It was a beautifully mild night out in Elder Park when my two kids and I settled down with our beach chairs and packed picnic ready for a night at the orchestra. Elder Park was bursting with people, and quite a mix of young families, as well as more mature classical music enthusiasts. But this was not like any ordinary orchestra – for this was The Lost and Found Orchestra.
The concert started very simply and understated with one man on stage beating on an empty cello case. Slowly this built, one by one until a group was beating in time on an assortment of cello and double bass cases. In this fashion, all new ‘instruments’ throughout the show were introduced one by one, allowing a solo session just for that instrument before incorporating into a wider piece across the orchestra.
The instruments were an incredible example of upcycling and reuse of ordinary inanimate objects. Trumpets out of funnels and tubes, horns out of traffic cones and pipe, shakers out of milk bottles and glass rims of wine glasses.
One instrument that required a lot of choreography was what i have termed, the human xylophone. A number of people each holding one piece of wood which essentially was like an individual key of a xylophone, who were then required to dance around the musician at the right time in order to play the piece of music.
Not only was this performance about music, but comedic elements and theatrics on stage to much amusement from the audience. This was not for the serious-minded orchestra music fan.
The show shifted focus around Elder Park to keep interest and anticipation as to where to look next. One moment on stage, the next the rotunda, to a drum up top of scaffolding next to the stage, to along the footbridge leading to Adelaide Oval.
In fact, the entire performance – which I believe involved around 500 people , was an impressive sight to behold and would have taken much coordination.
It did not matter where you sat for the show for as well as the large screens either side of the stage, there was also performers down aisles playing instruments and interaction, creating a feeling of immersion and that you yourself were part of the performance.
This was like nothing I have ever seen or heard before. A complete feast for the senses. It challenges the concept of what is music and what constitutes an instrument. This was truly a phenomenal concert and one that we walked away talking about every element of the show of what we saw and heard.
I anticipate there will be kids attempting to build their own instruments and start their own orchestras after seeing this show – so lock up your utensils and buy some ear plugs!
Adelaide Festival Review by Ilona Schultz