“Moon” is presented as part of Anywhere Theatre Festival
The Australian Voices
Venue: State Library of Queensland
Duration: 90 minutes
Moon is an ethereal collaboration between Venero Armanno (text) and Gordon Hamilton (music) with David Collins (photography) and Helen Howard (choreography).
Venero Armanno’s epic premise impressed The Australian Voices’ artistic director, Gordon Hamilton: “The mundane setting of Sam’s bedroom is invaded by something quite impossible: the arrival of Diana, the lonely moon, who has chosen a sick young man as her lover after eons of solitude.”
Hamilton’s 50-minute choral love-song is an adventurous a capella sound-bath: it glitters, shimmers and transports. The rich vocal harmonies shift through the full emotional arc from sparse to ecstasy to rage.
Yes, Diana becomes a blood moon of pain, rage and grief, when Sam dies in her arms after they make love. Sam’s skill at hearing planets and stars, ‘the music of the spheres’, even from the land of the dead, reunites them.
Physical movement adds to the choral theatre experience where all the male singers embody the character of Sam (at key moments led by Gordon Hamilton) and the women, led by a soloist-narrator, embody Diana.
Moon is performed after a short first half which explores choral music “made from emphatically non-choral sources”. The Australian Voices select several pieces from the playlist in the program.
We heard Anton Bruckner’s Os Justi, Gordon Hamilton’s Initialise – a list of abbreviations from CEO to 007 which delighted the audience, and his arrangement of Waltzing Matilda.
Highlights were William Barton’s Kalkadunga Yurdu which showcases vocal layering from syllables that Barton plays into his didgeridoo, and, Six Miniatures – ten-second vocal responses to six landscape photos.
The Australian Voices perform the glittering Moon once more for Anywhere Theatre Festival (May 12) before their national tour.
Performance seen: 11 May 2013
Review: Shirley Way
Cast: The Australian Voices
Artistic Director: Gordon Hamilton