Critical concepts


Turbulence, the ninth of ten Living Room Operas created by Chamber Made, was first performed in a private apartment in Northcote, Melbourne in October 2013. By the close of 2017 it had been remixed, recombined and re-presented eight more times as: live performance; film (online, outdoor cinema and gallery installation); radio broadcast; sampled and remixed within other compositions and in combined film and live performance versions.

Thus, Turbulence has at once travelled a distinct path—navigated by librettist (Cynthia Troup), composer (Juliana Hodkinson) director (David Young) and soprano (Deborah Kayser) working with the same text, score, and voice—but has also grown like a plant, or interesting insect, tended by its creative team, through a variety of forms issuing from the same materials but producing different effects in the world around it.

This way in which a performance can be at once a distinct work and yet continuously alter, throws a new spin on the idea of company repertoire. Traditionally of course, works in repertoire are those which the company repeats in seasons understood to be, more or less, the same as before.

Turbulence however morphs season by season, rather than repeats; and in this, a new aesthetic element develops, a kind of storehouse containing ways. Ways that the performance materials respond to, embrace, and explore their conditions this time. This storehouse resides in the minds and hearts of the artists who guide the performance/s, in the audiences who get to know it over time, in the accumulating documentation/traces and resonance of the performance that remain behind each iteration, and within the work itself.

Thus, in such a work, repetitions accumulate not just horizontally (through time: a question of number, of succession), but also vertically in a weather-system of ways⎯ever-different and, differently-the-same⎯an upper-story of affects and images, potential links back and projects forward (or across, anywhere really), a richness that fuels future forms and future surprises.


Cite this

Copy to clipboard