Document Type

Creative Work

Publication Details

Burt, Warren A. (2007). iOrpheus Expo Memory. South Brisbane Parklands, Music + performance.

A performance score plus images of the actual performance is available for download. For access to the 3 CD (audio files) collection of the performance, please contact Michael Organ, Manager Repository Services:

See the iOrpheus web site and blog - including a 10 minute video of the performance - here.

See the National Film and Sound Archive web page for iOrpheus here.



Research Background
This composition was commissioned by William Duckworth as part of his interactive environmental outdoor opera iOrpheus, performed on 31 August 2007 in the South Bank Parklands, Brisbane. My contribution was the sound-installation to accompany the wedding scene and complement the wedding music played by the Griffith University Gamelan, and as a layer in the performance by the Cathedral Band accompanied by the dance group Zen Zen Zo.

Research Contribution
• Invention of a performance instrument using portable CD players, live computer, and computer-processed kalimba.
• Sound installation as a metaphor for sonic memory - sounds of Expo 88 (by myself) which took place on the same site 19 years earlier are revived and redisplayed.
• Allowing simultaneous operatic and gamelan performances.
• Use of the full arsenal of contemporary musique concrete techniques.
• Use of algorithmic processes to compose overall structure and sound presentation.
• Use of live Fast Fourier Transform processes to derive harmonies from recorded samples of Monteverdi's "Orfeo".
• Use of sound to metaphorically "knit" an environment together in space and time.
• Exploring dynamics between collaborative creation and solo performance.

Research Significance
• Using historical musique concrete, contemporary FFT and algorithmic techniques to contribute to a unique theatrical/musical event. • Reviving the concept of the public musical spectacle now made collaboratively with a large ensemble. • Taking contemporary digital electronic performance, and advancing it from something "special" and soloistic to another instrument with its own musicality, that can reliably perform as part of a public event and ensemble performance.