Saturday, Aug. 31 – AQurld Waves – premier of St. Louis’ first underwater concert!

by admin

AQurld Waves
Saturday, Aug. 31
Webster University Pool 

 Aqurld Waves was attended by a record -breaking audience for both Hearding Cats, and The Webster Rec. Center. Obviously a crowd of that magnitude challenges the artists and crew.  In spite of the challenges (which included a 1 hr thunderstorm safety delay) the performance happened flawlessly. Thank you all for true grace under fire. 

But my most fervent thanks are to the AUDIENCE . You folks were awesome; by turns, orderly & enthusiastic, patient (whew!) and eager. St louis ROCKS the avant garde  and roughly 400 of you proved it last night!

Bravo to ALL!

-Mike Murphy, president Hearding Cats Artists Collective

HEARding Cats Collective, is excited to present the premier of AQurld Waves, the City’s first underwater concert and multimedia arts experience produced exclusively by HEARding Cats Collective. The event is free and open to the public.

AQurld Waves was made possible through the generosity of Regional Arts Commission’s Innovation Grant program. Audience members will need to bring a swimsuit for the full experience. Floating devices will be provided so that they can hear the music underneath the water and see the video on and above the water.  People wishing to stay dry are also welcome.

Patrons experience a live underwater concert from an ensemble that’s both in and out of the water as Webster University pool becomes a theatre of the senses. According to Artistic Director, Rich O’Donnell, “Floating in the water focuses all your attention on the sensation of your gravity-free body, the aquatic acoustics of the water, and the lens shifting magic of the video projection on the water. The experience is like nothing else…not a swimming party with music and video but a deep experiential encounter with art.”

Along with the instrumental creations, the soundscape will also include samples of aquatic wildlife, such as seals and whales, played back naturally.  Special instruments and devices have been created specifically to resonate under water for the concert by O’Donnell, who will be performing on them with Ted Rubright.  Analog synthesists Mike Murphy and Kevin Harris will enhance the event with their sonic creations – piped into the water with submersible speakers.

Complimenting the music, new abstract video work created by Webster University Professor of Electronic and Photographic Media and Guggenheim Grant Recipient, Van McElwee in collaboration with Zlatko Cosic will be projected onto the surface of the water and a wall mounted screen. Images created by McElwee for this performance will be mixed live by Cosic in an improvised dialogue with the musicians. Finally, tai chi players Anna Lum, LeRoy Alsup and Nicholas Alsup will liquefy their bodies; energy trails enhanced by the lights of Bryan Erdmann.

This resulting juxtaposition of experiences – above and below the water – natural and manipulated sounds – audio and video – challenges audience members to concentrate on the variety of ways stimuli (in this case, sound, light, and movement) are both created and perceived.  There is a beautiful world of sound beneath lakes, rivers, and oceans; some of it we can hear – some we cannot – but mostly we aren’t listening.  It is this reality to which AQurld Waves hopes to bring awareness – pay attention to the world around you – there are strange and wonderful surprises everywhere.