Directed and produced by Miranda Hill. Midsumma Festival, La Mama Courthouse, 349 Drummond Street, Carlton. 30 January – 1 February, 2020.

This is a delightful performance that features 3 Shades Black ensemble and The Consort of Melbourne choir. This annual event, which highlights and celebrates the work of contemporary and historical LGBTIQ+ composers, is now in its ninth year. The collection of highly talented musicians not only produces an exceptional quality of sound and performance, but also creates a positively enchanting atmosphere.

Miranda Hill sets a wonderful tone as the MC of the event. Her ability to capture the beauty and essence of the pieces in words, and to collate information, quotes and anecdotes draws the audience into the world of queer composers and performers. Hill has an exceptional endearing quality in her delivery and her introductions are an important part of the show.

The show opens with a light and somewhat impish composition by Laura Kaminsky which sometimes breaks out into dramatic and dynamic moments. The program includes the opportunity for a ‘sound bath’ - here the audience is placed on the stage among the instruments in order to experience “Stonemaker” by Naima Fine Fine from a more visceral and physical perspective. “The Tuning Meditation” (Pauline Oliveros) is a number which involves the singing voices of the entire audience in a highly unique and moving manner. 

The second part of the show includes the performance of the winner of the inaugural Homophonic Pride Prize. “Star Pic” by Stephen de Filippo is an unusual and bizarre composition for amplified piccolo, bass drum, and electronics which combines natural, technological and machinic sounds. This piece is performed with astonishing agility and gusto by the highly talented flautist Laila Engle. The final number, a lively and cheeky rendition of Col Porter’s “Laziest Gal in Town”, closes the show on a very light and bright note. Homophonic! is a magically unique experience which produces nothing less than musical utopia.

Patricia Di Risio 

Image by Miranda Hill


Violin: Natasha Conrau, Zachary Johnston

Viola: Phoebe Green

Cello: Katherine Philp

Double Bass: Miranda Hill

Flutes: Laila Engle

Clarinets: Robin Henry, Karen Heath

Oboe: Ben Opie

Percussion: Thea Rossen, Dan Richardson

Poet: Eleanor Jackson

The Consort of Melbourne: Katherine Norman, Leonie Thomson, Jenny George,

Alex Ritter, Spencer Chapman, Robin Parkin, Lachlan McDonald. Directed by Steven


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