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    ARCANA | Alethea Coombe

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    Event description

    An original work conceptualised, developed and arranged by emerging Tasmanian artists, Arcana is a multi-artform collaboration bringing musical, visual and occult arts into play.  

    This is Arcana.  

    The lights are dim, a tarot reader sits at a table, and a randomly chosen audience member approaches, becoming “the querent”. A view of the table is projected onto a wall so all can see, and a microphone amplifies the exchange between the tarot reader and querent. A violinist, cellist, percussionist, soprano, and mover roam through the audience. The querent asks a question, and a card is drawn, the tarot reader speaks in half sentences, evocative but not prescriptive. The musicians play semi-improvised material, a sonic interpretation of not only the card but also the reader's words, the querant’s reaction and the atmosphere of the room. As the tarot cards progress, musical material builds. Certain cards will denote a violin solo, or a duet between soprano and mover, or a cluster of pitches, and carry affect (specific musical emotion, used in the Baroque era). As different performers take foreground and background, sounding or silence, movement or stillness, they offer another layer to the tarot reading. After the final card is drawn and the music and movement finishes, there is a brief musical palate cleanser, or silence, before the next querent.

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