In tune with our oceans

The Fremantle Chamber Orchestra will create the atmosphere as Wade and Robyn Hughes’ images are projected.

OPENING night of the Fremantle Underwater Film Festival will feature a collaboration between South Fremantle underwater photographers Wade and Robyn Hughes and a quintet from the Fremantle Chamber Orchestra.

The Hughes have travelled the globe capturing underwater magic from the tropics to the Arctic, winning multiple awards along the way, and a selection of their works will be projected in the Fremantle Town Hall for the performance At the Gates to the Sea of Eden.

Wade is a Fellow of the 93-year-old Royal Geographical Society of the UK and an International Fellow of the Explorers Club of New York, and one of his whale images was chosen among the 100 best wildlife shots in 2017 by the UK’s National History Museum and as one of just 300 images chosen to represent the last 3000 years of ocean-inspired art for Phaidon Publishing’s landmark book Ocean.

Robyn is an accomplished diver and award-winning photographer who began her international travels as a teenager. She took up writing and photography after a career in banking, and, with Wade, has since visited more than 50 countries.

One of their books Looking for Whales was endorsed by Australian Geographic in 2019 and has earned international acclaim in both scientific and popular literary circles.

Just last year an extraordinary, colourful image of a sponge earned Wade the abstract award for the international Guru Awards; it’s striking details could easily have been the inspiration for the title of the festival’s performance.

Fremantle Chamber Orchestra cellist Hans Hug said when Wade described some of his images as going back to the very origins of life, his mind turned to Antonio Vivaldi’s Al Santo Sepolcro.

“It has the most amazing, but beautiful disharmonies that create an eerie atmosphere,” Hug said.

The quintet will also play Australian composer Richard Meale’s Cantilena Pacifica.

“I heard it many years ago and I had to stop the car to listen because it is so special,” Hug said.

“What makes it so special is that with the exception of the solo violin, the whole orchestra has these wave movements, while the melody is like nothing else I’ve ever heard.

“In my imagination it was the waves with the albatross flying over the top.”

At the Gates to the Sea of Eden Fremantle Underwater Film Festival opening night
Friday January 13
Fremantle Town Hall
Tickets $40 from eventbrite; search for OceanLife Festival

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