Arthouse Cinema Meets Chamber Music – Camerata Cinematheque 

by | Sep 18, 2023 | Ambassador thoughts, Chamber Groups, Orchestras

Camerata | Cinematheque

September 15, 2023, QPAC, Brisbane

Camerata turned the QPAC concert hall into their own arthouse cinema on Friday night for a special evening of bespoke films and chamber music. 

Featuring specially commissioned short films by Brisbane filmmaker Anthony Lucas, this concert was spooky, suspenseful, surreal and humorous. 

Camerata opened the concert with Greig’s Holberg Suite. This lively set of dances was perfect for setting the scene and whetting our appetites for the films to come. 

Then we saw the first of Lucas’ films, The Disassembly Macabre, set to the music of Saint-Saens’ Danse Macabre. This eerie and surreal film centred on a man trapped in a homemade torture chamber. Camerata’s performance featured violinist Sally-Ann Djachenko in a dramatic solo.

The next film, Farewell the Sky, was set to Cameron Patrick’s Solstice from Impressions of Erin. This was an animated sci-fi adventure, following the last man alive fleeing Earth in a spaceship. Although the music was originally intended to evoke winter sunrise in Ireland, it was well suited for this new setting of exploring the skies. 

Then it was back to a dark, spooky feeling for the film The Erlking Calls for Me, set to Schubert’s famous piece Der Erlkönig. A boy was lured into the forest by a supernatural being, and his woodcutter father tried to rescue him. This film was animated too, and the limited colour palette evoked feelings of winter and isolation. 

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Housefly featured an elegant woman alone in a lurid green room, trying to ignore a housefly. Set to the music of Stravinsky’s Concerto in D, this film started with a relaxed, carefree feeling, before descending into madness. 

Portrait was a playful film, created by Anthony Lucas and his partner, using mixed media, chalk, collage, felt pen, and paint. It used abstract shapes and ideas to match the many different moods of the music. It was set to Erik Griswold’s Love to Love Your Strings, Baby, which took motifs and fragments from the golden era of disco and arranged it for chamber orchestra. 

The next film was inspired by Brisbane! Lucas was inspired by busy one-way streets, roaring traffic on the freeway, lonely bus stops, and windswept litter. This whimsical film, One-Way Streets, imagined what would happen if the rubbish came alive. Set to the quirky music of Leroy Anderson’s Plink, Plank, Plunk!, this film was fun to watch, quite a contrast from some of the darker previous films! 

Then, it was back to a more serious mood, with Lucas’ Psycho Suite film, set to the infamous music by Bernard Herrmann. Lucas reimagined this well-known horror story through abstract graphics, animation, and bold colours. Camerata’s swelling strings built suspense, until the high-pitched shrieking of the ‘shower scene’.  

The final film, Lost, was funny and light-hearted, set to music by Brisbane composer Robert Davidson. Featuring Lucas’ daughter, Peggy, the story followed a young girl creating colourful characters out of toilet rolls for her comic. She took her ‘Rollie’s for a ride through the park and didn’t notice when one fell overboard. This Rollie spent the afternoon wandering the park, hiding from a storm, and then befriended an abandoned paintbrush and they watched the sunset together. 

Camerata’s Cinematheque concert was an engaging, cross-genre performance. Their music perfectly complemented the films on-screen, from moments of tension and suspense to fun comedy. This collaboration allowed Camerata’s musicality and Lucas’ creative work and imagination to shine. 

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About The Author

Claire Matthews

I was first introduced to classical music as a little girl, dancing ballet in a pink tutu. Although I’m not a ballerina now, my love of classical music lives on! I’m a marketer by day and a creative by night. In my free time, I love going to concerts, writing stories, painting landscapes, and playing violin and viola.

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