Dangerous Song @ Anywhere Festival – Media release
The Sideshow, 349 Montague Rd, West End – Sunday 26th May, 3pm
A musical instrument made from peacock feathers playing sounds of the Humpback Whale combined with the extraordinary 4 octave range voice of Lizzie O’Keefe.
The eco-music duo ‘Dangerous Song’ return to Queensland after two standing ovations at WOMADelaide world music festival, to present their concert version of ‘Songs of Emzara’ as part of Anywhere Festival.
‘Songs of Emzara’ (concert version) is performed by Lizzie O’Keefe and Linsey Pollak. They combine the human voice with the sounds of endangered animals. Linsey uses breath to play animal calls on a digital wind instrument while Lizzie weaves her voice in and out of this musical landscape. It’s a tribute to the species who at this moment struggle for their survival – the Indri Indri, the Black Crested Gibbon, Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo, the Humpback Whale, Blakiston’s Fish Owl, the Booroolong Frog and the Blue throated Macaw ….to name a few. They are the characters that will take Centrestage, it is their voices that you will hear, voices that will touch your heart.
‘Songs of Emzara’ opens as a duet – between animal and human. The Indri Indri (a giant lemur from Madagascar) sings its plaintive song and Lizzie O’Keefe replies, singing with her captivating voice that sparkles over 4 octaves. The songs in this performance have been passed down through generations of women (animal whisperers) since the time of the Ark.
History often neglects ‘HerStory’, and the stories of The Great Flood were no exception. Indeed, it was Emzara who prophesied the Great Flood and saw the need for an Ark that could carry 2 members of as many species as possible to save them from certain extinction. But we know little of her story.
Emzara was a renowned singer and story teller. Even as a young child she was always very self- possessed and was often found conversing with animals, which made many people quite wary of her. Already at 4 years of age she rode wild horses and had no fear of any animal and they in turn had no fear of her. She communicated with animals through song and these songs were in turn passed on to her daughters, granddaughters and so on. These were the ‘Songs of Emzara’.
“This is the most poignant, delicate and exceptionally beautiful work of art – a magical, empathetic, absorption into nature. Get there today if you can – this is genuinely world class”.
“ ….This unique show is like nothing I’ve ever seen before, with the shockingly beautiful combination of Lizzie’s voice (which I imagine as being about as close to “angelic” as it gets), with Linsey’s incredible on the fly animal sound track combinations. Ultimately it’s hard to describe the beauty of this show”.
“…what an absolute treat! I sat spellbound for the entire show. …another powerful and moving work.”
“Hard to find words for Dangerous Song; the world should see it/hear it/share it because, as well as immense sadness for what we’ve got wrong, it inspires renewed energy for our own chosen ways of caring for the earth. With wonder, we realise what a brilliant planet we belong to”.
Sydney Morning Herald Music review by John Shand:
DANGEROUS SONG – Linsey Pollak & Lizzie O’Keefe (https://dangeroussong.bandcamp.com/album/dangerous-song-blue)
This is different. Linsey Pollak plays the sounds of endangered or extinct creatures via a digital wind instrument, the sampled sounds now controlled via his breath, lips and fingering. He uses looping to layer some of these into ostinatos, and meanwhile, drifting amid them, comes the mostly wordless singing of Lizzie O’Keefe. The upshot is not the sort of new-age noodling designed to bore the listener to death, but music of striking immediacy. While the sounds are mostly eerie and even otherworldly, O’Keefe’s luminous singing is often dappled with a profound sadness that humanises what have could have been an ecologically well-meant but rather academic exercise. Pollak, a creative force in Australia for 40 years, brings a dazzling breadth of imagination to bear in using these elements to create instantly engaging pieces, in which organic and more electronic sounds intermingle and dance like a school of tropical fish about O’Keefe’s yearning soprano. JOHN SHAND
For further info and interviews contact:
Linsey Pollak (07)54999372 firstname.lastname@example.org