Wet Sounds brought a unique and heady experience to Adelaide Fringe. Although the short season is sadly over, it has earned its place in our annals of unforgettable interactives.
Immersed in the warm and eerily lit waters of a dive pool, anonymous goggle-clad swimmers float and dive, lounging on pool noodles. Heady electronic music immerses us in a post apocalyptic Terry Gilliam filmscape. Above the water, we hear one thing with our ears; below, another in our bones. Floating at the threshold or diving to the depths, we bump up against this confounding sensory experience and the other floating bodies.
Newtoy is the London-based arts organisation that brought Wet Sounds to Adelaide for limited runs in 2018 and 2019. They specialise in unusual, user-guided experiences that "focus on ones' relationship with the collective and personal subconscious."
While last year's season included surreal underwater performances from the local Dive Shack community, this year the production took a more stripped-back approach. Joel Cahen, composer of our aqueous soundtrack, explains that "the beauty of the experience is supported by its lack of directionality."
The absence of visual focus certainly amplified the other sensory experiences, but may dampen the effect for the more visually-oriented among us.