AURA: Sovereign Hill
Designed by Accolade Productions Artistic Director Andrew Walsh AM, AURA is the new sound and light spectacular at Ballarat’s Sovereign Hill Museum. Spanning through time from the big bang to the current day, AURA essentially tells the story of the origin of gold, and the effect it has has on the people and the land. Russell worked with Accolade to produce sound design and compositional content for two of the three AURA sections - ‘Dreamtime’, which traces the indigenous history of the land, and ‘Diggings’, the major exhibition component, which explores the impact of the discovery of gold on Sovereign Hill.
Make Believe - The Story Of The Myer Christmas Windows
Each November, the unveiling of the annual Myer Christmas windows signals the start of the festive season in Melbourne. For generations, families have made the trip into town to gaze at the miniature make-believe worlds behind the glass, in what has for many become a beloved and unmissable tradition.
A new exhibition at Melbourne Museum, Make Believe: The Story of the Myer Christmas Windows, connected us to this shared memory, revealing the magic and creative artistry behind the windows.
Make Believe was a magical, glittering, experience for children and adults alike, inviting lovers of this cherished Melbourne tradition to reconnect with the nostalgia of their childhood, and offering younger visitors the chance to experience it all with fresh eyes. A feast of magical models, working drawings, beloved books and playful puppets.
Warm nights In bohemia heights
Bendigo Poppet project
The Poppet project will saw the creation of a new aerial performance and projection spectacular on the iconic poppet head in the heart of Bendigo. The creative team from Natimuk worked together with a broad range of community groups from around Bendigo over a ten-month period to create this work that captured and creatively expressed the unique stories of Bendigo and its people. Russell worked alongside the “Made In Natimuk" team, and with local producer and musician extraordinary Sam Thomas, to create music and sound design to accompany and elevate the entire project. Local music performers, a choir, a funk band and a team of “Poppet Percussionists” all came together to give the event a wonderful sonic character.
THROUGH YOUNGER EYES
A commissioned work for The City of Greater Geelong, undertaken with longtime collaborators, Way Back When, Melbourne's foremost professional historians. Through Younger Eyes harnessed the collected stories, letters, memories and legacies of combatants, nurses, observers and families from Geelong residents caught up in the atrocities of World War 1, and gave them voice once more through performances from local youth performers. Video production was by the extremely talented Michael Carmody. The entire project is housed within the heritage protected Geelong Peace Memorial, which sits at the heart of the city, and through both audio and visual projection, evokes the memories of past events in a stirring and confronting way.
A project in development throughout 2018, Maze is a collaboration with performance group Project Anon. (www.projectanon.com). Their raison d'être is as "a platform for cross-industry, cross-disciplinary collaboration around classical music to push the boundaries, to think different, experience different."
Teaser trailer for the Melbourne Theatre Company production of 'John' - featuring my score, and my restored "found upside-down on a pile of door knobs and dismembered Barbie heads at the Laverton Markets" 1950's Hohner Organa keyboard.
UNDER MY SKIN
This ground-breaking company, comprised of deaf and hearing dancers, creates cross-cultural work using Auslan and English with dance as a universal communicator.
Under My Skin was a new work from The Delta Project, choreographed by Jo Dunbar and Lina Limosani. Working together with new media artist Rhian Hinkley, lighting designer Richard Vabre and composer & sound designer Russell Goldsmith, choreography blends with images and sound, building access into aesthetics. Layered and revealing, Under My Skin challenges what it is to listen and be heard.
A droplet. A ripple. A splash. A puddle. A river. A wall of water. Water jets. Water creatures. Water, water, water.
Aqua Vitae was an installation project created for White Night Melbourne 2016. It was a 15 minute sound and laser show, harnessing a massive 40 metre water wall with laser projections, created by laser specialists 'Oracle Liquid'.
Water is central to living and sustains the communities we live in, the natural environment we value and the economy we depend on. It covers 70% of the Earth’s surface and makes up about 70% of the human body. Yet 1 billion people across the globe live without access to it, and more people have a mobile phone than have a toilet. Melburnians live in the world’s most liveable city and a key attribute is its access to safe and available water and sanitation.
A laser, light and water show on the Yarra River, Aqua Vitae, celebrates this vital resource and its integral contribution to enhancing life and liveability in Melbourne and beyond.
The Naked Self:
'The Naked Self' is a digital theatre project, created for the 2nd Festival Of Live Art (FOLA). It was created in consort with project directors Michele Lee and Tanya Dickson, as well as designer Matthew Adey (House of Vnholy). The project was developed over the course of 12 months, and as well as collaborating with the other artists on the design, function and experience of the project and the mobile app at it's core, Russell created the score and sound design for the application itself.
There could be thousands of photos of you online. How many really show who you are and how you feel about yourself? In the safety of your own private booth, while undressed, a voice will lead you to examine yourself as you may never have before. Here, you’ll create a one-off, audio-only self-portrait. An immersive blend of both confessional and digital culture, The Naked Self is a chance to view yourself from a special and unique perspective.
The Naked Self was commissioned as part of In Your Hands – a new series of artworks and installations that invite audiences to create experiences mediated through hand-held technology. In Your Hands was commissioned by Arts House through the Australia Council’s New Digital Theatre Initiative.
Sweeping The Wall:
'Sweeping The Wall' was an installation piece undertaken with visual artist Julia Boros (http://www.juliaboros.com), installed into the KINGS Artist-Run in Melbourne, Australia. Russell created a 6 minute audio piece to accompany the exhibition of the work, built solely out of sounds gathered from the materials used in the work, recorded in a specially isolated studio space where each tiny sound that the custom material Julia used could be captured, and ultimately manipulated and amplified.
