18 Jun 2018

Atlas of the Sky premiere

Premiere of Speak Percussion’s latest major work, Atlas of the Sky in Melbourne.

Atlas of the Sky premiere

Presented by the Melbourne Recital Centre

Atlas of the Sky is a new work of dramatic and ritualistic power by award-winning and internationally acclaimed Australian composer Liza Lim. It combines driving rhythms with swarming percussion and vocal sounds from a ‘crowd’ of performers.

Featuring Speak Percussion’s virtuosic instrumentalism and Jessica Aszodi’s vast palette of vocal colour, Atlas of the Sky tells stories about the stars, the power of crowds and changing constellations of memory.

The ‘crowd’ of performers consists of a group twenty trained and untrained musicians plus young people from Speak Percussion’s Sounds Unheard program, who will create large-scale patterns that counterpoint the turbulent rhythms of our contemporary world. Using purpose-built instruments, the work demonstrates the expressive elemental power of string drums, stones, wood blocks made of Australian timber and the semantron — a resonant plank of wood that is used like a bell in Greek and Eastern European Christian Orthodox ritual.

The music is expressive, lyrical, textural, percussive, playful, dynamic and conceptually rich. Liza Lim is one of Australia’s most celebrated contemporary classical composers, and has strong affinities with Asian and indigenous Australian cultural practices.


7.30pm Monday 18 June
Elisabeth Murodch Hall
Melbourne Recital Centre


Music Director: Eugene Ughetti
Soprano: Jessica Aszodi
Percussionists: Kaylie Melville, Matthias Schack-Arnott, Eugene Ughetti
Composer: Liza Lim
Movement Director: Jo Lloyd
Lighting Designer: Keith Tucker (Megafun)
Production Manager: Megafun
Sound Design: Tilman Robinson
Costuming: Shio Otani
Producers: Michaela Coventry and Sheah Sutton
Crowd performers: Chris Ardley, Simon Aubor, Elisabeth Bodey, Owen Bomford, Melisand Box, Debbie Brady, John Cheong-Holdaway, Madi Chwasta, Kay Cooper, David Cramond, Kris Eira, Jonathan Griffiths, Lee Zelda Hunt, Perri Hammond, Jim Hill, Alexandra Lovejoy, Journey Lu-Spencer, Alexander Meagher, Mungo Moje-O’Brien, Zela Papageorgiou, Zoe Petch, Madison Petherick, Gillian Tang, Katherine Walsh, Emily Wans


Atlas of the Sky would not have been possible without the support of the following people and organisations.

Australia Council for the Arts
Creative Victoria
Victorian Department of Education and Training
City of Melbourne
Helen Macpherson Smith Trust