Atlas of the Sky
Atlas of the Sky will be showing at the Sydney Festival 2020.
Atlas of the Sky is a new work of dramatic and ritualistic power by award-winning and internationally acclaimed Australian composer Liza Lim. It combines driving rhythms with swarming percussion and vocal sounds from a ‘crowd’ of performers.
Featuring Speak Percussion’s virtuosic instrumentalism and Jessica Aszodi’s vast palette of vocal colour, Atlas of the Sky tells stories about the stars, the power of crowds and changing constellations of memory.
The ‘crowd’ of performers consists of a group twenty trained and untrained musicians plus young people from Speak Percussion’s Sounds Unheard program, who will create large-scale patterns that counterpoint the turbulent rhythms of our contemporary world. Using purpose-built instruments, the work demonstrates the expressive elemental power of string drums, stones, wood blocks made of Australian timber and the semantron — a resonant plank of wood that is used like a bell in Greek and Eastern European Christian Orthodox ritual.
The music is expressive, lyrical, textural, percussive, playful, dynamic and conceptually rich. Liza Lim is one of Australia’s most celebrated contemporary classical composers, and has strong affinities with Asian and indigenous Australian cultural practices.
Atlas of the Sky would not have been possible without the support of the following people and organisations.