Dome Reading Room, State Library of Victoria
In Melbourne's grandest and possibly finest room of all, the Dome Reading Room of the State Library of Victoria, this Astra concert in November 1986 utilized the multiple storeys of encircling galleries, extending high up into the dome, for a unique spatialised sonic experience with multiple groups of voices.
The premiere of Carl Vine’s Love Song for solo trombone and electronic sounds, was performed from the raised Librarian’s desk in the centre of the floor, bathed in the surrounding tape sounds from the galleries, and 4 choirs encircled the audience with sounds of gently falling paper in Keith Humble’s The Seasons.
The State Library of Victoria is of historical and architectural significance to the State of Victoria. For more information visit the listing on the Victorian Heritage Register.
For 30 years, the concerts of Astra Chamber Music Society have ranged around Melbourne’s architectural environment. Each concert has had a site-specific design that takes advantage of the marvellous visual qualities, spatial possibilities, and acoustic personality of each building. The music, in turn, contributes a new quality to the perception of the buildings, now experienced by audiences as a sounding space - an area where cultural issues from music’s history are traversed, and new ideas in Australian composition are explored.