The work takes concepts of time on a cosmological scale as a point of departure. Unfolding over 40 minutes, Cosmic Time explores representations of time ranging from the endless circling of planetary forms, to measures of time on Earth such as human breath and the fluttering heartbeats of desert mice, as well as abstractions of dissolving consciousness. It is presented as a sequence of eight overlapping movements representing forms of cosmic time: Big Bang, Cosmic Soup, Galactic, Stellar, Planetary, Chemical, Biological, and Esoteric.
Performed by four spatialised percussionists (Louise Devenish, Hamish Upton, Kaylie Melville and Nat Grant), listeners embark on a sonic journey through explorations of time and space informed by historic scientific and musical concepts such as orbital resonance and harmonic sequencing. Centered around gentle metallic percussion instruments, sparkling clusters of bells and triangles, ultra low drums, gongs, cymbals, and a wide range of singing bowls, microtonal tubes and chimes.
Together, these instruments pulse, blend and resonate together, to evoke sonic representations of atmospheres, sensations, and rhythms through time and space.
Cosmic Time premiered as a percussion quartet as part of TarraWarra Biennial 2021: Slow Moving Waters, curated by Nina Miall. This performance was presented within an exhibition context at the TarraWarra Museum of Art, Victoria. The live performance includes sounding costumes, created by Katie B. Plummer. Made of sheet materials including acetate, plastic, mesh and paper, the costumes contribute a quiet rustling sonic layer to the live performance work.
It was followed by performances at Sydney Contemporary and Boom! International Festival of Percussion in 2022.
Photos by Jared Underwood (excluding album cover)