21st Century Percussion

Take what you know about live music, and put a pin in it – this is like nothing you’ve seen before. Fluorophone, a production by Speak Percussion, will take over the Riverway Arts Centre with an unexpected mix of noise, lights and movement.

Fluorophone creates a kaleidoscopic sound world in which the central instruments radiate, flicker, glow and burn. Analogue and digital fluorescent lights, naked flames, strobe lights and custom-built LED discs are combined with percussion to create a performance in which the music and lighting design are one and the same. Fluorophone moves between noise, theatrical music and virtuosic instrumentalism, in a synesthetic display of light and sound, featuring specially commissioned works by a prominent team of leading composers.

Fluorophone will showcase five acts:

1. Damien Ricketson’s Rendition Clinic

Three percussionists take to the stage: two are paired with strobe lights while the third controls the flicker of the lights. The art comes in the sounds produced by the strobes, the interaction of the percussionists, and the rhythm of the light flashes: referencing the strobe’s ability of altering perceptions in settings such as night clubs.

2. Eugene Ughetti’s Pyrite Gland

The music in this performance is made by creating air and friction in a tom-tom drum using ribbed tubing and foot pumps. The tom-tom glows, inflates and moans alongside the whistle, sigh and pant of its accompanying instruments.

3. Simon Løffler’s b

The interaction of the percussionists with each other creates one single instrument. By interconnecting everything, a loose cable is passed along a circuit, and static electricity is transferred from body to body through touching.

4. Juliana Hodkinson’s Lightness

Lightness creates instruments out of matches themselves, amplifying them and giving them a grittier and heavier sound. “Light consumes the darkness that consumes the flame; the piece advances by hollowing out the darkness with small spades of destruction – constantly restarting itself from the last extinction.”

5. Simon Løffler’s e

This piece is an exploration of how a triangle can be used as a conductor as well as an instrument, fully exploring the sonic potential of static electricity that flows through the body.


We are firm believers in the fact that live performances are always lightyears better than any recordings of them, so we’re reserving our judgment until we’ve seen the show. Grab your tickets now, and stay tuned for a post-Fluorophone review!

Fluorophone has a limited run of shows in Townsville, with an evening and a morning show on the 14 and 15 March respectively. Tickets are available here.

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