A commissioned work for White Night Melbourne 2015. WONDERLAND was created in collaboration with audiovisual design firm 'The Electric Canvas', a company specialising in large-scale projection on buildings and in complex environments. Russell created an immersive and lyrical score to accompany projection content inspired by characters from Lewis Carroll's "Alice In Wonderland", presented in 5 distinct movements.
Seven Deadly Sins:
A commissioned work for White Night Melbourne 2015. Russell again collaborated with visual artist extraordinaire, Terry Taylor, this time to present 'Seven Deadly Sins'. The sound design for 'Seven Deadly Sins' was inspired not only by the paintings themselves, but also by the exhibition space selected for it's presentation. The cast of sinners were presented inside The Old Melbourne Gaol, built in 1839. Notorious for it's overcrowding in the wake of the Victorian Gold Rush of the 1850's, for housing some of the most nefarious criminals Australia has produced, and for the hanging of 133 prisoners during the time the gaol was in operation, the setting was a perfect fit for the exhibition of Terry Taylor's extraordinary engaging and provocative paintings. The aim of the sonic landscape created for this work was to evoke the presence of the departed sinners, suggesting their past occupation of the site, and the ongoing restlessness of those for whom this was their final resting place. The sound design, like the paintings themselves, is haunting, humorous and dark. As the viewer takes in the fine detail within each of Terry's panels, they we immersed in the sounds of the materials of the prisoner's confinement - bowed, hammered and slamming steel cell doors, low frequencies shifting and blending to create a strange uneasiness, and a gentle yet intangible melody - evoking the joy of freedom that lies beyond, for those lucky enough to gain release.
Russell joined the incredible Ian Pidd and Jillian Pierce as Creative Directors of the 12 hour "Dookie Earthed" project, under the guidance of Artistic Director Helen Kelly. "Dookie Earthed" was an initiative of Regional Arts Victoria, as part of their "Small Towns Transformation" project. This from the Dookie Arts website:
On Saturday October 4th, all roads led to Dookie for a one day explosion of creativity. Inspired by the rich red ancient soils of this charming Victorian hamlet, Dookie Earthed transformed the town as scores of local and visiting artists created works on film, projection, performance, sculpture, music, food and installations took over the streets, shops, parkland, hall, and the iconic silos and Quarry.
One of only five townships selected as part of Regional Arts Victoria’s Small Towns Transformation Project, Dookie Earthed is the result of 18 months of intensive collaboration, collective imagination and the pure will of this inspirational community.
Whilst Dookie Earthed may be for 12 hours, the project has resulted in a lasting legacy for the community with the Hall transformed into a vibrant arts venue that now regularly plays host to travelling performances, film nights and exhibitions showcasing the immense talents of the town and the stories of the locals have been captured on film as a distinct snapshot in time documenting life in a small town.
Cashel Industrial Orchestra
One of the major components of the "Dookie Earthed" festival, Russell created the "Cashel Industrial Orchestra". A collaborative music project, involving participants from the Dookie community, members of the "Dookie Men's Shed", and students from The Mansfield School. The project had 3 major phases. Phase 1 was the construction of 8 unique large-scale musical instruments, created from discarded and donated industrial and agricultural machinery sourced from local farms and businesses. Phase 2 was the exhibition of these beautiful sculptural instruments throughout the town, available to be played by any visitor who wished to make music on the roadside. Phase 3 was the use of these instruments by the members "Cashel Industrial Orchestra", formed specifically for "Dookie Earthed", under the leadership of orchestra wrangler Maren Hazell, in a performance central to the entire project showcase that took place in the magnificent quarry.
A commissioned work for White Night Melbourne 2014. Crepuscular Beam was a collaboration with Lighting Designer Paul Collison, featuring an immersive 16-channel surround sound installation, in and around a 24m diameter ring truss 3m off the ground, carrying 48 moving lights. The assembled audience could observe the installation from a distance, stand around it;s edge, or as the vast majority of visitors did, lie down underneath the work and enjoy being fully surrounded by it. The work was inspired by the earliest communications we had with the cosmos - recordings and transmissions sent back by various NASA missions. Further information about the project can be found in an AV Magazine write-up
An installation piece, commissioned for White Night Melbourne 2014. Forgotten was created in collaboration with visual artist Terry Taylor, who produced a stunning work 6 metres wide and 3 metres high, which was installed in the Scot's Church in Collins Street, Melbourne. The painting, inspired by the Catacombs of Paris, was accompanied by a 12 channel audio-scape that evoked the spirits of the departed and used the natural acoustics of the space to allow the sound to surround the listening audience.
Echo Chamber - RMIT First Site Gallery
An installation work responding to the former archeology of the gallery into which it was installed. A collaboration between Russell and cross-platform artist Sarah Edwards, in consort with two other artists, Taxidermist Dean Smith, and Landscape Architect Heather Graham.
Cassandra is a Waitress
A radio drama, written by frequent collaborator Meredith Penman, for the Creative Audio department of ABC Radio National. Aired Nationally throughout September 2013.
A Woman In Berlin
A radio drama, written and adapted for the radio by Janice Muller & Meredith Penman, for the Creative Audio department of ABC Radio National. Received a Bronze Medal at the New York Festivals Radio Awards, and was shortlisted for the 2012 Prix Italia, the world's most prestigious radio awards.
An immersive 20 minute audio and lighting installation beneath Melbourne’s Federation Square for the Next Wave Festival. Created with director Lauren Taylor.
A City of Melbourne 'Laneway Project' Commission An audiovisual installation in Duckboard Place, in collaboration with visual artist Lisa Richardson.
A Packet Of Seeds
A 30 minute audio narrative, in collaboration with Wesley Enoch, for BBC Radio in London.