As I drive down the dirt road beside the wetlands, two kangaroos bound past. I swing into the driveway of The Greenhouse and chorus of Cockatoos welcome me whilst an audience of cows next door watch me pull up out the front.
Beck, from HotHouse Theatre warmly greets me with a clutch of (many) keys to what will be my home away from home for the next two weeks. And what a home it is! I’m one of the first lucky artists back here since the building has had a major reno… complete with a brand spanking new kitchen with a huge oven, two beautiful bathrooms, a flash new washing machine and big beds with pillows like clouds. Dreamy! And of course the huge rehearsal shed out the back filled with all the good creative vibes from the many artists who have created work here over the years.
For the first few days I’m working solo before I’m joined by my creative collaborators, theatre-maker and director Dr Miles O’Neil and composer, engineer and sound designer Cayn Borthwick. We spend the majority of this precious and most valued time nerding out with some new toys and tech; A pair of Mi.Mu gloves’, which allow me to program any gesture into a command that will manipulate/control audio. For example if I make a fist, I begin to loop my voice and when I point my finger I can shift the pitch of my voice from really high to really low. We also set up the shed with a ring of ten speakers to test 4D sound technology using live sound and ambisonic field recordings, featuring the cows next door and the birds in the wetlands.
Having the opportunity to have the time to just let the ideas flow… at whatever time of day has been a gift. Especially after this past year having felt so disconnected and isolated.
Thanks to Hothouse for having us stay at your beautiful Greenhouse. It allowed us to have the time and space to do what we do best connect, create and play, and thanks to The ACTF Joan & Betty Rayner Fellowship for making it all possible, I really hope we get to do it all again soon!