Chloe Chung on BIG BLUE

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Dream Box Collective artists rehearse: Pavle Cajic, Jolin Jiang and Chloe Chung.

Today, I will be ‘attending’ a very unique, ‘collaborative’ concert between marine conservation organisation TANGAROA BLUE & @dreambox_collective. It’s over Zoom, and it’s called BIG BLUE.

So what is Dream Box Collective all about?

Enter Chloe Chung, artistic director.

So, Dream Box Collective is performing over Zoom! Does this mean you have you been practising over Zoom?

Yes, our concert this Sunday is being held in the Zoom kingdom – though the music has been prerecorded in various locations throughout Sydney. In the meeting, we will be sharing a link to an unlisted YouTube video after meeting the artists *live* over zoom, and watch together! This was the best way we felt we could deliver the highest quality of audio-visual performance and ‘feeling of togetherness’ in the concert – especially so that we can have the presentation and interactive discussion by our guest speaker Mathilde Gordon, from Tangaroa Blue.

How did it happen that you guys partnered up with the marine conservation organisation?

Last year I performed a private house concert with PavleCajic (my partner) where we really started to play with the interactive elements of audience participation and playing with what would eventually become a prototype for this ‘big blue’ program. This included live improvisation, sharing some pictures, stories and poems – and donating part of the profits to Tangaroa Blue, which I liked because it was a community-led organisation that had simple and clear goals.

This year, I sent an email to them earlier as we wanted to collaborate with them from the beginning of the creative process. Heidi, the CEO, kindly did a zoom meeting for our entire collective (during lockdown) while she was in her car during a clean-up in Cape York. Then Tangaroa Blue helped us to host our own clean-up of Cooks River, where we collated and sorted the debris we found and added the data to the AMDI (Australian Marine Database Initiative).

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Dream Box Collective artists pictured sorting debris at Cooks River

What does an ‘interactive discussion’ look like in a Zoom concert?

Interactive in the sense that we actually want to have a chat and talk to our audience about their relationship with water, why it’s significant to all of us, and how we can care about it more. Our guest speaker Mathilde Gordon, who just finished an extensive clean-up event at Chilli beach, will be displaying some mysterious objects which they found – and we’ll be asking our guests to think about which corners of the earth these objects came from!

How did you guys meet/come together?

I founded Dreambox Collective in 2019 with a bunch of composers, musicians, artists and old friends that shared a common goal of wanting to create in-between spaces for music and social justice issues. We come together ‘in seasons’ – gathering a group of up to 4 composers, performers, and visual artists – and organise our various excursions, rehearsals, or ‘phone rehearsals’. I’m particularly grateful for a few key people behind-the-scenes who kindly volunteer their time outside their own full-time jobs – and also help us build bridges of connection with organisations beyond our networks.

Any further Zoom or even live performances planned? 

To be honest, the pandemic has really interrupted the way we originally designed our concert series – and pre-recording has taken a lot more time and resources to prepare! Instead of finishing the original two concerts left in our original 2020 program, we’ve decided to postpone our 2020 ideas, and hunker down and experiment with a different medium for the next concert – focusing on mental health – which we all feel needs to take front and centre right now. 

Quick Web Link Summary

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/australia-sydney/dreambox-collective-premieres-big-blue/974803766293875/

Ticket booking: https://www.thedreamboxcollective.com/event-details/big-blue-virtual-concert

Artists: Jolin Jiang, Brad Gill, Pavle Cajic, Ivan Zavada and Edward Essing.

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