Adelaide Fringe

Fringe Review: Celestial Sounds

An interesting experience but too long

An interesting experience but too long

Presented by: Sacred Resonance

Reviewed: 9 March, 2024

The setting was sublime – soaring gum trees surrounding the oval which we shared with kangaroos having their bedtime snack. 

Darren Curtis and Bradley Pitt have worked together as Sacred Resonance for over 20 years using sounds, music, and images, both live and recorded, with a spiritual focus and have often produced site-specific works such as this one. The very plants and trees surrounding the audience contributed to the soundscape as the electrical impulses they produced were translated into ‘musical notes’ and became part of the soundscape.

Perhaps it is part of the mystique of the sound bath experience, but I was disappointed there was no program which identified the instruments or performers. The concert began with 30 minutes of what I think was shakuhachi flute music, with no verbal introduction. The introduction I had expected came after this interlude with an acknowledgement of country, a brief description of what to expect and some relaxation breathing.

For those who chose to sit up and watch, there were projections of planets, stars and various symbols on a small, white cloth which appeared to have been erected as an afterthought. Given the professional background of the performers and the cost of tickets, I would have expected a more polished production.

People lying down around me were clearly better attuned to the sounds and relaxation than I, with one man beginning to snore gently by the time the sun had gone down. I found I was unable to truly immerse myself in the sound bath as my mind kept wandering onto my endless ‘To Do’ list.

I left before the end of the performance as I found the range of sounds limited, in that the same kind of sounds, including chanting, were repeated. I can only recall one interlude of loud, crashing sounds with drums, and possibly gongs, which I particularly enjoyed. What seemed to me to be a lack of variety may well be what the focus of the performance was meant to be – a reiteration to deepen one’s relaxation and connection with nature all around.

Reviewed by Jan Kershaw

Venue: Main Pavilion, Belair National Park
Season: Sunday March 10 7.15pm
Duration: 120 mins
Tickets: $54, Conc $45

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