Touching Sydney, for the Luminous festival
Sydney's surely working its charms on me. I prepared my way down here by reading Thomas Keneally's The Commonwealth of Thieves on the plane, which has set me up well for understanding the history that stems back to those early days as a penal colony. I'm becoming something of a bore perhaps, stating the history behind the names of every ferry and many streets, all of which look back to that brief and intense period at the end of the 18th century.
We were whisked from the airport as dawn stroked the skies to sign in at the Opera House, receiving our backstage passes as performers. Like the Taj Mahal, this is one of those buildings that photos don't fully prepare you for, its real-life beauty a deep thrill, a rare piece of architecture that matches the magnificence of its setting on the Bay.
The grounds of the Opera House reach into the Botanical Gardens, trees hung with flying foxes who we last night watched stream in through the darkness above the Harbour Bridge in their thousands; sacred ibis prod the grounds of the city parks with their beaks, white cockatoos screech from the treetops.
I stepped onto the stage Tuesday night for our first rehearsal for the staged reading of David Eagleman's SUM (I'm performing the short piece ANGST), locating out places on stage, finding the rhythms of the piece against Brian Eno's original musical score which he's playing from the wings. Back for the tech rehearsal tonight, looking out into the surprisingly intimate auditorium of the Opera House.