This year Homophonic! celebrates its tenth anniversary. This annual appointment has developed into a beautifully refined and innovative celebration of queer classical music. The approach to classic instruments and music is always clever, unexpected and frequently subversive. Classic compositions and instruments are employed in ways that can be described as Avant Garde. The result is often sublime.
The show brings together a range of extremely talented musicians who are accompanied by the heavenly harmonies of vocalists from the Consort of Melbourne (directed by Steven Hodgson). The program highlights LGBTIQ+ performers and composers and the soundscape that is produced is sheer bliss. This is all beautifully presented by Artistic Director and MC Miranda Hill.
The history of some of the pieces is a solemn reminder of the ways in which queer identity has been marginalised and obscured in both overt and covert ways. Hill unravels these frequently hidden and often poignant stories with humour and tenderness. The wonderful intimacy of the performance makes the intensity of the emotion in this unique style of music, and the stories behind them, truly palpable.
The show features magnificent instruments such as the Harpsichord (Joy Lee) and the Baroque Viola (Katie Yap). Louisa Trewartha was commissioned by City of Melbourne Covid-19 Quick Response Arts Grants to create the opening piece Baroque Quartet (2020). The tone of the melodies in this piece reflects the hardship of pandemic times. Other highlights include the assertive performance of I am who I am (2021) by Caerwen Martin (inspired by Yvonne Sillett). The show ends with the premiere of Hyr (2019/2021) by Ellie Lamb which has a ceremonial inflection. This reiterates the restrained and reflective tone of the program for this spectacular tenth anniversary performance.
Patricia Di Risio