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The West Australian

28th June 2021

When the concert program offers post-care practitioners for body, mind and spirit, there’s more than music afoot.

The first performance by the En coda Symphony Orchestra, under conductor Mark Coughlan and artistic director Tenille Bentley, combined world music and classical influences in the splendour of Montgomery Hall on Sunday.

Masked figures moved around the auditorium, some lying on yoga mats, others more conventionally seated, as a 14-piece string ensemble played atmospheric accompaniment composed by WAAPA’s Stuart James to songs written and sung by Bentley and January Kultura, punctuated by crystal digeridoo from Julian Silburn.

Silburn opened with darkly resonant tones vibrating through the air and fabric of the building, answered by bass, cello and viola in a gradually swelling theme, both environmental and musical.

Strings seemed to echo Mahler’s “music from beyond” while voices channelled ancestral cries and chants, a steady repeated drum channelling a heart beat, for Bentley’s Delicate Warrior – a paradox crafted around the feminine in all people.

Bentley and January added the resonance of crystal bowl, African gourd and Indian shruti — a form of harmonium — and two-tone throat singing, while Silburn also chimed in on Italian gong.

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