What: Wet Sounds
When: March 1-5
Where: Adelaide Aquatic Centre, Jeffcott St, North Adelaide
How much?: $35, tickets available here
Miscellaneous: You must be able to swim! Swimwear required, goggles highly recommended. Age 8+
I didn’t really know what to expect from Wet Sounds. From what I understood, it was an underwater show with music. And it was, sort of. But it was also a psychedelic fantasy show that seemed like Alice in Wonderland underwater. The requirement to be able to swim is very firm: there are flotation devices readily available but so much of the show is deep underwater that to float on the surface would mean missing out. That said, you don’t have to be an Olympic swimmer to get by: as long as you can doggy paddle your way around a pool for 45 minutes you’ll be fine.
The premise of Wet Sounds is around the movement of sound through air and water. Information provided before the show claims that sound travels 4 times faster through water than air: I’m not a scientist, and have no idea if it’s true, but there was a discernible difference between listening underwater and above. The music itself is ominous and wondrous, scary and beautiful: discordant screeching synth above water sounds clear and wonderful under the water. The deeper you dive, the more sounds become clear: I managed to dive deep enough at different points in the 5m pool to hear harmonicas, strings, piano, and even what sounded like a creepy voice track of a man speaking. Something about the conduct of sound through water means you can feel the sound in your bones, vibrating within you.
Scuba divers perform strange balletic performances deep at the bottom of the pool. I turned around and found a mermaid swimming past me at one point: beneath me a black sea-witch writhed on the bottom of the pool. Brilliant light shows above the water turned the whole underwater landscape pink, blue, purple or black. When I got tired from diving, I lay on my back floating, listening to the music, and ended up in a weird meditative state listening to the psychedelic music.
While this show is not for everyone, I couldn’t recommend it more to people looking for something unusual and unforgettable for their fringe fun.
4 out of 5 stars,