The Carlton on Bourke Street is a number of things. There is the first floor watering hole and dining space that is littered with taxidermy animals and palm trees on the balcony. Venturing up the stairwell is the rooftop bar which is the perfect spot for a beer on a balmy Melbourne night. These levels are quite known and frequently visited by many Melbournians and visitors alike. However, if my math is correct, shouldn’t there be a middle level?
What would you say to the proposition that there is a middle level? An untouched and abandon space that has never seen the light of day. Would you believe me? Or am I talking balderdash.
The middle level of The Carlton exists and very recently has been released to the public – for only a very short period of time. In connection with Melbourne Music Week (14 November – 23 November) and presented by Undercurrent, The Carlton’s middle level has been transformed into a walk-through labyrinth of music and design. The production is called Swell, and it transcends guest into an unsuspecting music adventure of lights, sounds and visuals.
Swell is a music event like no other. The normal process of knowing the artist you are going to see and being surrounded by the usual stage / venue décor has been thrown out the window. Attendees of Swell will not know who they are going to see or the environment they will experience each performance. Swell is all about taking an unknown music adventure, with the music experience divided into four rooms. Each room has a different performer, different type of music and surrounded with a thought provoking décor setting.
“The format of Swell is not the traditional headliner and support acts,” said creator and director Janenne Willis. “We want to keep music-goers curious, but we can reveal that the line-up will be a surprising and astounding mix of genres, including contemporary improvised jazz, cutting edge beatmakers, dreamy soundscapes, vocal harmonies and more!”
Engaging creative director Janenne Willis, New York-based architect Brooks Atwood, music curator Edd Fisher, and a long list of other talents who have contributed to the project; Swell intends to be a world first in breaking down the boundaries of the performer and the audience.
The Modern Connoisseur isn’t going to divulge the secrets of the event. All we are going to say is this: washing machines, hair pieces and innovative music. It’s a music event like no other.
Swell is performing this Saturday and Sunday at The Carlton. Doors open at 7am.
More information about Swell and to purchase tickets can be found here.
More information about Melbourne Music Week can be found here.