijs Vermeulen Award. Showcasing her inimitable swirling rhythmic sound world, the piece draws from the rhythms of nature, from crickets to birds and frogs, to create a fascinating tapestry of not-quite-polyrhythmic sounds.

Experimental ensemble work Cleave byAustralian composer and installation artist Natasha Anderson will close the performance. The piece harnesses spatialised electronics, processed samples and live instruments to create a soundscape of refracted sonic mirrors.

Event Details:
What: Suppression Dam
When: 12 January 2019, 5-6PM
13 January 2019, 2-3PM
Where: Casula Powerhouse, 1 Powerhouse Road, Casula NSW 2170 (don’t forget, Casula has its own train station!)
Price: Performance only – Adult $45 / Concession $25
Performance and Meal Deal – Adult $70 / Concession $50

Joseph Lloyd, Contributor
Photo Credit: Casula Powerhouse