Ediacara

a window into deepest, primordial time

A new 60’ work composed by Constantine Koukias, currently in development, for piano and electronics with diverse media, inspired by the Ediacara fossils, Nilpena Station, South Australia.

“Anyone who has seen these fossils can only be awestruck.…They are a thing of great beauty..”

– Mary Lou Simpson
Chair, Flinders Ranges Ediacaran Foundation

Piano – Gabriella Smart
Music / Diverse Media – Constantine Koukias
Sound Design / Engineers – Donald Bate, Mischa Duncan te Pas

Ediacara is a collaboration between composer Constantine Koukias (AUS/NETH) and pianist Gabriella Smart (AUS). An immersive 60′ work for piano and diverse media, it is inspired by the discovery in the Flinders Ranges, South Australia, of one of the oldest life forms on the planet: the Ediacara, which lived over 550 million years ago. So unique are these fossils that geologists had to revise their timeline of the Earth’s history, identifying a new era called the Ediacaran period.

A deep silence pervades the fossil site, which is characterised by vast horizons, ancient hills and a primeval landscape originally shaped by sea. Scientists say the Ediacara fossils are the first animals; when smothered by sand, they were fossilised as mineral ‘death-mask imprints’. Other than bird sounds and the occasional aeroplane, this silence is primordial.

The sonic world of Ediacara reflects this vast landscape on the edge of the Australian desert. Koukias re-imagines a primordial sonic world with manipulated piano preparations and electronics to create sounds in cascading waves.

The piano as we know it is reinvented here, its resonance reflecting a haunting, fragile sound world. Koukias, who is critically acclaimed for his striking operatic visual designs, creates an immersive experience, with the pianist stimulating visual effects triggered through her live performance.

Ediacara is a visceral listening experience that can be performed indoors with staged lighting, or outdoors against chosen dramatic backdrops. Ediacara will premiere in the Totally Huge New Music Festival (Perth, Western Australia) on 21 August, 2020, with subsequent performances in Hobart and Adelaide in Australia as well as in The Netherlands.