Review: AquaSonic

An underwater concert? Sure!

When attending an underwater performance it’s hard to know what to expect. The Danish collective promises an “extraordinary original experience”, and it does not disappoint. With mystifying scenes of musicians submerged in water, playing melodies that deliver a range of genre that go from haunting your dreams to a tranquil moment of bliss, this production challenges the realms of possibility in music and performance arts.

The introduction sets the tone for the remainder of the evening with a curious and suspenseful approach.

The theater’s lights fall to complete darkness and the chatter from the audience grows to silence. The sound of water begins to ripple into the room.

With hearing being the only sense activated, the sound begins to lure the audience in. Through the obscurity a light shines, then two lights, but only enough to see the light itself. As the silhouette of large water tanks appear on stage so do the musicians inside them. It is no longer just water we are hearing but the abstract compilation of underwater instruments.

Targeting the senses is a clear objective of the production team. Sensory function is reduced in particular scenes (hearing and sight), but this is used to maximise the sensory experience of operating one sense at a time. Billboards, adverts, music and everything in between constantly compete for and bombard our senses everyday. AquaSonic succeeds in showcasing the simplistic beauty of how a single sense can display artistic nuance and send shivers rappelling down your spine.

The audience is connected with these performers from the very beginning. Every breath taken before plunging into the water is one the audience takes alongside them. The synchronisation and unity between each tank produces visions and sounds of what can only be described as otherworldly.

Songs being sung without definitive words, most-likely because they’re underwater, strings being strung into song lines and percussionists keeping time with their rhythm. This is usually something we applaud musicians for on dry land but when it is performed with the obstacle of water, it deserves nothing less than a standing ovation.

By Jonathan Pettit