Beckett on Vinyl - Watt next?

Date: 12/12/2002

Electronic art and live performances will meld with the music of some of Sydney's hottest DJs in a new artistic production to coincide with the 2003 Sydney Festival Beckett International Symposium.

Beckett on Vinyl is a joint project between the School of Contemporary Arts within the University of Western Sydney (UWS) and the James Joyce Foundation, and borrows heavily on the central themes and messages conveyed in the works of author and playwright Samuel Beckett.

Artistic director Clara Mason says the Beckett novel Watt has been the inspiration for the event, with DJ electronic and live performances celebrating 'between the phrases' as the defining entity of Beckett's work.

"The event will explore the futility of the rationalist principles asserted in Watt, when life is in a constant state of flux," Ms Mason says.

"Access to the night sky at the Mortuary Station in Regent Street next to Sydney's Central Railway Station will enable telescopes and projectors to unfold 'heavenly bodies', providing a threshold to Beckett, the writer 'who has taken us by the hand and led us into the universe'.

"Watt begins and ends in a railway station and focuses on a character with no fixed address and no fixed identity who is forever coming and going," she says.

"Beckett confronts us with transition as our permanent resting place," Ms Mason says "so a mortuary railway station is a perfect location and also enables us to enjoy one of Sydney's most wonderful buildings. The venue was once the main exit point for coffins awaiting burial in Rookwood Cemetery," Ms Mason says.

Beckett on Vinyl will also feature video and audio installations from some of the University's Fine Arts students and graduates.

"DJs have sampled notable speeches, including those from US Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, to highlight the contemporary relevance of Beckett's existential exploration of illusion and uncertainty, " Ms Mason says.

Beckett on Vinyl will be held between sunset and sunrise on various dates in January to link in with the phases of the Moon, another dominant theme in the novel Watt.

"It's a unique event, adding another dimension to the Beckett Symposium and public lecture, co-ordinated by UWS, and takes the themes of Beckett into the very vibrant 'dance party' culture of Sydney," Ms Mason says.

"We hope Beckett on Vinyl will allow a direct primal experience to Watt which Beckett himself said 'must be presented evoking these larger cosmic forces'. The event can be enjoyed for a few hours after sunset but people will be encouraged to wait together for the new dawn."

What: Beckett on Vinyl
When: Sunset to Sunrise
January 4, 6, 10 and 18, 2003
Where: Mortuary Station
55 Regent Street, Sydney (next to Central Station).
Cost: $15. Tickets available at Ticketek, Central Station, Red Eye, So Music, Sound Waves, Reach'n Records.

Performers/DJ's include:
Drew Bickford, Bozena Bionek, Peter Charuk, Dark Network, Deep Child, Ben Denham, Escribeel, Terry Hayes, Carl Henwood, Hired State, Jemima Ibester, Marius Jastkowiak, Angelina Luckett, Gina MacAuley, Tim Ryan, SKAN, Sub Bass Snarl, Effie Vourie, Kazumichi Grime and the Fat Controller.

For more information, contact:
Clara Mason, Artistic Director, Beckett on Vinyl. Ph. 02-9555 2540 (w) or 0418 618 741

Angela McIntyre, Senior Media Officer, University of Western Sydney. Ph
02-9852 5822 (w) or 0419 244 595