Australian Premiere of The Great Animal Orchestra Announced


Published on : Tuesday, February 1, 2022

The environmentally focused work by American pioneer soundscape ecologist Bernie Krause and London-based collective United Visual Artists will be presented free of charge at the Stargazer Lawn, Barangaroo for the duration of the 23rd Biennale of Sydney, titled rīvus, from 12 March to 13 June 2022. Bookings are now open for timed ticketed entry to the immersive artwork.

A collision of culture and nature, The Great Animal Orchestra will take visitors out of city life and into tropical grasslands, savannas and Arctic tundra for an ‘otherworldly encounter’ with a soundscape of 15,000 animal species recorded over the last 50 years. After working with musicians like The Doors and creating effects for film scores including Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, Bernie Krause turned his back on studio work and headed outdoors to focus on field recording.

Krause’s unparalleled research is a rare insight into the unseen world of animals. It reveals the beauty and the intricacy of animal vocalisations, which are now in danger of being silenced by human activity. Through his recording, Krause implores us to start listening before hush descends on the ‘great animal orchestra’. The immersive soundscape comes to life with visualisations, created by United Visual Artists, of each animal’s contributions to the ‘orchestra’ in vulnerable habitats in Africa, North America, the Pacific Ocean and the Amazonas (Amazon River).

Bernie Krause, musician and soundscape ecologist said: ‘This is the tuning of the great animal orchestra, the planet’s deeply connected expression of natural sounds and rhythm. It is likely that the origins of every piece of music we enjoy and word we speak come, at some point, from this collective voice. When we lived closer to the natural world, we sang as part of that animal chorus. Now we have a disconnect, we are not quite as healthy, vibrant or aware of the world around us.’

Hervé Chandès, General Director of the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain said: “The Great Animal Orchestra immersive installation was commissioned by the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain for the eponymous Paris exhibition in 2016. As part of the Fondation Cartier commitment to share artistic experiences far and wide, The Great Animal Orchestra was since presented with great acclaim in Shanghai, Seoul, Milan, London, Boston. Bernie Krause’s work teaches us that each animal species possesses its own acoustic animal signature that, like a musical instrument in an orchestra, positions itself with both precision and subtlety within the score of the soundscape of the ecosystem in which it lives. The polyphony of the great animal orchestra is rapidly being silenced and we believe we must band together to protect our natural resources and environments.”

José Roca, Artistic Director, 23rd Biennale of Sydney said: ‘Imagine stepping into a soundproofed black-box theatre whose walls spring to life with overlapping electrocardiograms, representing different species’ sounds. This darkened meditative space includes a shallow reflecting pool, which translates the deepest sounds of the ocean. Visitors can relax on cushions or stretch out on the floor, listening to the sounds of the animal world and reflecting through an emotional and sensory experience.’

NSW Minister for Tourism Stuart Ayres said: ‘I am delighted The Great Animal Orchestra will be part of the 23rd Biennale of Sydney and will be free admission for all to enjoy. This presents an incredible opportunity for Sydneysiders and visitors to experience an unparalleled, international blockbuster exhibition unlike anything we have ever seen in NSW. The NSW Government is proud to support marquee events like the Biennale of Sydney, which showcase Sydney as the cultural events capital of Australia and will help achieve our goal of making NSW the premier visitor economy of the Asia Pacific.’

NSW Minister for the Arts Ben Franklin said: ‘The Biennale of Sydney plays an integral role in Australia’s arts and cultural ecology by creating access for audiences to experience the work of local and international artists. The premiere of The Great Animal Orchestra at the 23rd Biennale of Sydney celebrates the connectivity that art enables, surfacing issues that encourage us to think differently and enrich our knowledge. This exciting work should give pause for reflection upon humankind’s impacts and interactions with the natural world, and how the simple act of listening can empower and inspire us.’

Barbara Moore, Chief Executive Officer, Biennale of Sydney said: ‘The Great Animal Orchestra has been presented to enormous international acclaim in Shanghai, Seoul, London, Milan and Boston, and attracted more than 200,000 visitors in Paris. Premièring this work in Australia in partnership with Foundation Cartier allows audiences to connect globally through this shared experience, sparking conversation about our impacts on the natural world we share.’

Source:- Destination NSW

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