HERE is a concept of a collaboration of artists that is a concert of lost lockdown intimacies, a meditation on identity, locality and reconnection in the wake of isolation. These ideas are conveyed through music, words and visuals. During COVID-19 lockdown artists were isolated and needed to find a way to practise their craft, connect with other artists and then emerge from lockdown.

HERE is the result of a group of artists made up of musicians, composers, a poet and a visual artist applying their talents to a project encompassing connection, transition and physical places in a moment of time. Existing and new works of poetry and music were integrated into a cohesive concert experience.

The innovative music has its genesis in the classical tradition but with modern sensibilities. The highly skilled performers were Tristan Coelho on piano, Alicia Crossley on a variety of recorders, Emily Granger on the harp, and Andrew Smith on tenor and soprano saxophone. Nicole W. Lee performed her own poems and poems by Mkhululi Mabija and Sybil Kempson and visual artist Charlotte Fetherston provide images linking the music and poems.

The poems had images of roads and paths leading to gardens, plants, birdlife and the glorious Australian sunshine and the music performed evoked thoughts of being in lockdown and appreciating the simple pleasures that are found in our local environment. Simultaneously there were more complex ideas the composers were investigating.

The composition Inhaltations, considers the relationship between being glorious and being doubtful, while playing with harmony and dissonance. In Transit plays with the similarity of lockdown and a long stay in an airport lounge. You are going somewhere but currently not moving. Emily Granger produced beautiful and modern sounds from her harp, an instrument associated with more ancient times. The new work Kharis refers to the Greek Goddesses of grace and beauty who oversee happiness and entertainment. It was an electrifying and lively piece of music.

HERE is an engrossing concept which blends powerful music with thoughtful words and music. The music was composed by Paul Castles, Alice Chance, Tristan Coelho, and Anthony Moles. The concert was held at the very atmospheric Annandale Creative Arts Centre, an old church with lots of charm. I look forward to the artists bringing the concert to a larger audience.

HERE was performed at the Annandale Creative Arts Centre with support from Create NSW & the Inner West Council.