a musical collaboration between


Once upon a time ...

"Once upon a time there was a planet called Earth. During many millions of years a rich, complex and beautiful ecosystem developed with an incredible variety of lifeforms. Over time one of the animal species in this ecosystem became dominant and their impact on the planet was so massive that many of the other species could no longer survive and became extinct. We take up the story during this extinction period, but the story is not told with words, as words have fallen on too many deaf ears for too long and people have stopped listening. The story is told through sound, through the voices of the animals themselves that are endangered. These animal calls speak directly to the heart in a way that words cannot. They are joined by one lone human voice, a voice of empathy, using no words but conversing and intertwining with the calls of the animals. There is no narrative, we already know most of the story, even if we choose to ignore it and don't know the ending. So this piece is a song for the Planet, an inter-species choral work, and they're singing for their lives! If their calls don't affect you then nothing will."

'Dangerous Song' is a performance piece that combines the human voice with the sounds of endangered and extinct animals to create an intriguing and moving musical performance. This musical collaboration between Linsey and Lizzie has created a new musical language with structured, yet very free improvisation at it’s core. It takes us to a world of sound where the human and the animal combine. A sort of sonic morphing. Linsey plays animal calls using a midi wind controller where breath, lip pressure and fingering control real animal call samples. He uses Live looping technology to instantaneously record layers of music as he plays. Lizzie joins him weaving her voice in and out of the musical landscape of animal sounds. 

LINSEY POLLAK - Lyrebird (live looping endangered animal calls using midi wind controller)





DANGEROUS SONG – BLUE (Linsey Pollak & Lizzie O’Keefe)
……… O’Keefe’s luminous singing is often dappled with a profound sadness that humanises what have could have been an ecologically well-meant but rather academic exercise. Pollak, a creative force in Australia for 40 years, brings a dazzling breadth of imagination to bear in using these elements to create instantly engaging pieces, in which organic and more electronic sounds intermingle and dance like a school of tropical fish about O’Keefe’s yearning soprano. An element of drifting playfulness is even allowed to aerate the waters on the delightful Anemone. - John Shand (Sydney Morning Herald music review)

Dangerous Song is sublime - “meditative”, “magnificent” and “sacred” were words spoken by so many. After the show, after the applause had died down, people didn’t move - a hushed reverence and feeling of transformation had taken over, and no one wanted to lose it. This is the most poignant, delicate and exceptionally beautiful work of art - a magical, empathetic, absorption into nature. Get there today if you can - this is genuinely world class. Congratulations Linsey, Lizzie, Bonnie & Jenny - this work deserves a very long and far-reaching season.
- Jacqueline Twigg
“Absolutely incredible!! So wonderful to see something so powerful, authentic and unique. It really touches my heart. Thank you so much for what you are doing.”
– Talara Blackwood (December 2016 World Premiere)
Linsey Pollak and Lizzie O’Keefe’s stunning performance is poised, professional, and powerful.
The lighting by Andrew Meadows is refined and pure. In the black box of the theatre and with both performers wearing black clothes, light shines the focus on faces and hands and instrument. It’s mesmerising. And then the eye of the whale appears as the sea and all its creatures wrap all around the performers. They appear in the midst of so many projections of macro- and micro-cosms across the elements of land and sea and sky. Bone-like, unknown micro creatures contrast with the crawling of spiders; a medicine wheel, dreamcatcher of flora slowly decomposes and then the universe of stars circles around the song; fish are replaced with the stranger beauty of plastic bags and sobs rack out across the theatre. It’s a moment of infinite sadness that is replaced by the accusing gaze of a close relative; Linsey and Lizzie’s faces are positioned in its eyes; and the performance finishes under the soundscape of the crested gibbon.
There is hope, perhaps, that such spellbinding depth and consummate sharing of this song of the earth, will change our human priorities back to a connection with this fragile world and all its inhabitants. That we might become prepared to reject the wealth of economics for the deeper richness of the many valued creatures of this planet.
- review by Tamsin Kerr (Director of Cooroora Institute)
This event was not about the musician’s or singer’s technique, though both were masterful, or the audience as mere spectators. This experience was a joint exploration of our relationship with the natural world. The power of the merging of the human and animal cries had a visceral effect on all of us. Looking around at one time I could see that many of us had closed our eyes and moved into a meditative state to live for that moment totally present to the music.
Lizzie’s pure tones and harmonics, sometimes through delicious dissonance, bridged the natural world and brought us to the heart of the disappearing life on our planet: a conduit more direct than any lecture or documentary. Linsey’s echoing and playful juggling of bird and animal cries, closely partnering with Lizzie’s vocals, connected us directly with the drama of extinction. What follows from this connection is an expansion of our consciousness around this issue.
It is amazing how many sounds stay with you: wolf, frog, cockatoo, macaw, whale, seal, gorilla. Their cries are cries for help, yet the beauty of the sound they set free in the world is a wonderful thing to be celebrated and makes their disappearance even more heart rending.
- Jude Pippen PhD - Artsworker - 25th July 2015
Honestly that was one of the most unique and beautiful shows II have ever been too. It was a true privilege to see it live and up close. This should go global!
- Sam Manger 28/2/16