A powerful and unforgettable musical experience at East Perth Cemeteries, Sound from the Ground.
In 2016, classical guitarist Dr Jonathan Fitzgerald was artist in residence at East Perth Cemeteries. He created a music narrative, both historical and contemporary, to reveal new and unexpected layers of significance and stories told by the Cemeteries’ graves. The residency included the commission of an original work by Perth composer Duncan Gardiner.
Sound from the Ground culminated in evocative performances by Jonathan and members of the Perth Guitar Quartet, Duncan Gardiner, Melissa Fitzgerald and Jameson Feakes in St Bartholomew’s Church at the Cemeteries. The music, performed in a heritage place and surrounded by the graves formed a full immersive, memorable and unique experience.
The project won the 2017 Museums and Galleries National Awards in the Interpretation, Learning and Audience Engagement category. The judges said it was:
“A complex and multi-layered project which unearths much early WA colonial history through the gravesites. The innovation displayed by the musicians in undertaking research, composing music, threading old musical scores and then producing a quality performance night shows a commitment to excellence and innovation in this new National Trust environment. The filming, tv exposure, blogging and very professional program ensure the project is well documented and hopefully the music will be used again in some other context. An impressive and original public program to enhance and promote the stories associated with an unusual collection.”
SCROLL DOWN: to experience the full opening night performance. The accompanying program is also available here as are shorter film clips and artist vlogs produced during the residency.
You can listen to Jonathan Fitzgerald (artist in residence) and Sarah Murphy (executive producer) discussing Sound from the Ground with RTRFM’s Plucked Strings here [external link]