Directed and presented by Miranda Hill. Performed by the Consort of Melbourne, and the Homophonic! Chamber Ensemble. La Mama Courthouse, 349 Drummond Street, Carlton. 9 -11 February 2024.

Miranda Hill is an incredible driving force behind this blissful exploration of classical music. In its 14th year, HOMOPHONIC! Continues to ardently promote and celebrate queer composers and musicians. Hill carefully curates collections of music that represent extraordinary talent that is often overlooked or obscured. This year this vision is particularly emphatic and unapologetic as it takes euphoria as its predominant theme. 

The personal experiences, emotions, and stories of members of the LGBTQI+ community are at the centre of the pieces. The compositions are imbued with a sense of elation and exhilaration in both their melodies and lyrics. Tales of ageing and dating are part of a broader narrative of affirmation and resistance, reinforcing the idea that people who identify as queer are often pushed to the margins or forced to remain in the shadows. Homophonic! Certainly counteracts this impetus and aids in the fight against such discrimination.

Soprano Judith Dodsworth provided some incredible solo performances, often pushing the conventional boundaries of sound and scale. The program also included some sombre reflections on war and conflict shifting the mood of the music significantly. The contrasting and vast array of emotions make the journey of these compositions very moving. However, the performance ends on a very touching high note and conveys a continued sense of hope and resilience. 

The very upbeat tone of this show is particularly emphasised by the exuberance of each of the performers. The passion and precision in the execution of the music is one of the many highlights. Hill’s insightful commentary provides the historical details of each of the compositions and draws attention to how they are inspired by both the joys and the struggles experienced by members of the queer community.

Homophonic! 2024 is a rapturous musical adventure which simultaneously indulges and challenges its audience to see and experience music differently.

Patricia Di Risio 

Photographer: Darren Gill

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