Musical Drama

Australian band Deep Blue will present a cocktail of orchestra and theatrics

During a Deep Blue show, at any given time on stage, there are 15-25 performers playing violins, violas, cellos, guitars, drums, keyboards and theremins. Every now and then, people on stilts or a unicycle make their way across the stage even as visual projections on a big screen flash in accordance with the music.

A group from Brisbane, Australia, Deep Blue was formed in 2005 as an attempt to make orchestra fun again. "We wanted to breathe life into a genre that had ossified a bit," explains Greta Kelly, the band's violinist and manager. They, however, choose to call themselves part band, part orchestra and part theatre. Having played in Australia and Asia before, Deep Blue made its India debut with performances in Delhi and Ahmedabad. The band will play at Blue Frog, Lower Parel, on Wednesday evening.

While ordinarily orchestras are synonymous with conductors, Deep Blue chose to be unconventional. "It was a conscious decision to 'sack' the conductor and memorise the music so we could remove the barriers between the musician and audience," says Kelly. The music ranges from a mix of classical orchestral pieces to remixes of some current pop songs. For instance, a single show may have a combination of music by Italian violinist and composer of Baroque music Arcangelo Corelli, English rock band Radiohead and Deep Blue originals. These, however, are performed with theatrics. "One of our originals by Dane Alexander (a member of the band), called Alien, begins with an empty stage and climaxes with performers getting random electric shocks. We all die a slow death in the final bars," says Kelly.

Initially, the band would invite audience members to suggest songs during the performance via SMS. Now, it has a mobile phone 'app' for song requests and feedback.

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