Permission to Speak

CMO Permission to Speak - photo by Pier CarthewPoised in the delicate space between concert and theatre, Permission to Speak explores the most universal of relationships – that of parent and child – as it exists and evolves through a lifetime.

This first-time collaboration between director and Chamber Made Opera Artistic Associate Tamara Saulwick (Endings, 2015) and composer Kate Neal (Semaphore, 2015) pairs contemporary performance with musical composition to construct a revealing portrait of that which is often left unspoken.

Musings, diatribes, recollections and hindsight find voice as four performer-vocalists are fused in choral counterpoint with an assembly of pre-recorded voices, offering multiple perspectives on the contemporary experience of family. What would we say to those who brought us into the world? What will we say to those we leave behind?

Built from interviews with people of all ages, Permission to Speak interweaves the complexities, parallels and paradoxes of this dynamic relationship – manifested through the speaking, sounding and singing human voice.

Tamara Saulwick is a Melbourne based artist who creates contemporary performance works for theatres and public spaces. Building on over twenty years experience, her practice draws from a background in multiple performance disciplines. Utilising digital, mobile and analogue technologies, with a particular emphasis placed on the role of sound in live performance, Tamara’s works reflect on how we connect, confront and negotiate with one another.

Kate Neal is an artist with over 20 years experience as a composer, arranger, teacher, artistic director and collaborator. Since 2006 (with the premiere of the scored ballet, Concave City) she has been incorporating extra-musical parameters within the notation of a musical score, such as physical gesture, design, light and choreography.

The result is a musical language that extends the existing techniques of the performing musician, and creates a synthesis of experience for audiences where music is to be seen and heard: the performative aspect of the work is as important as the aural. In many cases, these works provide a variety of unprecedented collisions of unlikely visual and musical cues.

Chamber Made is the only Australian arts company wholly dedicated to creating original works located at the nexus of music and contemporary performance. The company is renowned for redefining artform boundaries and producing works that emerge from a deep collaborative dialogue across artform disciplines.

Bringing contemporary composition and performance dramaturgy together in ever-shifting forms, their works have been presented in theatres, recital halls, lounge-rooms, galleries, as well as and on iPads and online. The company has presented over 90 performance seasons in Australia and internationally and commissioned more than 40 new Australian works since it was founded in 1988.

“Permission to Speak [is] remarkable … What Director, Tamara Saulwick, and her cast and crew have made is a piece built on ferocious discipline, yet still manages to feel fresh … Sonic high-wire artists without a net, they caught each other every time.” – David Collins, Australian Arts Review

Text and Direction: Tamara Saulwick Performers: Gian Slater, Georgie Darvidis, Josh Kyle, Edward Fairlie Composer: Kate Neal Sound Designer: Jethro Woodward Lighting Designer: Bosco Shaw Costume Designer: Marg Horwell Production: Nick Wollan

Permission to Speak
Brisbane Powerhouse, 119 Lamington Street, New Farm
Season: 23 – 24 February 2018

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Gian Slater, Edward Fairlie, Josh Kyle and Georgie Darvidis feature in Permission to Speak – photo by Pier Carthew

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