I attended this excellent performance of the highly acclaimed international ensemble of Switzerland based, Company Drift as they presented Sound Machine as part of the Push Festival in Vancouver at The Dance Centre. With visuals above the stage showing a variety of vegetables including mushrooms and tomatoes, I was curious as to what was about to take place.

In sound machine, Company Drift gathers these and other ‘inaudible’ noises and mixes them with dance, theatre, sound and video to exhibit a dreamlike world that is profound and surreal, tragic and witty, and continually surprising. sound machine has been described as a “complex, fascinating piece of visual art,” a “concert–composed by the performers–of gurgles, pops, thumps and songs” and a demonstration of “how the fantastic hides behind the bland.”

Consider how science might investigate some of life’s more absurd scientific questions: how can the inaudible be made audible? How does a fly scream when it bumps into a burning hot light bulb? What does Mr. Fish say to Ms Fish when he asks for her fin in marriage? What does the rose whisper when the sun comes up?

Company Drift is an internationally acclaimed Swiss ensemble that enjoys examining the absurdities of everyday life, and is strongly influenced by surrealism and Dadaism. The artistic directors, Béatrice Jaccard and Peter Schelling have worked together since 1987, on artistic works they describe as oscillating “between violence and tenderness.” Company Drift has received numerous awards and accolades including the Swiss Award for Dance and Choreography, and has presented its work in over 30 countries. drift.ch

On Stage Béatrice Jaccard, Massimo Bertinelli, François Gendre | Concept Massimo Bertinelli, François Gendre | Director, Stage Set, Lighting Peter Schelling | Composition Massimo Bertinelli, François Gendre, Béatrice Jaccard | Choreography Béatrice Jaccard | Video Peter Schelling | Lighting Designer Alain Menétrey | Video, Assistant Stage Set Sergej Nikokoshev | Production Manager Beatrice Rossi

An interesting Talk Back session was held afterwards with members of the cast and their director which gave audience members a chance to ask questions and learn more about the production.