Commissioned by TURA New Music’s No Borders program, Upstream, Down River is a mixed media exploration of part of Hilary Geddes’ childhood spent growing up on the Murrumbidgee River.
Hilary Geddes at Venue 505. Photo © Peter Woodbury
The show opens with the relevant Welcome to Country and acknowledgments of the traditional owners of that region and the land on which the Sydney venue is built. Geddes explains that she has recorded a series of live atmospheric recordings to accompany her solo guitar performance, which serves to score projected video footage of a boat ride along a verdant green river.
Using delay and reverb-soaked Telecaster, Geddes adds space to the widescreen visuals – a snaking journey through mangroves and waterways. Her tone shimmers and drifts as the boat charts a lazy journey past waterfalls, through a silt-green river that runs under huge stone cliffs lined with thick foliage. It’s a hypnotic atmosphere, and we really begin to appreciate the waterway for the immense, wild spectacle that it is. Geddes uses her delay and looping pedal to play around a four-note figure, stretching...