The young singers from Gondwana Voices, Australia’s internationally renowned national children’s choir, took part in a multi- faceted choral installation work, called VOICES, for White Night in Melbourne. Each chorister created a small, theatrically lit diorama capturing an important moment in their lives, or that of one of their ancestors. The installation displayed each diorama together with video projections of each child as they sang a composition they wrote based on their own special story. The stories, 42 in all, shared through song explored a wide range of factual events, emotions and situations – from dramatic journeys and escapes, to simple natural beauties – stories of great sadness to stories of hope, joy and comedy.
The installation performance began with instrumental music and relative darkness. One diorama was then illuminated with a larger-than-life video of the child singing their song appearing above the diorama. After around 15 seconds, a second diorama was illuminated by the accompanying video of this child singing their song. The songs are quite musically independent of each other, yet because they are based on the same scale, the overall effect creates a rich yet harmonious texture. One by one each of the 42 voices and videos joined the others on 6 large screens until all 42 children are seen and heard. The audience experienced each magnificent voice with a great sense of intimacy; circulating around the space, they heard each child’s story and saw their very personal dioramas. The climax of the work occured when all of the voices blended into one majestic and moving finale composed by Dan Walker, with the generous financial support of Jill Wran.
Approximately 14,000 festival-goers experienced VOICES at White Night Melbourne, with many staying to listen time and time again.
The Herald Sun called VOICES “White Night’s most affecting display.”
VOICES installation is a concept by Lyn Williams OAM and Andrew Walsh AM. Please email Lyn Williams with enquiries about this production.