Research Background: The Flood was a collaborative promenade music theatre work staged by the Northern Rivers Performing Arts (NORPA) and funded from several sources. Michael Hannan was the composer of the songs, instrumental interludes and some of the soundscapes. He also performed a ‘piano drowning’ sequence. The work was staged as a free outdoor progressive event at five different locations in the CBD of Lismore, NSW. CIs Michael Hannan and Paul Thom, and industry partner Lyndon Terracini, were funded for the development of the work by an ARC Linkage Project grant. Creative, performance and production elements were funded by an Australia Council grant.
Research Contribution: This 2-hour composition required musical arrangement for 6 actor/singers, choir, instrumental ensemble, percussion ensemble and movers. The music used conventional instruments and voices, but also employed specially commissioned experimental instruments. The work explored solutions to the problems of combining professional performers with community music groups and individuals.
Research Significance: The Flood was an ambitious, complex work that engaged research into staging outdoor, multi-location theatre works and articulation of practice-based arts projects. The arts research fed into an international conference and publication. Hannan published four articles on the artistic processes used, notably one in the A-ranked peer reviewed journal, Contemporary Music Review. The music was reviewed favorably by Realtime, a national arts publication supported by the Australia Council and by local media sources.
Hannan, MF 2004, Music for The Flood, sound recording.
The Flood 2004, NORPA (Northern Rivers Performing Arts) [Music theatre performance] First performed Lismore, on April 9 2004. Text by Janis Balodis, music by Michael Hannan, directed by Patrick Nolan, designed by Kathryn Sproul, lighting design by Bernie Tan, sound design by Colin Black, instrument builder Steve Langton, visual artist Craig Walsh.
A link is available here to a Realtime magazine review of The Flood. A Northern RIvers Echo archives article about The Flood, available here, includes an interview with the director and a favourable mention of Michael Hannan's musical contribution. Also available here is a Northern Rivers Echo archives event announcement about The Flood, with a favourable description of the music and soundscapes.