Music is in everything. When a leaf falls from a tree, it traces a sine pattern as it descends. That pattern is, literally, a musical rhythm common to everything, if you break things down sufficiently to see it.
Shugorei, experimental music duo from Meanjin/Brisbane, are collaborating with The Australian School of Kung Fu and Tai Chi, to draw out latent musical rhythms in Chinese kung fu forms. Kung fu, an ancient fighting art, may be practised solo. These pre-set movements are known as forms. A practitioner may use a form not merely for fight training, but as exercise, as meditation, or simply as a way of appreciating the body in motion.
Shugorei are accustomed to finding music in unusual places. For their first album, Shugorei (2021), the duo recorded hundreds of bricolage sources, manipulating these sounds electronically and melding them with percussion and synthesizers, resulting in a unique texture, sitting somewhere between IDM and classical music. In 2023, they found their source not in sound-making objects, but instead in the physical motions of Chow Gar.
Five forms have been captured cinematographically, and this cinema is accompanied by musicians live on stage, who precisely match the rhythms of the kung fu down to the finest detail. Additionally, the story of a Meanjin/Brisbane family is told – a family with a vivid history who have not only practiced but evolved a unique style of Chinese Kung fu: Chow Gar.
The premiere is taking place at the Queensland Conservatorium, for one night only.
Event date: Friday 16 February 2024
Venue: Ian Hanger Recital Hall (QLD Conservatorium)
Watch the Promo Video Here