TURA & WA MUSEUM Mesmerizing sound experiences

have teamed up with WA Museum Boola Bardip in the Perth Cultural Centre to present three mesmerizing sound experiences throughout August in the heritage-listed Hackett Hall and within the walls of the new museum.

The series begins with two free performances of the epic work Inner Cities, a five-hour piano cycle by American contemporary music maker Alvin Curran on Saturday, August 21 and Sunday, August 22 from 10am to 4pm. It will be performed by South Australian pianist Gabriella Smart, a multi-award-winning pianist specialising in classical and new music. It’s a slow listening experience, where audiences can come and go as they wish.

Gabriella Smart performing Inner Cities

During the performance patrons are free to wander, absorbing the different architectural and acoustic perspectives of the Museum’s space. As per other performances of Inner Cities, people are welcome to meditate, bring their yoga mat, or sit or lie down, as they control their own engagement with the artistic experience.

“My performance of Inner Cities is comprised of 11 of the existent 14 pieces. Alvin commenced number one in 1993 and as far as I know, is still writing,” Gabriella Smart said. “In this work the narrative unfolds over four and a half hours with the same visceral intensity as traveling through a desert landscape, revealed in all its beauty and brutality.”

Gabriella Smart in Primordial

On the back of her festival appearance at Illuminate Adelaide later this month, Gabriella Smart will also perform Primordial on Wednesday, August 25 in Hackett Hall – a 60-minute visceral listening experience re-enacting the shifting of tectonic plates that formed the Flinders Ranges.

A collaboration between Smart and Tasmanian composer and opera director Constantine Koukias, the work was inspired by a trip to the Ediacara fossils on the edge of the Australian desert in 2019, where he imagines the sound of several million years of shifting tectonic forces (as the first complex life form on earth emerged) through manipulated piano and electronics to create cascading waves of sound.

In this unique merging of science and sound the piano as we know it is reinvented. Smart pounds and caresses the piano cajoling beautiful and extraordinary sounds that are symbiotic with Koukias’ electronic score.

“A deep silence pervades the fossil site, which is characterised by vast horizons, ancient hills and a primeval landscape originally shaped by sea,” Smart says. “Scientists say the Ediacara fossils are the first animals; when smothered by sand, they were fossilised as mineral ‘death-mask imprints.’ Other than bird sounds and the occasional aeroplane, this silence is primordial.”

Koukias, who is now based in The Netherlands, is critically acclaimed for his striking operatic visual design. In Primordial he creates an immersive experience, with the pianist stimulating visual effects triggered through Smart’s live performance. The work premiered in Athens, Greece in August 2020.

The Necks

WA Museum Boola Bardip and Tura also present a special third edition of Aesoteric featuring acclaimed Australian icons, The Necks on Saturday, August 21 and Sunday, August 22 in Hackett Hall.

Perth audiences are invited to take a seat under the soaring skeleton of “Otto” the blue whale as The Necks perform two separate and completely original long-form improvisations over the course of the night. In a career spanning more than 30 years, The Necks have carved out a world-wide reputation of leaving audiences simultaneously transfixed and rejuvenated with their performances.

Check out the full event details below:

Inner Cities performed by Gabriella Smart
Presented by Tura and WA Museum Boola Bardip
When: Saturday, August 21 and Sunday, August 22, 10am to 4pm
Where: WA Museum Boola Bardip, Perth Cultural Centre

Aesoteric Ft. The Necks
Presented by WA Museum Boola Bardip and Tura
When: Saturday, August 21, 7pm and Sunday, August 22, 6pm
Where: Hackett Hall, WA Museum Boola Bardip
Cost: $50 (18+ event)

Presented by Tura and WA Museum Boola Bardip
When: Wednesday, August 25, 7:30pm
Where: Hackett Hall, WA Museum Boola Bardip
Cost: $15 student / $20 concession / $30 general admission

Tura and WA Museum Boola Bardip will present Inner Cities, Aesoteric ft The Necks and Primordial from Saturday, August 21 until Wednesday, August 25. For more info head to