States of Suspension at Blue Mountains Cultural Centre

Have you ever had the experience of music where it took you to another place in your imagination?

Or have you been to places where you could imagine music coming from the landscape, where you could literally sense it inside your mind?

A new audiovisual performance project at the Blue Mountains Cultural Centre in Katoomba will ask these very questions.

Titled States Of Suspension, the music, sound and light event will be held on Friday, February 2. It will use the visual and acoustic qualities of the cultural centre courtyard to provides audiences with an opportunity to experience time and space “suspended” in music, sound and imagery.

Audiovisual artist Peter Long got the idea for the project as part of his PhD research into aesthetic approaches to the suspension phenomenon in music and imagery.

“When I was a kid, I often fell into this kind of state when hearing music from a distance or in a reverberant environment, there was a magical, almost trance-like quality to it,” he said. “So I began to investigate what exactly was happening. What I’ve observed is the spatial environment that music is received in plays a large part in how we apprehend it, apart from musical factors, and when sound becomes abstracted, our minds appear to construct other realities to make sense of it.

“This is where imagination and the quality of fantasy emerges, which has been exploited in music by everyone from Pink Floyd to Brian Eno and more recently bands like Tame Impala and Radiohead,” he said.

“There’s also patterns occurring in nature that appear to echo those in music and imagery, so how we interact with environments also seems to inform aspects of art and music.”

States Of Suspension attempts to create an immersive fusion of music, sound and moving imagery. With music performed at dusk by local improvisation group Paper Sun, the event will use the echoed surroundings of the cultural centre courtyard in conjunction with projections and lighting.

The show starts at 8pm on February 2, following the opening of the Blue Mountains film and portrait exhibition at the cultural centre. Entry is free. For more information, go to