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Salute to the City

Photography by Jessica Connell.

Buses. Trains. Bikes. Footfalls and car horns. Acrobats leap and land precisely as voices dissolve as a cascading symphony envelops your ears.

Acrobats rehearsing Aura at Flowstate. Photography by Darcy Grant.

Composer and sound designer Daryl Wallis isn’t a stranger to the works of Circa. No less than four previous productions bear his incredibly diverse pallet of sounds, from the echos of abandoned cities in Landscape with Monsters, to the retelling of stories passed down by generations in Reclaimed Pianos. Most recently, Daryl’s contribution to One Beautiful Thing, the epic spectacle that performed in AsiaTOPA last February, which featured an intoxicating soundscape comprised from a mixture of the sounds of modern and sacred India.

Daryl himself is a composer, keyboard musician, vocal coach and musical director. His previous work includes composition for Sydney Theatre Company, Company B, Griffin Theatre Company, Merrigong Theatre Company and more. As musical director his credits include many cabaret performances and musicals. Daryl joins Circa again for a fifth outing this March, leading the musical experience in Aura. Aura melds Circa’s signature extreme physicality and poetic acrobatics with an immersive sound mix experienced through headphones, creating a mesmerising production suitable for all ages. It’s a salute to the enchanted moment when the sun descends on the city and every longing, hope and possibility come alive.

From the Composer
So what goes into scoring the music and sourcing the sounds for a physical love-letter to a city? Listen to a snippet of things to come as Daryl describes the process of writing for a new space, what he captures, and how to represent the spirit of the city.

It’s always an exciting process to introduce performers and an audience to a brand new performing space, and no new performing space is quite as unique as Flowstate, sprouted amidst the gardens of South Bank in Brisbane. No classic ideal of a dark, silent space to build from in this space, it doesn’t even have walls! So when we started thinking about how best to manage that introduction to space where both sight and sound are permeable to it’s surrounds, we struck upon the idea of creating a soundscape to start the show that could help to reintroduce the audience to this repurposed slice of Brisbane, and to dwell in the layers of history gone and yet to come.

 

Our director Darcy Grant managed to nab Wesley Enoch for a few minutes during his most recent Sydney Festival to talk to the history of the site, and particularly to the generations of Aboriginal settlement along the South Bank precinct. One concept particularly struck us, that in Aboriginal culture “time and place is non-linear…that all time coexists simultaneously” and that “stories, songs and dances were all created in the time before time…so that every act of creation is a memory from that original moment of creation”. That inspired us to build a soundscape that interweaved the sounds of nature both real and imagined, snippets of media commentary, a passing Queensland thunderstorm (of which we have had to juggle our rehearsal strategy regularly around!), and the ambiguous floating voice of Italo Calvino reading fragments from his classic book Invisible Cities. An opportunity to sit in a place and attune to a legacy of vibrations gone, ever present, and yet to be imagined . . .  – Daryl Wallis, February 2018.

About Aura
Aura
Created by Darcy Grant, Daryl Wallis and the Circa Ensemble from a concept by Yaron Lifschitz
 
A physical love letter to Brisbane inspired by captured sounds and visions from the heart of the city, Aura melds Circa’s signature extreme physicality and poetic acrobatics with an immersive sound mix experienced through headphones. Acrobats leap and land precisely as voices dissolve into a cascading symphony of buses, trains, bikes, footfalls and car horns. A mesmerising production suitable for all ages; a salute to the enchanted moment when the sun descends on the city and every longing, hope and possibility come alive.

6 – 25 March :: Flowstate
Free admission – bookings essential