Ringing the Changes

One of my favourite performances in this year’s Melbourne Festival was the music/performance piece by Strange Fruit, Ringing the Changes. It was created especially for the bell field of Federation Bells at Birrarung Marr. Each of the bells in the field has a specific pitch and sits at the top of a tall pole, and Strange Fruit perform mesmerising dance/visual/physical theatre pieces atop long bendy poles, so really, this was a match made in heaven. Composer Graeme Leak was commissioned to write the work, taking into account which bells the different performers would be able to reach within the radius afforded by their bendy pole.

The whole piece was masterfully conducted by Timothy Phillips. Here are a couple of photos:

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I like the way Tim appears to be suspended in midair. It was quite a feat to conduct the work (including several sections of audience participation, which required him to swivel around to face the audience instead of the performers) without losing his centre of balance. I also like the iconic view of the MCG and its ring of lights, in the background of this photo.

The City Beats children were involved in the first performance, taking part in the audience participation sections which required them to play on tin cans with chopsticks and teaspoons. They were so thrilled by the whole event.

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1 comment so far

  1. Mel on

    The second photo is extraordinary — the setting of the MCG behind the bells at sunset is amazing. I was sorry to miss this performance, it sounded special.


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