Sunday, May 26, 2013

VIVID Blade Runner concert

Opera House - reptilian eyeSince I last wrote about Sydney’s VIVID festival four years ago, the winter event has increased its scope and audience numbers. The area around Circular Quay is choked with a mass of people taking in the kinetic light sculptures and audio-visual displays projected onto office blocks and the sails (or orange peelings) of the Opera House.
Circular Quay VIVID - from Opera House
This evening we’re off to see a special concert,  the Heritage Orchestra performing Vangelis’ score for Blade Runner at the Sydney Opera House. I’ve had a small obsession with the music since I saw the film in its original release 30 years ago, and through two subsequent re-cut cinema releases; the last of which was in 2007 just before I left the UK. If I’d lingered a while longer in London, I’d have certainly been at the original Heritage Orchestra performance, not imagining any more would follow. Munson was at my first recorded home performance of the love theme, which left me feeling more exposed than my one and only Opera House exhibition.VIVID Customs House
Gustav and I bussed to the city, slowed at the end of the journey by an amazing amount of traffic generated by people who thought they could just drive into the heart of one of the busiest places on the continent to watch a free open air spectacle. The first display was a projection into the front of Customs House on the quay, cleverly customised to the architecture of the facade, so that windows seemed to pop out and shift into new positions.

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Some displays were human-scaled, allowing direct interaction, yet back-dropped by arcade-game like projections onto skyscrapers. The big draw was the west face of the Opera House, the subject of a kaleidoscopic variety of images, textures and animations fired onto its concert surface from across the Quay.
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House of GustavsHouse of mirrors (2)Gustav and Michael
A walk-in “cube of mirrors” stationed beside the Opera House drew our attention for a while, but you  couldn’t help but turn your gaze back to the building itself, especially when we standing on one of its outdoor viewing points before the concert.
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The concert itself was a marvellous hour and a half opportunity to focus on the film’s music away from the dialogue, with just the memories of plot and action to place the score’s themes. The only annoyance was someone sitting near the front with a cell-phone on, generating feedback to the stage monitors. As the audience filed out, I heard someone comment with a trace of sarcasm that Vangelis was very prescient in anticipating these sounds in his 1982 score.Heritage Orchestra and vocal soloists
Gustav is assimilated - the eyes are the first to go close-up

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