Atlas of the Sky. Atlas of us.

“Atlas of the Sky”… One of those magical pieces one simply must try to catch and experience live!

Liza Lim‘s sound is always special. It is different. It is one of those things that seems you have never heard before, even if you might have. But you haven’t really. As if it has never been used, never contextualised in a way that you would perceive it. It ranges over an extensive playground of Raw and Ritualistic to Devine and Profound … And oh how that works amazingly in this piece!

The opening sound… so Cristal and bright and simply… divine. Growing in front of us. The timberesk pulsation begins to almost count off the moment when this blinding brightness will explode. And you realise – we are hearing the depth of a star. From which a part has broken off before the explosion. The core of the Star. Escaped, unsheltered, bringing stardust with her. Amazing Jessica Aszodi appears. The Star Core, carting the billions of particles of dust with her, has arrived. Fallen to a planet. The planet that already has some solidified existing formations… The superb sounds of percussion just constantly remind you of that existence.. Centre stage, our Star (Azodi) gathers all of the fallen dust and as if they are her wings slowly spreads and shatters them around the planed, planting seeds of creatures to be. As the piece unfolds, through all of Lim’s wondrous use of earth-like materials – metal, wood… in creating this out-of-this-world soundscape, we hear/see the efforts of already solidified shapes of this planet trying to shape and control the growth of the Star and its Stardusticles. The moment of childlike play marks just one step in the moment in time of growth, only to continue and lead towards the age of becoming. Where these Stardusticles will grow into understanding their worth and meaning. Grow into the creatures they are to be, maybe a bit shaped by the surrounding… but also reshaping the surrounding with their resistance and wilfulness to become strong brightness of their own… With the very last, just masterfully playful spintopian sound, marking their full presence. They have arrived!

Thank you Liza Lim, Speak Percussion, Eugene Ughetti, Matthias Schack-Arnott, Kaylie Melville and all the Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt (IMD) participants – ‘Cause, as you shown us, indeed…

“We are made of starstuff”!

EDIT: 21.12.2018. 
Speak Percussion uploaded the full video of the premier of the piece, that took place in Melbourne Recital Centre, Elisabeth Murdoch Hall, on 18 June 2018. The performance featured in this post was European premier, that took place 19 July 2018 at Lichtenbergschule (Große Sporthalle) during Darmstädter ferienkurse für neue musik 2018.

Featured photo: (c) IMD2018

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