Richard Tognetti and Bill Henson reunite to present Luminous

In August, the ACO will continue its exploration of multi-sensory performances as it reunites with one of Australia’s most revered and influential artists, photographer Bill Henson, to present Luminous, a musical and visual feast that pairs the music of Pēteris Vasks, Benjamin Britten and R.E.M. with Henson’s hauntingly dramatic photography.

Richard Tognetti and Bill Henson reunite to present Luminous


The Australian Chamber Orchestra (ACO) is renowned internationally for its ambitious cross-artform collaborations where, under the leadership of Artistic Director Richard Tognetti, it has partnered with film directors, visual artists, surfers and actors to present ground-breaking productions including Mountain, The Reef and Gallipoli.

2019 marks ten years since the last performance of Luminous, and this national tour will see the production revived and refreshed, featuring new photography, updated music and the ACO debut of singer-songwriter Lior on vocals.

Henson’s haunting, dramatic photography is the visual focus. His night-time urban landscapes and moody explorations of sensuality – twilight zones between day and night, male and female, youth and adulthood, urban and rural settings – form the background to a meditative soundscape.

Luminous sees us collaborate with one of the world’s great artists, Bill Henson, who’s taken the art of photography to new levels and new dimensions,” said Tognetti. “We first presented this concert in 2005, in what marked one of our first collaborations with a visual artist, and were amazed at the support that we, and Bill, received throughout the project. It’s been ten years since we last performed Luminous, and we’re greatly looking forward to re-visiting it with Israeli-Australian singer Lior in concert halls across Australia.”

Henson has described the collaboration as an intimate dialogue between the mediums of imagery and music.

“In collaborating with Richard Tognetti and the ACO on Luminous, I was aiming to create exactly what I’ve always wanted from any work of art: a gathering sense of intimacy which, through compelling articulation, overtakes our sense of what we thought we knew and makes the world strange again – that unexpected encounter with beauty which causes us to fall in love and which is the true purpose of art.

“I am very much looking forward to introducing some new elements to Luminous, ten years since its last performance, to bring the concert into 2019.”

This revival features new imagery and music spanning Britten and Janáček to R.E.M., and the centerpiece is Pēteris Vasks’ atmospheric violin concerto, Distant Light. Nostalgic, at times manic and beautifully evocative, Luminous is an arresting, multi-sensory journey.