Waterside Workers Hall, Sat 1 Jul.
Boundaries and expectations tend to govern our experience of live entertainment. When attending a play, one can be confident of the seating arrangement, just as one understands that an orchestra concert will generally take place on a well-lit stage, and a large rock concert might have a trippy light show. Sometimes these conventions can be subverted, indeed, many times over. A light show can accompany modern classical music, seating arrangements can vary, a string quartet concert can take place in near darkness, and these genre-defying elements can be combined into a sort of all-access venue tour. Such is the case with Between Light.
In league with lighting designer Geoff Cobham and his team of illuminating wizards, Zephyr Quartet have crafted an intimate evening imbued with a sense of adventure. Not only do purposefully small audiences enjoy the sounds of the quartet and the sight of the accompanying lights, but they also explore Port Adelaide’s historic Waterside Workers Hall, each work on the program presented in a different space with different styles of lighting.
The overall effect is of discovery and wonder. The quartet bows away furiously as beams of light cut through the otherwise pitch-black auditorium. The original commissioned works are uniformly fantastic. The first sees the audience in a single row chevron with the quartet at the apex, light streaming through them to paint the rear of the hall in kaleidoscopic patterns as the contemporary dissonance of Lyndon Gray’s Lighter, Fluid fills the room in swells, building to percussive stabs of terror.
As the evening progresses, the settings, music, light and darkness combine for an immersive experience, as the audience accompanies the quartet deeper into the inner reaches of the hall, with lasers and musicians so close you could almost reach out and touch them. If you think you’ve seen and heard it all, this journey into light and dark is for you.
Zephyr Quartet: Between Light continues at Waterside Workers Hall, Port Adelaide, at various times until Sun 3 Jul.
All images courtesy of Heath Britton