"Ancient modal melodies drift through the arched tunnels, accompanied by pulsations both human and electronic, voices swirl, strings sing. Then the suspended stream of sound splinters off into accents shot into the air, giving way to the ominous, continuous drips from the ceiling, reminding us that the water surrounding us is where we all came from and will ultimately go...." Alexandra Ivanoff Today's Zaman
The Medusa Ensemble came together under the conception and direction of Dr Ros Bandt to realise her site-specific electro -acoustic symphony for the Basilica Cistern in Istanbul Turkey. Bandt's work Medusa Dreaming was performed in 2010, and recorded for Australian ABC and Turkish TRT television and radio. The work is a call for recognition of Water Consciouness, a global issue.
The Basilica Cistern Yerebatan Sarnici is an underground water chamber built in in the 6th century located underground in the heart of the old city of Istanbul. Acoustically, it has the fascinating feature of having 300 small ampilfying domes which join each of its 300 stone columns. Echoing drops fall from the ceiling to the shallow water below where carp swim. In the chamber there are two intriguing stones, the carved heads of legendary snake-haired Medusa.
The North/South nature of the ensemble is an exciting connection as these forward thinking artists work together, exploring space and conceptual music as art.
It is fascinating to work with improvised music and environmental concepts. Somehow the vibration of sound can tap into Nature, and Nature can speak through our music. The end result is surprising even to us - rich with imagery and emotion - when we listen back to our combined sounds, we learn something new about what's really going on with the environment. It is both beautiful and alarming. There is something important to follow here.