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Tura joins with WA Museum Boola Bardip to present three mesmerizing sound experiences

Gabriella Smart in a blue velvet jacket standing at the side of a grand piano, playing from within side
South Australian pianist Gabriella Smart

Tura joins with WA Museum Boola Bardip in the Perth Cultural Centre to present three mesmerizing sound experiences throughout August in the heritage-listed Hackett Hall and within the walls of the new museum.

The series begins with two free performances of the epic work ‘Inner Cities’ – a five-hour piano cycle by American contemporary music maker Alvin Curran on Saturday 21 & Sunday 22 August from 10am to 4pm.

To be performed by South Australian pianist Gabriella Smart – a multi-award-winning pianist specialising in classical and new music – it’s a slow listening experience, where audiences can come and go as they wish.

During the performance you’re free to wander, absorbing the different architectural and acoustic perspectives of the Museum’s space. People have been known to meditate, bring their yoga mat, or sit or lie down – you control your engagement with the artistic experience. “My performance of ‘Inner Cities’ is comprised of 11 of the existent 14 pieces. Alvin commenced number one in 1993 and as far as I know, is still writing,” Gabriella Smart says. “In this work the narrative unfolds over four and a half hours with the same visceral intensity as traveling through a desert landscape, revealed in all its beauty and brutality.”

Described by Alex Ross of the New Yorker as “vast and all-consuming”, ‘Inner Cities’ celebrates the great cities Alvin Curran has inhabited over a 20-year period. Expectation of the formal tradition of concert-going is suspended, with a five-hour celebration of space, light, meditation, and transcendence of time beyond our normal conception.

On the back of her festival appearance at Illuminate Adelaide later this month, Gabriella Smart will also perform PRIMORDIAL on August 25 in Hackett Hall – a 60-minute visceral listening experience re-enacting the shifting of tectonic plates that formed the Flinders Ranges.

A collaboration between Smart and Tasmanian composer and opera director Constantine Koukias, the work was inspired by a trip to the Ediacara fossils on the edge of the Australian desert in 2019, where he imagines the sound of several million years of shifting tectonic forces (as the first complex life form on earth emerged) through manipulated piano and electronics to create cascading waves of sound.

In this unique merging of science and sound the piano as we know it is reinvented. Smart pounds and caresses the piano cajoling beautiful and extraordinary sounds that are symbiotic with Koukias’ electronic score.

“A deep silence pervades the fossil site, which is characterised by vast horizons, ancient hills and a primeval landscape originally shaped by sea,” Smart says. “Scientists say the Ediacara fossils are the first animals; when smothered by sand, they were fossilised as mineral ‘death-mask imprints’. Other than bird sounds and the occasional aeroplane, this silence is primordial.”

Koukias, who is now based in The Netherlands, is critically acclaimed for his striking operatic visual design. In PRIMORDIAL he creates an immersive experience, with the pianist stimulating visual effects triggered through Smart’s live performance. The work premiered in Athens, Greece in August 2020.

WA Museum Boola Bardip and Tura also present a special third edition of Aesoteric featuring acclaimed Australian icons, The Necks on August 21 & 22 in Hackett Hall.

Take a seat under the soaring skeleton of Otto the blue whale and breathe deeply as The Necks perform two separate and completely original long-form improvisations over the course of one unforgettable night.

In a career spanning more than 30 years, The Necks have carved out a world-wide reputation as purveyors of an utterly transporting kind of improvised trance which leaves audiences simultaneously transfixed and rejuvenated.


Inner Cities performed by Gabriella Smart

Presented by Tura & WA Museum Boola Bardip

When: Saturday 21 August & Sunday 22 August, 10am to 4pm

Where: WA Museum Boola Bardip, Perth Cultural Centre

Aesoteric Ft. The Necks

Presented by WA Museum Boola Bardip & Tura

When: Saturday 21 August, 7pm & Sunday 22 August, 6pm

Where: Hackett Hall, WA Museum Boola Bardip

Cost: $50 (18+ event)


Presented by Tura and WA Museum Boola Bardip

When: Wednesday 25 August, 7:30pm

Where: Hackett Hall, WA Museum Boola Bardip

Cost: $15 student / $20 concession / $30 general admission


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