Sound Text

Charles Gaines

Australian Premiere

The language of protest and resistance provides the music for this thought-provoking small chamber opera.

In Sound Text, political writings are ingeniously transcribed into harmonies and then layered with historical song melodies ranging from Reconstruction-era spirituals to French Revolutionary ballads.

Created by renowned US conceptual artist Charles Gaines, with musical arrangements by Sean Griffin of Opera Povera, Sound Text is a unique fusion of art and music.

For more than forty years, Charles Gaines’ cross-disciplinary conceptual art practice has explored the relationship between aesthetics and politics through the use of semiotics, logic, and rule-based structures. This premiere performance of Sound Text accompanies the artist’s participation in The Score, a multi-disciplinary exhibition at the Ian Potter Museum of Art which takes performance scores as a starting point to consider artworks which shift between sonic, visual and linguistic realms.

Previously performed at the Brooklyn Museum, New York (2016) and at the 56th Biennale di Venezia, Venice (2015). 

Artist Talk

Sat 21 October, post-show

Creator and Director
Charles Gaines
Sean Griffin
Producer and Conductor
Brett Kelly
Mezzo Soprano
Dimity Shepherd
David Rogers-Smith
Laurence Matheson
Kathryn Taylor
Philippa West
Merewyn Bramble
Zoe Wallace

This event is a co-presentation between Melbourne Festival, the Ian Potter Museum of Art and the Melbourne Recital Centre. It will be presented in conjunction with the exhibition “The Score” at the Ian Potter Museum, which runs from 1 August – 5 November 2017.

Charles Gaines’ visit to Australia has been funded by the Consulate General of the United States, Melbourne.