While You Sleep

An aural and visual excursion into both the musical fugue and the psychological ‘fugue state’, While You Sleep unites string quartet, piano, electronics, video and animation in a surreal counterpoint of music, movement and image where nothing is quite as it seems. Exploring flight, escape, memory and dissociation, While You Sleep is both contrapuntal experiment and escape from the present. Embracing the elaborate complexity of the musical fugue – where a phrase is introduced by one instrument and then taken up by others – the work weaves gesture, design, light and immersive visuals. Hand-drawn animation, live action, video and stop-motion are choreographed alongside the musicians on the stage. Alluding to experiences that prompt the fugue state’s loss of self, While You Sleep dives into memory, uncertainty and our own delicate, repeated patterns of behaviour. Dark, subtle, surprising and moving, While You Sleep deftly probes the uncertain landscapes between grief and identity, reality and illusion. 

This work was supported by The Australia Council for the Arts, The City of Melbourne through ArtsHouse, and The Besen Family Foundation