Presented by Adelaide Festival Centre
Reviewed 22 November 2018
The Zephyr Quartet’s Between Light returns to the stage for the third time since its creation in 2014. Thanks to lighting designer Geoff Cobham, a series of dazzling displays bring each piece to life.
Each of the five pieces were commissioned by the Zephyr Quartet specifically for Between Light, and undeniably belong together despite having different composers. The Quartet wanted to explore the theme of light and dark with jazz composers.
The first piece is by Stephen Magnusson, Dirt – Hue/Value/Chroma(Bound). Despite the convoluted title, it is a light and happy piece inspired by Magnusson’s travels. Angular sun catchers dangle in front of the Quartet, reflecting a rainbow of colours on the stark white backdrop behind them. The lights grow dizzying as the playful melody is plucked on the strings.
Next the audience is relocated to an expansive industrial rehearsal space tucked behind Space Theatre. People crowd into chairs along the walls, next to disused stage props and scaffolds. Tony Gould’s Songs in a Gentle Breeze does not exactly fit the space, though the peaceful kaleidoscopic projections thrown on the walls and ceilings suit it well. The eerie changes between major and minor keys are complimented by the changing colour of the lights. The next piece shares the same stage and similar light display. Lyndon Gray’s modern and passionate Lighter, Fluid is inspired by the different types of light found in nature.
Next, we adjourn to the Space Theatre, which is draped in thick black curtains creating a muffled effect. Andrea Keller’s L.D.D. (Light, Dark, Depth) attempts to “create shadows in the sounds”. Her slow and hypnotic piece is accompanied by a multi-coloured display, shining in front of and above the audience. The projection assumes different shapes mid-air – from a rotating cone, to beams reminiscent of sound waves, and wispy ocean waves.
Moving to a different area of the Space Theatre for Matt Keegan’s The Light Within, the audience is seated in a circle with the Quartet at its centre. The introspective piece is adorned by tiny twinkling lights overhead. They blink in time with the rich melody, creating an irresistible feeling of dancing fireflies.
As usual, the Zephyr Quartet must be commended – with Belinda Gehlert and Emily Tulloch on violin, Jason Thomas on viola, and Hilary Kleinig on cello. Their concentration and artful performances never falter, despite the disorienting light displays around them.
Between Light offers a novel experience for the audience, both seeing and hearing the composers’ work, in a performance somewhere between musical recital and gallery exhibition.
Reviewed by Nicola Woolford
Venue: Space Theatre
Season: 22-24 November 2018
Duration: 60 mins
Tickets: $35.00 – $40.00
Bookings: Book online through BASS / 131 246