John Psathas is an exceptional composer. If you haven’t had a chance to behold his incredible scores (and I say that without any intention of claiming the work to be bombastic or grandiose) you’re missing out.
STRIKE Between Zero and One is a show of world class quality. It defies conventional categories of performance, expectations and creates a spectacle that is as loud as it is meticulous in creating distinct harmonies.
The opening number ‘Shiva Sleeps’ by Psathas and Jack Hooker is a visual and aural blast (quite literally my eardrums are ringing) that launches its audience through a time portal from the very beginnings of our evolution. Teamed up with Tim Gruchy’s slick multilayered graphics and visual landscaping, all you need is a bunch of percussionists who love making the sound they do. And luckily, under the leadership of Artistic Director Murray Hickman, these musicians are clearly having a blast.
Various drums, chromium bowls, body percussion as well as ample use of the Marimba form the musical artillery and the orchestration is superb. Highlights out of the set include ‘Dog eat Dog’ by David Downes and ‘Between Zero and One’ by Psathas and Strike, and Leni Sulusi’s commitment to turning up the audience participation is a key moment in amping up the energy at this night’s performance.
It’s clear that this production has been developed and workshopped extensively. Under the direction of Phillipa Campbell (performance) and Hickman (music) the show comes close to achieving a rare quality of harmony. The only minor quibble would be the lack of choreography to match the fabulous auralities created. There are tiny glimpses of the brimming potency to physicalise but the aesthetic remains largely rooted in percussion, on which front it does excel admirably.
The collaborations of international artists (most of whom seemed to be from New York and Wellington) also add to the narrative that essentially takes us through a musical time warp; an international jam session played out on stage and although those overseas are pre-recorded the synchronicity is laudable.
STRIKE Between Zero and One offers a powerful high energy ride through a multi-layered explosion of sound, visuals and harmony. Definitely worth checking out.
#strike #music #theatre #review #psathas