Anticipating Turbulence, Recollecting Not

Tickets are already on sale for Turbulence, for which I completed the libretto back in March, commissioned by Chamber Made Opera. Set in the passenger cabin of a small aeroplane, Turbulence centres on the relationship between a Mother (played by soprano Deborah Kayser) and her 19-year-old Daughter (Anneli Bjorasen). With her own daughter, Berlin-based composer Juliana Hodkinson will touch down at Tullamarine on 23 September to meet the Australian creative team’s ‘underlying forces usually hidden’. Then, to use Eugenio Barba’s phrase, the ‘order in motion’ that is turbulence, and Turbulence, will become the latest in Chamber Made Opera’s Living Room Opera series.

The excitement of tendering a text for transformation through performance can be felt in the video document of Not made by Cobie OrgerNot began as a poem; vocalist Carolyn Connors made it her own at La Mama Theatre in November 2012, as an encore to Too. Cobie’s video spaciously documents Carolyn’s preparations to perform Not downstage and directly in front of the bright yellow, damp and dripping set of Too.

On the page, the words of Not unwind around a spool-like centre (you can read the text here). Carolyn discovers humour in the looping lines, and abundant space in the knots of their imagery. Her sparing accompaniment draws the audience closely into that space … Not was very warmly received.

Not, performed by Carolyn Connors (2012):