The Green Brain Cycle : Michael Kieran Harvey Collection / Michael Kieran Harvey, Arjun von Caemmerer
Featured Australian works
|The Green Brain (2017) 20 movements named after insect species
Recorded/performed at: Mona Foma, Hobart, on Jan 18.
|Michael Kieran Harvey||Michael Kieran Harvey, Arjun Von Caemmerer|
Michael Kieran Harvey's 92-minute multi-instrument solo
extravaganza takes inspiration from Frank Herbert's 1966
futuristic ecological novel The Green Brain, in which
insect intelligence evolves leading to a resistance against the
devastating impact of humans on the biosphere.
The work is in 20 movements for keyboards and piano, each named after major insect genera, and is accompanied by a series of 'concrete' poems by poet Arjun von Caemmerer.
By including this narrative anchor and integrating key passages from the book, (spoken in a strange techno-insect voice), the work provides an entry point for listeners to engage with the intense and seemingly discordant music of Harvey. Indeed, the quick movements, sharp clangs and odd mix of electronic sounds prompted imaginative visions of insect movement and debate.
Brigita Ozolins worked collaboratively with Harvey and von Caemmerer to design the set for the world premier performance of The Green Brain Cycle at Mona Foma in January 2018. It comprised poems in gold lettering on the walls, faux lawn, hundreds of small plastic insects, live plants and trees, shiny gold beanbags and a giant green glowing orb that was suspended almost threateningly over the grand piano. The set provided a good balance between the familiar, futuristic and otherworldly, creating a comfortable dramatically lit jungle-like atmosphere, which helped the audience relax into the performance.
1. Ants (dedicated to Richard Vella) -- 2. Cockroaches -- 3. Grasshoppers (to Saxby Pridmore) -- 4. Mantises (to John McCaughey) -- 5. Scorpions (to Brian Ritchie and Varuni Kulasekera) -- 6. Beetles (to Nigel Westlake) -- 7. Flies -- 8. Bees (to Martin Friedel) -- 9. Wasps -- 10. Butterflies (to John and Maria Honey) -- 11. Moths (to Gordon Marr) -- 12. Spiders (to Tom Samek) -- 13. Fleas -- 14. Ticks -- 15. Lice -- 16. Silverfish (to Raymond Shon) -- 17. Earwigs (to Gordon Rumson) -- 18. Slaters -- 19. Aphids (to Tom Vincent) -- 20. Mosquitos (to Dr Arjun Von Caemmerer).
Liner notes include program notes.
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