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Exploring the waterfront

29 Oct 2013

Exploring the waterfront Image

A new arts participation project in Docklands will highlight the waterways and invite people to experience Melbourne as a waterfront city.

5 Short Blasts is an audio-based project, which focuses on the weather, industry, vessels and habitation in and around the docks.

Sound-music artists Madeleine Flynn and Tim Humphrey have collaborated to create the project.

According to the pair, in maritime operations communicating by a signal of five short blasts means “I am unsure of your intentions. I am concerned we are going to collide”.

“As a title, 5 Short Blasts evokes a sense of mystery and unknown about Melbourne’s water culture,” the pair explained.

Ms Flynn and Mr Humphrey have spent the past 18 months researching aspects of maritime life and conducted over 40 interviews with people connected with Melbourne’s waterways.

The interviews make up the soundtrack to the work, which involves a flotilla of five vessels taking a one-hour choreographed listening journey through the Port of Melbourne and along the Yarra River.

Each boat will be fitted with a “sound esky” featuring a VHF marine radio that monitors weather broadcasts and vessel traffic from the Melbourne Vessel Traffic Service.

Passengers will also encounter the waterways community carrying out their day-to-day waterside activities such as fishing, rowing, semaphore and paddling.

City of Melbourne’s Arts Participation Program produced the project, with support from Port of Melbourne Corporation.

Councillor Rohan Leppert said 5 Short Blasts allowed people to engage with the city from a different perspective.

“This unique production shows us that Melbourne really is a waterfront City,” Cr Leppert said.

“5 Short Blasts expands our view of Melbourne and reveals an almost hidden world on the water.”

5 Short Blasts will run from November 22 until December 15 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings.

It’s free to take part in one of the journeys, but bookings are essential as spaces are limited.

To book visit http://www.trybooking.com/64695

5 Short Blasts can also be experienced by tuning into Tower Radio 89.5FM during the performance times. The sound installation will be broadcast over a 30-kilometre radius from the old harbour master tower at Northwharf.

Additionally, people can take part in a live online experience via a camera connected to one of the vessels by visiting http://www.5shortblasts.com.au during performance times.

The performance times are; Fridays from 6am and 7.30am; Saturdays from 8am and 9.30am; and Sundays from 9am and 10.30am.

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