Madame Carandini’s Travelling Musical Curiosity Show is a gothic new music theatre work. The pretext is the story of Christie Palmerston, the first European to traverse the rainforests of Far North Queensland, but at its heart lies the gross effects of colonialism on the immediate environment and the psyche and souls of human beings – it’s a story of cultural and personal dispossession
A four-hander supported by a small chamber music ensemble with diverse instrumentation which currently includes a combination of strings, a glass harmonica, and didgeridoo complemented by other musical curiosities.
The composition underpins the work. Reaching back into the cultural traditions of indigenous, western and eastern cultures incorporating instruments such as the digeridoo, morin khuur and bowed psaltry, John Rodgers has developed a score that borrows from a range of musical forms such as Irish/English folk ballads, Chinese opera, American hillbilly, and light opera musical canon. John has worked closely with one of Australia’s finest didgeridoo players, Mark Atkins, a descendant of Western Australia’s Yamitji people, to embed the didgeridoo in the foundation of the composition. He has then woven through each song a range of stringed instruments, including the nyckelharpa and bowed psaltery, in collaboration with Sallie Campbell, along with the somewhat disorienting ethereal sound of the glass harmonica, which is said to cause musicians and listeners to go mad. He is hoping to finish his musical collaboration working with throat singer and morin khuur virtuoso Bukhchuluun Ganburged.
INITIATOR/PERFORMER / SANDRO COLARELLI
WRITER / STEPHEN CARLETON
COMPOSER / JOHN RODGERS
DIRECTOR / DAVID FENTON
2014 / Metro Arts – Work in Residence
2013 / Work-in-Development Concert Showing, 11 July – co-presented by Metro Arts and Queensland Music Festival
2013 / Metro Arts – Work in Residence
2012 / Metro Arts – Work in Residence
Queensland Music Festival is an initiative of the Queensland Government and Brisbane City Council.
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body, the Brisbane City Council, and the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland.
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