Review: FREQUENCIES as part of FOLDA

by Lynn on June 13, 2021

in The Passionate Playgoer

Streaming as part of FOLDA (Festival of Live Digital Arts) June 9-13.


Written by Aaron Collier with Stewart Legere and Francesca Ekwuyasi

Directed by Ann-Marie Kerr

Composed and sound design by Aaron Collier

Costume designer, Emyln Murray

Digital Designers, Matthew Downey and MacKenzie Cornfield

Cast: Aaron Collier

VR Driver, Sylvia Bell

Frequencies is both an homage to the boundless imagination technology affords a curious, creative mind and a heart-squeezing story of love, longing and grieving for someone you never knew. In both cases the creator and story teller is Aaron Collier.

Early in the storytelling there appears to be static and a disruption in the sound. This is deliberate. Aaron Collier works a computer console, turning nobs and dials to create the sound and ‘noise’ that is appropriate.

Initially he wanted to harness the frequencies in nature and translate them into music. He also wanted to explore time and how it was relative. He used bees as an example. He created the thrum of the sound of bees, subtle, slight, eye-brow-raising—something you don’t usually think about, now is in the centre of our curiosity. He wanted to show some magic in the show. But mostly he wanted tell his story and that of his family. Aaron Collier offered that it was possible to miss a person he never met. He was mysterious about that person, but it comes clear gradually. Aaron Collier has such a soft, mellifluous voice and a graceful way of telling a story, you are rapt with attention. The addition of such creative technological invention makes your eye pop with amazement.

He was born in the winter of 1981. A circle of light forms in front of him A small ball of ‘light’ is situated in one of the circles of light. Another ribbon of colour formed inside the circle first white (for winter), then green (for spring), then colourful flowery (for summer) then browns and golds (for fall). At another time a whole galaxy of planets in their circular orbits formed in the air behind him as he was telling the story.

Music is very important to Collier. He describes how he discovered the beauty of playing a toy piano and how it developed when he got a real one. His music is beautiful.

Through the story we learn of a deep yearning, grief even. Unexplained, mysterious, until he finds out the reason. We also find out to whom he has dedicated the show. This is a deeply personal, sensitive story of love, family and creation. There are so many surprises of discovery of the simplest of things, because of the way that Aaron Collier has created and presented them. The piece is beautifully directed by Ann-Marie Kerr, a wonderful theatre director, who has taken this dazzling technological creation, and realized the world of longing and missing that Aaron Collier has beautifully created.

Comments. FOLDA is a revelation to a person (me) not techno savvy but still curious about this cutting-edge world. The abilities with the technology, the fearlessness of the creators, the imagination that goes into using technology to tell a story in a different way, or even the ‘usual’ way but with a difference, just stuns me. I so appreciate this new artform.

I appreciate that FOLDA embraces its audience and makes it as easy as possible to engage. There is always help with glitches, missteps etc.

Typed information on our screens said that the production would start when the slowly forming circle in the background was complete. I was cynical. Every single show I’ve seen of late on line has been late in starting, in spite of the viewers being at home at the time. Who are we waiting for? Latecomers? AT HOME! But I digress.

The circle completed exactly at show time and then the show began! On time! As Frequencies is about time and how it’s spent and slowed and speeded up with imagination, Aaron Collier states the simplest, most important truth: “The biggest gift we can get is your time.” Wonderful, and true to his word and consideration of his audience the show started when it should have. There is a warning as well when there would be flashing lights at a certain time in the show. Consideration for the audience is everywhere here.

Frequencies also does its wonderful bit to make the audience as comfortable as possible. As with Good Things To Do (another FOLDA production) we are told to get comfortable; listen with ear phones but if you don’t have them, that’s ok; and turn the lights off as you would in a theatre.

Loved this piece. Will look out for anything by HEIST in future.

Details on FOLDA go to:

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