This exhibition and performance project shines a light on key innovations and experimentation in tuned percussion, focusing on Melbourne. It brings together a range of percussion instruments that have been created, composed for, and played by radical musicians, who have sought to change the way we can all hear, and play, music.
Starting with Percy Grainger’s ground-breaking compositional experiments in ‘tuneful percussion’ in the first half of the twentieth century, How it plays then explores the work of the Australian percussion group, APE, in the 1970s, who experimented on Percy Grainger’s own instruments as they evolved their practice.
Jumping to the twenty-first century, the exhibition explores the musical and social phenomenon of the Federation Handbells, which engages acoustic and artistic innovation to bring the playing of bells to a wide range of communities. It concludes with an immersion in the sonic and artistic adventures of Melbourne's Speak Percussion, an international leader in the field of experimental and new music.
How it plays features two octaves of Federation Handbells in an interactive composition hub, where visitors can improvise their own music, or be inspired by pre-existing scores. This exhibition continues the Grainger Museum’s commitment to creativity, community engagement and collaboration.
Wednesday 8th May
Thursday 9th May
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