A Space Opera
Slave Pianos, Punkasilla, Astra
Science fiction meets cross-arts mavericks, Slave Pianos, joining with the 40-member Astra Choir, Yogyakarta mystic punk-art collective Punkasila, Indonesian singer/dancer Rachel Saraswati and virtuoso pianist Michael Kieran Harvey to present The Lepidopters: A Space Opera.
A kulturnautic expedition defying the sovereign borders of visual arts and music, The Lepidopters responds to a commissioned text by sci-fi writer Mark von Schlegell, in which alien moths invade the Indonesian archipelago with the aim of colonising Earth through inter-species reproduction. Including projected illustrations and film by Yogyakarta artists Erwan ‘Iwank’ Hersi Susanto and Terra Bajraghosa, this multi-art-form concert draws on the work of Robert Smithson to explore sonic landscapes and dystopian visions, Indonesian telepathy, ancient Javanese mysticism, and art practices both traditional and modern.
Slave Pianos are notorious for their novel advances on the prison-house of music. Central to the staging of The Lepidopters is the Sedulur Gamelan – a self-governing electromechanical ‘slave gamelan’ housed in two large interlocking wooden structures.
A trailblazing choir, a concert pianist, a pop-star mezzo-soprano, a punk band with just-intonation ‘gyrostatic’ guitars, noise machines, video installation, an automated gamelan and analogue electronics – don’t miss this renegade cross-cultural and inter-planetary event!
Rohan Drape, Neil Kelly, Antanas Kesminas, Danius Kesminas, David Nelson, Michael Stevenson
Uji ‘Hahan’ Handoko Eko Saputro, Rudy ‘Atjeh’ Dharmawan, Antariksa, Erwan ‘Iwank’ Hersi Susanto, Prihatmoko ‘Moki’ Catur
The Astra Choir, John McCaughey
Michael Kieran Harvey
Supported by – The Lepidopters: A Space Opera has been supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body; the Victorian Government through Arts Victoria; the Robert Salzer Foundation; the William Angliss Trust; and the City of Melbourne through Arts House.
Image by – Benjamin Ducroz