Performed by 3 Shades Black and compered by artistic director Miranda Hill. Midsumma Festival. La Mama Courthouse 349 Drummond St, Carlton. 31 January – 2 February 2019

Homophonic! is in its 8th year and is dedicated to performing new classical music by queer composers. This is a spectacular event that is determined to celebrate the vibrant and often titillating talent of queer composers and to draw attention to their presence in our culture. Hill is exceptional at highlighting this tradition and narrates the stories related to the compositions in ways that are as intriguing as they are entertaining. Her ability to convey the collaborative energy of this ensemble creates a seamless cohesion in the performance.

The concert acknowledges the legacy of artists such as Tchaikovsky, Poulenc, Copland and Cage on the work of 20th and 21st century queer composers and the pure artistry of these new works is beautifully rendered by the ensemble. 3 Shades Black includes the extraordinary musical talents of Jacob Abela, Merewyn Bramble, Emily Clarke, Natasha Conrau, Judith Dodsworth, Laila Engle, Phoebe Green, Karen Heath, Robin Henry, Miranda Hill, Matthew Horsely, Zachary Johnston, Jennifer Mills, Katherine Philp and Thea Rossen, and Gemma Horbury, with Consort of Melbourne: Leonie Thomson, Kristy Biber, Jenny George, Christopher Roache, Ben Owen (directed by Steven Hodgson).

The music is delightfully playful, sometimes sardonic or insouciant but always good natured. The performance is imbued with a strong determination to thoroughly enjoy both the experience of performing and listening to these exceptional compositions, made up of lustrous, and often surprising, combinations of instruments, sounds and melodies. 

Patricia Di Risio

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