Lyle Chan’s String Quartet: An AIDS Activist’s Memoir

ASL interpretation has been booked for this even.

Please arrive early, as the event will begin promptly at 7:00pm with no intermission.

This new work by acclaimed Australian composer Lyle Chan, is a visceral musical portrait of the peak of the epidemic. Between 1991-1996, Chan and fellow activists couriered AIDS treatments from the US that were unavailable in Australia, fiercely lobbied federal government to approve experimental treatments more quickly, and collaborated with drug companies to design clinical trials of promising new treatments. During those years, Chan writes, “I’d given up music to be an activist. But a composer is always a composer. I still sketched a lot of music. The music were my diaries, a way of writing down feelings. As a composer I think of music as the sound that feelings make.” Performed by the Acacia String Quartet and narrated by Chan himself, the 90-minute work is a tour-de-force of emotionally powerful music, containing portraits of famous activist friends now dead, and unusual effects like the use of police whistles to recall street demonstrations by ACT UP, the direct action protest group of which Chan was a core member. Artist talkback to follow.

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