Sila, The Breath of the World Premieres at Queensland Conservatorium

Director and Queensland Conservatorium graduate Tim Munro

Pulitzer Prize winning composer John Luther Adams’ inspirational new work Sila, The Breath of the World will be given its Australian premiere in a special performance directed by Grammy-award winner Tim Munro on Saturday 5 September.

Eighty of the State’s finest young musicians from the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University will perform throughout the hallways and byways of the South Bank campus for the opening day celebrations of Brisbane Festival.

In the Inuit tradition, Sila is the spirit that animates all things — the wind, the weather, and all forces of nature.

According to Director and Queensland Conservatorium graduate Tim Munro, this 70-minute work will be a special sonic adventure for each audience member.

“Sila is more than a piece of music,” he says.

“This unique event will transform the Queensland Conservatorium into a giant, breathing musical sculpture, one that evokes the wide, open Alaska landscapes in Brisbane.

“Audience members create their own journey through the piece, walking among the 80 musicians in winds, strings, brass, percussion and choir, to hear this work from multiple perspectives.

“John Luther Adams’ music grows out of ideas about our interactions with our own landscape, whether that is the natural world or the built environment,” he says.

“He describes the spirit of Sila as intelligence, consciousness, our awareness of the world, and it’s the world’s awareness of us.”

Tim, who is based in the United States where he is part of the three-time Grammy-winning ensemble Eighth Blackbird, will touch down in Australia on 25 August to start work with the 80 students in preparation for the national premiere.

“I’m particularly excited to work with the talented young instrumentalists from my alma mater, to stretch them to listen and play in a different way, and to give them their first experience with the music of this visionary composer,” he says.

Sila, The Breath of the World
6pm, Saturday 5 September, 2015
Foyer, Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University
140 Grey Street, South Bank

“Alluring, mystical…” New York Times
“Giving voice to an environment, gently amplifying what the world might be trying to say.” Washington Post
“A marvellous cocoon of shared experience, and silky, ethereal layers of sound.” NPR

Watch the world premiere of Sila at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York.