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AIRWAVES: 100 Years of Radio Wrap Up

Photography by Tom Vu

On April 17 at The Princess Theatre, two of Australia’s finest contemporary music ensembles – Topology and Loops – joined forces to celebrate the centenary of public radio broadcasting in Australia with a performance of AIRWAVES: 100 Years of Radio

“Airwaves: 100 Years of Radio was a unique and overwhelming presentation which should be compulsory for all, given the benefits of hindsight in viewing a retrograde history. The cleverly sculpted musical accompaniment was delivered with skill and imagination, fulfilling Topology’s mission to unleash creativity,” Dr Gemma Regan, Limelight.

Photography by Tom Vu
Pictured (left to right): Robert Davidson, Bernard Hoey, Therese Milanovic, Christa Powell, John Babbage, Jamie Clark, Jonathan Dimond, John Parker

Composed by Robert Davidson, Jonathan Dimond and Jamie Clark, AIRWAVES begins its musical journey in 2001 before rewinding back through 100 years of radio history, all the way to Guglielmo Marconi’s first wireless broadcast across the Atlantic Ocean in December 1901. 

Audiences watched in awe as the voices of political leaders, humanitarian heroes and controversial figures such as Bill Clinton, Princess Diana, Albert Einstein, Virginia Woolf, Martin Luther King, Adolf Hitler, Gandhi, Winston Churchill, Amelia Earhart, a very young Queen Elizabeth II, and many others were transformed into song while a tumultuous century of world events unfolded in front of them. 

“Topology and Loops have created a retrospective, enriched with music which will not only stand the test of time, but will have you questioning your own place in it,” Gloria Wallace, Westender.

Photography by Tom Vu

Celebrating both the medium of radio and key events of the last century, AIRWAVES saw Topology and Loops perform music inspired by and featuring some of the most important speeches and broadcasts of our time. Working directly from the inherent melodic qualities within the speeches, the music and recordings weave together to create ‘voice portraits’. 

“The music was evocative but never overstated, which made the voice sketches all the more powerful and the performance was complemented by seamless archival footage,” Gillian Wills, InReview.

Onstage, the eight artists of Topology and Loops conjured a musical world of strings, saxophone, double bass, guitar, trombone, tabla, piano and drums around these iconic speeches, accompanied by evocative visuals and lighting design. 

“I was excited to perform Airwaves again,” explains Topology’s Christa Powell, “Loops are incredible musicians and it was lots of fun playing with them again. It is also fantastic to add their sound world to the Topology line up. I am thrilled we could celebrate another radio centenary. ABC Radio has been a huge part of my life as I am sure it is with most Australians. Listening to the radio never gets old – it is one of the few timeless mediums we have and it is definitely worth celebrating.”

Thank you to Boyds Piano Shop, who have been supplying Topology with quality pianos for over 25 years. Topology Inc receives funding from Creative Australia through the Australian Cultural Fund and from the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland. 

Photography by Tom Vu


Want to read more? Find reviews of AIRWAVES: 100 Years of Radio below!

In Review


Limelight Arts