While You Sleep – Sal Cooper & Kate Neal
13 - 16 July 2022
PICA Performance Space


While You Sleep
Sal Cooper & Kate Neal

Dark, subtle and surprising, While You Sleep weaves string quartet, piano, electronics, film and animation in a surreal counterpoint of music, movement and image where nothing is as it seems. 

In this aural and visual excursion into the musical fugue and psychological ‘fugue state’ performers spin across the stage on wheeled chairs as they interact with immersive visuals. Hand-drawn animation, live action, video and stop-motion play out as pianist Jacob Abela, violinists Isabel Hede and Zachary Johnston, violist Phoebe Green and cellist David Moran perform 50 minutes of memorised music, bereft of stands and sheet music, while in choreographed motion.

The work expands upon the elaborate complexity of the musical fugue – where a phrase is introduced by one instrument and then taken up by others – to deftly probe the uncertain landscapes between grief and identity, reality and illusion.

Exploring flight, memory and dissociation, While You Sleep is a mesmerising escape from the present.

“A work of dizzying complexity…recalls Georges Méliès and William Kentridge” – Dr. Thomas H. Ford

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