Tura @ WA Museum Boola Bardip


Presented by Tura and WA Museum Boola Bardip
Friday 26 November, 7:30pm
Hackett Hall, WA Museum Boola Bardip
Tickets $15 student / $20 concession / $30 general admission

A 60-minute soundscape for Piano, Electronics with Diverse Media inspired by the Ediacara Fossils, Nilpena Station, South Australia. Composed by Constantine Koukias for Gabriella Smart (piano).

Pianist Gabriella Smart. Image by Ben D Woods

PRIMORDIAL is a unique merging of science and sound – a visceral listening experience that re-enacts the shifting of tectonic plates to form the Flinders Ranges.

It’s a journey through time to the first sign of life on earth with the appearance of the Ediacara fossils. The sonic world of PRIMORDIAL reflects the immense landscape of the Ediacara Fossil field on the edge of the Australian desert.

Composer Constantine Koukias imagines the sound of shifting tectonic plates through manipulated piano preparations and electronics to create cascading waves of sound. The piano as we know it is reinvented, its resonance reflecting a haunting, fragile sound world. Gabriella Smart pounds and caresses the piano, cajoling beautiful and extraordinary prepared sounds that are symbiotic with Koukias’ electronic score.

“Koukias’ sharp and at times fragile music miraculously reflected this vast landscape on the edge of the Australian desert” [Thomas Tamvakos, Archive of Greek Composers, 2020]

Read the interview ahead of the Perth performance in See Saw with Gabriella here.

Piano: Gabriella Smart
Music: Constantine Koukias (AUS/NETH)
Tape Sound Design: Mischa Duncan te Pas
Lighting Design: Jason James realised by Peter Young WA




Gabriella Smart

Gabriella Smart is a leading advocate of new music in Australia with sustained contribution over 25 years through performance, improvisation, collaborative composition, commissioning and curation. Her expertise as an Australian representative artist has been recognised with numerous awards and grants. Most recently, she is the recipient of four prestigious awards in 2019: Art Music Award for Excellence in Music (Australian Performing Rights Association and Australian Music Centre), the Paris Residency and an Artist Grant from The Australia Council for the Arts, and a South Australian Government Creative Fellowship. In 2018, she was awarded a Prelude Composer Residency (Australia) and a UNESCO City of Music residency in Katowice, Poland. With a background as a multi-award winning pianist specialising in classical and new music, Gabriella has performed extensively in Australia and internationally, premiering over 40 new works for solo piano by Australian and international composers in Australia, Europe and China, and collaborating with musicians as diverse as Brett Dean, Elena Kats Chernin, Erkki Veltheim, Jon Rose and Tamara Anna Cislowska. More info


Constantine Koukias

Constantine Koukias was the Artistic Director and CEO of IHOS Music Theatre & Opera for 23 years in Australia. Constantine’s avant-garde approach to the presentation of opera has resulted in hybrid productions such as Days and Nights with Christ, To Traverse Water, MIKROVION (Small Life – 36 Images in a Phantom Flux of Life), The Divine Kiss, and Tesla – Lightning in His Hand. His most recent large-scale work, The Barbarians, was inspired by Constantine Cavafy’s famous poem “Waiting for the Barbarians” and commissioned by the Museum of Old and New Art. His works range from large-scale music-theatre and opera to mobile installation-art events. His compositions have earned acclaim as being remarkable for their mesmerising, atmospheric qualities created by accompanying temporal and spatial production designs. In his recent works, exotic flavours have been introduced through Eastern timbres and melody-design. In 1993, he was commissioned by the Sydney Opera House Trust to compose ICON, a large-scale music-theatre piece, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Sydney Opera House. In 2004, he was awarded a Sir Winston Churchill Fellowship. His Incantation II for soprano and digital delay won the International Valentino Bucchi Vocal Prize in Rome in 1997. More info