En Masse

Genevieve Lacey & Marc Silver

Music Performance

en masse is a poetic blend of film, music and performance, created by Genevieve Lacey and Marc Silver. After sold out seasons in Melbourne and Adelaide Festivals, it was redeveloped for White Night, MONA FOMA, and performances in Beijing, in collaboration with Ben Cobham and Andrew Livingstone from Bluebottle.

A lush, layered soundscape envelops Genevieve as she plays live with her simple, wooden pipes. Surrounding her, footage of thousands of starlings, wheeling in wondrous unison. Birds – seemingly with one mind – flock across multiple screens. Exquisitely filmed, they create a reflective space that allows the audience to delve beyond this aural and visual world to greater concerns arising from our human quest for depth.

Genevieve’s intense performance invites the audience into the same heightened state she inhabits when she makes music.  For us, being immersed in en masse is like being immersed in her performer’s experience of leaping into the next flight of sound, following its updrafts, lifting higher and higher.

en masse implicitly evokes environmental themes, questions regarding migration, the impacts of individualism and tribal consumerism. For all the artists involved, at its heart is a desire to create a place for deeper contemplation. As T.S. Eliot suggests, a ‘still point of the turning world.’

A group of sound artists and composers contributed to the soundtrack: John Rodgers, Jim Atkins, Lawrence English, Steve Stelios Adam, Christian Fennesz, Nico Muhly, Ben Frost, dj olive, and Taylor Deupree.

Photo | Monty Coles