Programed by Miranda Hill. La Mama Courthouse. 29-30 January 2018

This show celebrates LGBTI composers and musicians through a musical response to life in all its pain and absurdity. Miranda Hill programmed a moving and effectively balanced concert. It ranged from Threnody for Carlos Chavez with Gamelan DanAnda and viola to a premier performance of a piece for solo double bass by Andrew Aronowicz by way of a mini opera “Stubble” and Jesus Erbame Dich by Claude Vivier sung by the Consort of Melbourne.

Some items were simply beautiful music, others were challenging either musically (the piece by Aronowicz) or through the social justice content (Greenhouses).

Particularly moving was a soundscape crafted to reflect on the offshore detention of refugees, “Their Voices Were Over The Sky”. The excellence of the musicians allowed them to inhabit the piece and build a compelling sound experience. The silence at the end was a rich reward for the composer Naima Fine.

The brass ensemble who played “Street Songs by” Michael Tilson Thomas was energetic and simply excellent. “Cries From The Border” by Jack Brody was a moving and fierce denial of injustice.

Miranda, who introduced each item, was quite often inaudible which was a pity because what was heard was moving and wryly funny and provided helpful context for the music.

The show appropriately finished with a boisterous rendition of “Faith”.

Ruth Richter

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