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Sound and Fury: A bit of a wild party

Olivia Afiabo

Hear its sounds, witness its spectacle, allow its flavour to lap on your tastebuds, and become furiously inspired by all on offer.

For another year, Canberra will experience the expression, freedom, and intrigue of one of its largest arts festivals, Art, Not Apart.

Designed to set alight the precinct of New Acton and surrounding areas with cross-disciplinary works from a plethora of Canberra’s artists, Art, Not Apart is not just another art festival.

On the contrary, the very concept of art is challenged through the use of the term as a metaphor. The aim of the festival is to confront boundaries in art, and life, and surge through the city with inspiration from notions and ideas less explored.

This year, the theme of the festival is ‘Shake it Up.’ This means you can expect the art on show to confront the concept of contemporary art with which you may be familiar. The artists have been invited to explore and shift expectations, meaning attendees are sure to leave having experienced something truly unique.

Glitoris at Sound and Fury 2016

Glitoris at Sound and Fury 2016

While the program runs from 1pm to 7pm, when the sun goes down there’s plenty more to explore – or rather, experience – at Art, Not Apart’s official performance art after-party, Sound and Fury. Directed by Chenoeh Miller, the party will be a celebration and expression of music, theatre, dance, spoken word and live art.

“Sound and Fury is always a bit of a wild party,” says Chenoeh. “In the past we’ve never announced what’s on the program because we want people to know that they’ll be guaranteed a really wonderful time full of unexpected performance art.”

Art, Not Apart’s program features exhibitions, performance art, numerous music stages, interactive installations, strange interventions, film and projection, street food, and more; but when Sound and Fury kicks off it’s all about pushing the boundaries. While the Art, Not Apart program is largely all ages, Sound and Fury will be 18+, allowing adult only content.

Sound and Fury 2016

Sound and Fury 2016

“Through no fault of my own, Sound and Fury has become quite a debaucherous kind of night,” laughs Chenoeh. “When we had Glitoris perform last year, nearly all of the audience ended up with at least their shirts off, if not more. We just never know what to expect.”

Set in the intimate heritage listed surrounds of the National Film and Sound Archive, Sound and Fury is a party with an atmosphere set to envelop and mesmerise as guests are invited to drink in the performances, as well as literally drinking, with the bar serving a selection of beer, wine and cocktails. The change in venue (from the Nishi Gallery) will allow the party to grow to four times the normal size, which Chenoeh explains will allow Sound and Fury to really flex its muscles.

“This year, people will arrive to the NFSA and there will be cocktails and performances right from the beginning,” explains Chenoeh. “We kick off straight away into high-energy, vibrant entertainment and once the audience goes into the gallery space, there will be bands, music – basically entertainment happening everywhere, all the time.”

Glitoris perform at Sound and Fury 2016

Glitoris perform at Sound and Fury 2016

While the programming is kept close to the chest, we’re able to reveal that one of the performers will be none other than Yana Alana, the sultry cabaret performer who has previously featured at both the Sydney Festival and Melbourne Cabaret festival as well as internationally.

The 2017 theme for Sound and Fury is ‘Heart’, which Chenoeh explains is linked into the main festival, however, she says that over the years it’s developed a following of its very own.

Sound and Fury 2016

Sound and Fury 2016

“Sound and Fury is the after party, so we’re an entity unto ourselves. As a physical theatre director, it’s really important to me to thread together a really beautiful show. A massive part of that is the Sound and Fury ensemble, which was created five years ago at the first Sound and Fury. These six people host the audience on the night and keep the energy really high.”

Whether this will be your fifth year of surprise and delight at Sound and Fury or you’re intrigued enough to make it your first, Chenoeh is adamant you won’t be disappointed.

“We try to make every Sound and Fury completely unexpected and this year is no exception.”

the essentials

What: Sound and Fury – Art, Not Apart 2017’s official after party
When: Saturday 18 March from 7pm until late
Where: The National Film and Sound Archive Courtyard, McCoy Crescent, Acton
Tickets: From $10, purchase them here

HerCanberra are proud sponsors of Art, Not Apart 2017

All photography by Martin Ollman


Olivia Afiabo

Olivia grew up in Canberra before moving off to Wollongong to study creative writing at the University of Wollongong. After receiving a Bachelor’s of Creative Arts degree she returned to the Capital to pursue a career in writing and publishing. The first step in this journey has been interning at HerCanberra and, though she misses the beach, being back with family and old friends has been a welcome change. There’s nothing she loves more than reading, writing and watching football (the ‘no hands allowed’ variety). More about the Author