THE GAPS BETWEEN
Circa Two, Circa Theatre, 1 Taranaki St, Waterfront, Wellington
11/10/2016 - 15/10/2016
Electric cello, and heartbreak
Chapman Tripp award-winning sound designer, cellist and writer Sebastian Morgan-Lynch presents The Gaps Between, a solo performance that weaves soaring cello, Wellington time-lapse photography, live digital soundscapes and original fiction into an exploration of the gaps between people, and the things they do to make it across.
The Gaps Between premiered at Kokomai Festival in the Wairarapa in 2015 and was called ‘mesmerising’. It traces an emotional arc through stories about dreams of dogs, angels and shadows and leaping out of the sky; all wrapped in gorgeous music and bathed in light.
Sebastian has been playing cello and composing soundscapes and music for theatre since 1999. He has received Chapman Tripp awards for ‘In Flame’ and ‘Speer’, as well as working with cutting edge theatre companies Jealous and Afterburner and playing with legendary Wellington bands Flight of the Conchords and Fat Freddy’s Drop.
11 – 15 Oct
Tues – Sat 7.30pm
Price: $25 – $46
Additional Music by Daniel Lynch and Robin Perks
Video and time-lapse photography by Tim Henwood
Theatre , Solo , Musical ,
Ambitious, complex, impressive blend of sound, sights and story
Review by Tim Stevenson 12th Oct 2016
The Gaps Between opens quietly, almost modestly. There’s a big white backdrop behind a small raised stage. On the stage, there’s a plain chair, a cello, two small speakers, and some even smaller boxes with dials and cables. Random noise, people talking inaudibly, mixed with other, even less identifiable sounds, plays softly in the background. A rather enigmatic quotation from Dickens appears on the screen: “A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.”
A man walks onto the stage, sits down, picks up the cello, twiddles a dial or two. Soon enough, the air and the screen are full of all the sounds and sights you could wish. Because The Gaps Between is all of the following: it’s a powerful, sustained solo cello recital, by creator-performer Sebastian Morgan-Lynch, of a sequence of original compositions that soar and wail, drive and sing, fly and crash and fly again. There’s a big-screen light show going on, a long, variegated visual poem that mixes abstract patterns of shapes and colours with time-lapse photography of Wellington land- and sea-scapes, courtesy of Tim Henwood, the programme tells us.
Recorded original music plays over the light show, mostly electronic, ranging from the lyrical to dance beats; Sebastian Morgan-Lynch’s work again, with assistance from Robin Perks, Andrew Johns, Daniel Lynch and Jay Smith. And there’s more, in the form of a voice-over delivering a series of dry, witty short stories or prose poems. These freely mix whimsy and magic with concrete details that insist on a firmly contemporary urban setting – Karo Drive, Wellington wind, drinking in The Black Harp, chatting up the barista over your latte.
But concentrating too much on the composite parts of The Gaps Between misses half the point, which is that the creators fold sounds, sights and words together to form a whole that’s somewhere between story, tone poem and architecture, and has elements of each. Which is putting it a bit too neatly; one of the most appealing aspects of the piece is the way in which it keeps changing the mix. This might sound complicated, maybe even demanding, but it works. There’s a loosely connected story of a cool urban relationship with a sort of ending to satisfy the romantics and completers/finishers in the audience, but at least one person in the audience is quite happy just admiring the changing patterns of all kinds.
The Gaps Between is a successful and highly polished performance of an ambitious and complex work. Sebastian Morgan-Lynch has a varied and strong theatrical CV (performer, composer, director, actor, sound designer, twice Chapman Tripp award winner), so you might expect all of the above – the polish, the complexity and also the success – but that still makes it an impressive achievement nonetheless.
A quick special mention here for his stage presence: he doesn’t say a word, but you don’t miss a wry smile or a raised eyebrow. Congratulations are also due to Tim Henwood for the video and operation, and to other performers and creators, Robin Perks, Andrew Johns, Adrienne Morgan-Lynch, Daniel Lynch, Tara Lee and Jay Smith.
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