The Risk of Hyperbole

Music, dance and visual art oscillate and converge in The Risk Of Hyperbole, the debut interdisciplinary performance work by composer/director Jack Prest. Created in collaboration with dancer/choreographer Azzam Mohamed and visual artists Joe Wilson and Chanelle Collier, Hyperbole is at once a music recital, dance performance and art exhibition.

In taking the lead role Prest breaks the status quo of performance using the score to drive the work, setting the pace, the tone and defining the structure. Written in collaboration with some of Australia’s top contemporary and classical musicians, the score combines techno, hip-hop, ambient, experimental electronic and neo classical styles, into a progressive sonic vision.

Wilson and Collier present a series of artworks, refashioned from vintage camping tents and emblazoned with hand printed symbols that celebrate sound, object and movement. These artworks are installed live on-stage in an alternate form of set building that transforms process into performance. This literally sets the stage for Mohamed who brings the excitement of street dance and the dynamics of freestyle into a contemporary choreographic context.

The performance features a live music ensemble with Claire Edwardes, Jason Noble and Benjamin Freeman joining Prest, Mohamed, Wilson and Collier live on stage.

This is a new performance work commission by Phoenix Central Park and represents a bold new step for the venue as it continues to establish itself as a home for progressive work across all performance art forms.

Stream or download the album, The Risk of Hyperbole Vol. I here

View 10 minute video showreel here

Full show video (1 hour) embedded below. Your experience will be greatly enhanced by using good quality headphones or audio system, rather than your computer’s speakers. Seriously, it’s worth the effort!

 

Review

Video Premiere: Jack Prest “The Risk Of Hyperbole” (

Australian composer Jack Prest has explored a lot of different ground in the last decade, but it all comes together stunningly on this performance of his multi-disciplinary piece, The Risk of Hyperbole. Premiered near the end of 2021 at Phoenix Central Park in Sydney. As a movement in three parts – sound, object, and movement – The Risk of Hyperbole goes through multiple shifts and covers many different styles and genres. It’s an expansive piece of work, as immersive as it is engaging and always storming forward.

Prest is joined by clarinetist Jason Noble, percussionist Claire Edwards, and pianist Benjamin Freeman to perform the sonic components of this multi-media piece. Synth arpeggios drift along emotive drones with field recordings woven throughout before exploding into more rhythmic, pop-infused spaces. Prest’s compositional excellence is on full display in the details adding new levels of richness to the sweeping soundscapes.

As The Risk of Hyperbole moves into its second act, artists Joe Wilson and Chanelle Collier assemble a series of striking artworks that celebrate sound, object, and movement and serve as a beguiling backdrop for the fireworks ahead. As the pulsing rhythm takes over, so does Sudanese artist and dancer Azzam Mohamed. His movements are hypnotizing, moving in conjunction with Jason Noble’s wildering clarinet runs to add an air of magic and whimsy. Throughout, it’s impossible to look away from Mohamed’s movements as he engages us with a generous approach.

How Prest connects the various, differing movements of The Risk of Hyperbole is special. Wilson and Collier return to the stage, adding and subtracting pieces to simultaneously alter focal points and change backdrops. Edwards is fantastic throughout adding texture and drama, but her vibraphone sorcery in the last section is incredible. For his part, Prest’s trumpet passages are emotive as they land, setting it up for the triumphant finale of anthemic catharsis. Mohamed continues to spin magic until the final moments when The Risk of Hyperbole takes its last round. It’s an incredible, massive performance from beginning to end.

The Risk Of Hyperbole was commissioned by Phoenix Central Park, supported by The Australia Council for the Arts and Create NSW and produced by Intimate Spectacle.

An LP edition of The Risk Of Hyperbole – Vol​.​1 – Sound is also available from Prest and has been on regular rotation here at Foxy Digitalis HQ. I recommend checking it out and picking up a copy.

About the artists

Jack Prest

Jack Prest is a mid career arts professional working as composer, mix/master/recording engineer and interdisciplinary artist. His practice incorporates, electronic, avant-garde and ambient music, sound art, new media, video and performance. The Risk Of Hyperbole is his debut full-length performance work as lead artist and director. He holds apposition as a senior engineer at Studios 301, Australia’s most prestigious recording facility and performance works for which he has composed original scores, have featured at: Dance Massive, Sydney Festival, Darwin Festival, Bleach Festival, Sydney Opera House, Adelaide Festival, Brisbane Festival, APAM, Carriageworks, Next Wave, Junction Festival, Queenstown Arts Festival.

Jack created the score for Branch Nebula’s 2013 Helpmann Award winning Whelping Box and in 2018 was nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Independent Dance at the Australian Dance Awards for Nick Power’s Between Tiny Cities. Building on his success in Australia his works have engaged international audiences with touring to international festivals and events including: La Place (France), Compagnie par Terre (France), Freespace (Hong Kong), and for Between Tiny Cities toured by Intimate Spectacle toured to venues in Cambodia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Germany, Netherlands, Austria, Hungary, Spain & UK, including festivals such as ImPulzTanz (Vienna), Sziget Festival (Budapest), Tanz Im August (Berlin), Hong Kong Arts Festival, Georgetown Festival (Malaysia), and most recently Breakin’ Convention (Sadlers Wells, London), Belfast International Festival and Norfolk & Norwich Festival.

Jack’s engineering credits feature prominent artists and labels in both the Australian and International markets: Sony, Future Classic, Stones Throw, Kitsune, Wondercore Island, La Sape, OSLWA (Nest), Bruce Springsteen, The Preatures, Sampa The Great, Kool Keith, Flume, What So Not, Action Bronson, Urthboy, Tasman Kieth, David Campbell, Delta Goodrum, Jonti, Santpoort, Anatole, Donatachi and Godtet.

 

Joe Wilson and Chanelle Collier

Joe Wilson and Chanelle Collier are an Australian collaborative love team working within and outside art gallery, and institution programs. They incorporate textile, imagery, object, and sound into a conceptually driven visual arts practice. Their work playfully incorporates the process of its making, presentation, and administration. Wilson and Collier have collaborated since 2015; with career highlights including: two-time residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts, FR, 2018 and 2019; awarded a Create NSW Artist Grant, 2021; Visual Art Fellowship Emerging finalists, 2021, with Artspace. Upcoming: Bundanon Artist Residency, 2022; and Fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center, USA, 2022.

 

Azzam Mohamed

Azzam Mohamed, also known as Shazam, is a dancer, performer, and educator. He has been dancing for more than 13 years, and has trained in an array of different dance styles, from traditional cultural African dances like Afro-House and Kuduro to street dance styles such as HipHop, Popping and House. In 2019 he was champion of Destructive Steps – Australia’s premiere street dance competition, and in 2020, he was invited back to judge the Hip Hop category of that competition.

As an educator, he taught classes at Sydney’s major universities such as UTS, UNSW, and USYD. Additionally, he has been invited to conduct a weekend intensive at Dubbo Ballet Academy and the Australian Dance festival in 2018, he was also invited to conduct Afro-fusion dance workshops in Malaysia and Singapore in 2019. As a performer, he took part in a contemporary and street dance crossover production with Riddim Nation commissioned by Sydney and Adelaide Festivals in 2020 – Two Crews, choreographed by Nick Power. He also choreographed and perform his solo work Me, Myself, I for Out of Iso, a series of short dance works presented by Intimate Spectacle at 107 Projects. The Risk Of Hyperbole is his first full-length work as solo performer and choreographer.