Vibrant voices keep perfect time

15 September 2022

Perth choir Voyces travel through time with a rich repertoire that takes Kobi Morrison to another dimension.

Time, Voyces · 
Hackett Hall, WA Museum Boola Bardip, 10 September 2022 · 

It is considered a bit of a sci-fi fantasy concept to bend and manipulate time and artists have long explored the concept through various mediums, including storylines, visual art and dance. It is rare, however, to hear it represented through vocalisation, as leading Perth choir Voyces set out to do in a concert simply entitled “Time”. 

With such a broad creative construct, Voyces traversed various vocal dimensions for their impressive program, which included Le Campane di Leopardi by Yehuda Yannay and the “Agnus Dei” from Mass for Double Choir by Frank Martin.  

Katerina Gimon’s Elements, 1. Earth doesn’t have any lyrics, but the vocalisations paint an expansive soundscape that manages to both soothe and carry you away. Voyces have no difficulty evoking a range of emotions, from tense to contemplative, with nothing but their impressive vocals. 

Their control is astounding. Each singer’s superb technique melds into collective excellence for complex numbers such as Philip Glass’ “Knee Play 3” from the opera Einstein on the Beach. Musical Director Dr Robert Braham OAM pushes the singers to new heights through the most challenging of songs without detracting from the joy of performing. They are all clearly having a good time, excited about what they can achieve together. 

Voyces had briefly suspended time, taking us to another dimension and mindset – and it was truly worth the trip.

As an arts venue, Hackett Hall has both positives and negatives. Voyces used minimal sound equipment to make the most of the natural acoustics and the reverberating space didn’t affect the clarity of the more staccato songs. Although the hall is a beautiful place for events, it isn’t soundproof, with emergency sirens, a security alarm and circling helicopter – which thankfully visited between songs – punctuating the evening. 

Fortunately, we were able to fully immerse in Voyces’ rendition of Ethan Sperry’s Desh. One of the choir’s most transportive songs, it dropped the listener into the heart of India with an extraordinary re-creation of traditional musical instruments such as the shruti box. 

It felt like a rude awakening as we stepped out of the hall and back into the real world. Voyces had briefly suspended time, taking us to another dimension and mindset – and it was truly worth the trip. 

The next Voyces concert is “Christmas”, 16 December 2022.

Pictured top: Hackett Hall is a beautiful space but outside noises can intrude. Photo supplied

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Author —
Kobi Arthur Morrison

Emerging writer Kobi Arthur Morrison is a Bibbulmun Noongar born and raised in Perth. Kobi works at the UWA Centre of Social Impact and Propel Youth Arts WA and spends his spare time participating in music projects such as Moombaki, Koondarm, Koorlong, Madjitil Moorna and Endeavourous. In 2018 he was awarded the Perth NAIDOC Youth of the Year award. He loves playgrounds that are integrated into nature, particularly the tree house.

Past Articles

  • Beauty from pain

    Brilliant musicianship turns an Australian convict story into something beautiful, says Kobi Arthur Morrison.

  • The exquisite sounds of the Middle East

    Kobi Arthur Morrison finds himself transported by the ancient music performed by Asha ensemble at Fringe World.

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