Sound Symphony @ The Studio at Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
Sound Symphony is a highly interactive, sensory performance, crafted specifically for a young, profoundly autistic audience
Paying tribute to the sculpture of music, Sound Symphony has a keen interest in involving its audience in the sights, feels and environment of creating music through their own bodies, and the show accommodates a variety of senses for the whole audience.
Beyond hearing, touch has a tremendous input in what makes the production enticing. We aren’t just sat down and blasted with melody; instead the young audience can stand, wander and, vitally, get a tangible grip with the make-up of the symphony. They feel how they can make their own harmony, learning how varying textures create the show's sounds.
Every detail, from the accompanying visual story to the pre-show introduction, has been researched and conducted by a dedicated team who display a wealth of understanding. Ellie Griffiths should be proud of the level of work involved, something extended to the rest of the production group.
Greg Sinclair’s musical direction guides us through an assortment of instruments – slowly deconstructing a symphony into bare parts. Sinclair, Sonia Allori & Shiori Usui begin as a trio performing classical melodies. Gradually they break apart, adding a performance element as Sinclair’s snobbish attitude looks unkindly on the attempts to make tunes from paper and spoons.
Costume changes and vivid colours adding visual elements to the production alongside aural. All three musicians interact with the audience in a respectful manner, allowing the audience to determine the level of interaction. As for the score itself, the presentation is more important than the finished composition. It is designed to encourage as much as it is to enjoy. As a piece of music, it has merit, the evolving melodies bring a variety to the audience which keeps them engaged. Overall Sinclair’s composition is versatile, pleasant and accessible for the young audience.
Griffiths' production brings a much-needed form of music to audiences who deserve it the most; the ability to freely express oneself by putting themselves on the stage – to feel the vibrations of the cello or hum of the speaker. Sound Symphony is greater than a modest orchestral experience, reassuring every sound as beautiful which should reverberate nationwide.
Sound Symphony @ The Studio at Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, run ended. Touring across Scotland until 24 May, soundsymphony.co.uk