Madeleine Dale | On 05, Nov 2015
Choral music doesnâ€™t usually need to come with a language warning. Choral music clearly wasnâ€™t expecting Boombox. At the end of a huge year touring through Melbourne, Hobart and New York, The Australian Voices have brought their â€œtravesty of classical musicâ€ home to Brisbane.
At first sight, The Australian Voices are the coolest choir youâ€™ve ever seen. Gone are the floor length robes and neatly folded hands; in their place are skinny jeans, iPhones and, of course, the eponymous boombox. The show absolutely follows through on this first impression, almost immediately launching into the raunchiest song ever to be sung with such gorgeous harmonies. From here, the roller coaster only goes up, with vocal experiments, beautiful Australian compositions, and a whole lot of boundary-pushing.
Boombox ping-pongs madly between concepts and moodsâ€”one minute, the choir will be meticulously recreating the haunting sounds of a dial-up modem, the next, bursting into Ave Maria. A dramatic lip-synching of Bruckner is balanced by a rearrangement of In Memorium Rupert Brooke that will bring you to tears. Constant throughout, however, is the choirâ€™s irrepressible vitality. They are as comfortable in a rap battle as they are in Latin, while the elements of theatre creeping into the show are perfectly, hilariously executed. In Boombox, The Australian Voices are absolutely in their element as one of the most exciting contemporary choirs in the country.
The biggest difference between Boombox and other pop culture remixes, however, is the real, serious talent backing up every song. Rather than relying on auto-tune to make a viral hit, The Australian Voices bring the full force of their choral skills to the table, turning computer noises, random word patterns and even Donald Trump into works of art. Boomboxâ€™s collision of an extraordinarily powerful classical sound with some extraordinarily off-the-wall subject matter is one you are unlikely to witness anywhere else and one that works exceedingly well.
Creators Sam Boyd, Gordon Hamilton, Jenna Koda and Jacob Ballard have put together a truly unique show, bundling all the best elements of choral music together with all the most entertaining parts of YouTube for one unforgettable and unprecedented hour of incredible music.
Thereâ€™s no rest for The Australian Voicesâ€”next year theyâ€™ll be collaborating with Queensland Theatre Company, ensemble-in-residence with the Queensland Symphony OrchestraÂ and touring Boombox to Adelaide Fringe and beyond. You can next catch them at The Gallipoli Symphony, or check out their website here.
Image Credit: The Australian Voices Official.