Across the Water – An oral history performance for cello and electronics


image-1As part of Oral History Victoria’s inaugural group show, The Foundling Archive is proud to present Across the Water – An oral history performance for cello and electronics.

Following the premier performance of this important and moving composition, Stephanie will be joined by author and Open City Stories project co-ordinator, Rajith Savanadasa for an open forum discussion around the nature of the interview, the role of music, literature and oral history in facilitating difficult discussions and how we, as Outsiders, can learn to listen better.

While the issue of asylum seekers has had a substantial presence in national election campaigns, on media agendas and around dinner table discussions over the last 15 years, Australians collectively have not been very successful at engaging directly with asylum seekers. The conversation has tended to be about asylum seekers rather than with them. This ‘about’ rather than ‘with’ is problematic. Failing to acknowledge asylum seeker perspectives as part of the national discussion takes away the control and authority they have over their story.

Across the Water is a collaboration between cellist Stephanie Arnold and composer Dr Robert Davidson. It was made using oral history interviews between Ms Arnold and Melbourne-based asylum seekers. Through the use of the contemporary compositional technique of speech melody, the performance is imbued with those conversations and recounts the interviewees journeys and arrival in Australia. This musical form of storytelling the project gives a space for the complexities and subtleties of emotion and expression behind the often unheeded words of asylum seeker to be heard, not through the noise of politics or media but on the terms and through the voices of asylum seekers themselves.

Across The Water – Premier Performance
9th December, 2016, 6.30pm
at The Good Room, Brunswick East

390A Lygon Streen, Brunswick East, Victoria
Tickets: $10.50 general fee, $8 Concession, OHV Members