Sydney Festival: Polar Force

Field recordings from Antarctica are combined with live percussion in this immersive, visceral sound performance.

You might not ever get the chance to visit Antarctica, but this experimental sound performance is as close as it gets. Coming to Sydney Festival from Friday January 6 to Sunday January 8, 2023, Polar Force is a multi-sensory performance that combines Antarctic field recordings with live industrial percussion.

The show takes place within an inflatable performance space, enclosing the environment to mimic the feeling of being in a temporary shelter. Academic and award-winning sound artist Philip Samartzis captured the sounds of a 100-knot blizzard, sea ice and glaciers, which were then augmented by bespoke musical instruments made to manipulate pressurised air, water and ice.

Audiences are transported to a place of extremes, unclear whether these sounds are sinister, scientific or cerebral. This uneasiness asks us to examine our own relationship with the natural world, feeling the insignificance and fragility of humanity against extreme weather conditions. The experiences of climate change are hard to overlook, and global geopolitical tensions are also referenced throughout this visceral performance.

As much as Polar Force exposes one of the most intense environments on the earth, it also explores the complex beauty of the coldest, windiest and driest continent.

Performances of Polar Force will be held at Carriageworks as part of Sydney Festival. Find more information and buy tickets.

Broadsheet is a proud media partner of Carriageworks.

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