How it Plays: Innovations in Percussion

Exhibition

How it Plays: Innovations in Percussion

This exhibition and performance project shines a light on key innovations and experimentation in tuned percussion, focusing on Melbourne. It brings together a range of percussion instruments that have been created, composed for and played by radical musicians, who have sought to change the way we can all hear, and play, music.

Starting with Percy Grainger’s ground-breaking compositional experiments in ‘tuneful percussion’ in the first half of the 20th century, How it Plays then explores the work of the first truly innovative Australian percussion group, APE, in the 1970s, who experimented on Percy Grainger’s own instruments in the Grainger Museum as they evolved their practice.

Jumping to the 21st century, the exhibition explores the musical and social phenomenon of the Federation Handbells, which engages acoustic and artistic innovation to bring the playing of bells to a wide range of communities. It concludes with an immersion in the sonic and artistic adventures in sound and performance of Melbourne organisation, Speak Percussion, an international leader in the field of experimental and new music.

How it Plays features two octaves of Federation Handbells in an interactive composition hub, where visitors can improvise their own music, or be inspired by pre-existing scores. This exhibition continues the Grainger Museum’s commitment to creativity, community engagement and collaboration.

This event is a collaboration between the Grainger Museum, Federation Handbells (Museums Victoria/Creative Victoria), Speak Percussion, and the Faculty of Fine Arts and Music and Melbourne School of Design.