The rising sound of an orchestra tuning is always an engaging one, and can often be a small-yet-magnificent moment before the sonic finery to come. Here, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, along with their Chorus, does their best primordial, pre-Big Bang warm-up before the start of Terrence Malick’s 2016 film, Voyage of Time.
Voyage of Time has some audacious scope. The film intercuts between astrophysics, the birth of stars and planets, the formation of Earth, before the eventual death of the sun and final end of the universe. Through this, however, are scenes of modern humanity, prehistoric species of people and animals, plants, and bacteria. For an infinitesimally-brief period, life exists and it is resilient.
Much like the umpteen examples of symbiosis on display in the film, the orchestra and chorus maintained a superb balance with the visuals on screen, proving to be a beautiful combination. The film doesn’t require constant and belligerent sonic attention. Indeed, after a lovely opening, everyone on stage sat silent for what seemed like 20-30 minutes before playing and singing again.
What was received, by the end, was an unique experience from tremendous artists – both on stage at Hamer Hall, and behind Terrence Malick’s camera.
Voyage of Time
Hamer Hall – Arts Centre Melbourne
Performance: Friday 6 October 2017 – 7.30pm
Image: Voyage of Time (film still)
Review: David Collins