Shifting Ground

Sand to stone, lava to rock, fossil to fuel. Shifting Ground is a performance installation that explores the idea that all forms are temporal and metamorphic. This intimate work unites gestural choreography, ceremonial participation, object manipulation, physicalised sound and interactive projection mapping to illuminate the symbiotic relationship humans have with the geological environment.

Concept, Performer, Video - Zoe Scoglio

Sound - Nigel Brown

Prop Design - Zoe Stuart

Interaction Design - Chris Heywood

Producer - Briony Galligan

Outside Eye – Helen Herbertson

Management - Moriarty's Project Inc

Shifting Ground was developed with support from the Australia Council for the Arts Jump Program and Music Board and the City of Melbourne through Arts House Culture Lab

2012 Green Room Award Recipient, Outstanding Production, Alternative and Hybrid Performance category

Music Theatre NOW Winning Production, Rotterdam, 2015

Arts House
Meat Market
July 2012
Tramway, Glasgow
Hot: New Dance and Performance From Australia
June 2014

Operadagen Rotterdam
May 2016


“Shifting Ground may not only be the most intimate, but perhaps also the most powerful project in this year’s Music Theatre Now selection. Zoe Scoglio has created a magical universe with limited elements like gravel, stones and pebbles, while the audience sits close to the intriguing action. Scoglio’s message is clear: even if we are mortal, the world keeps turning and evolving. Yet the question remains: how do we relate to our environment? Within a very poetic context, Scoglio raises contemporary issues. The jury was blown away by this intimate portrait.” – MTN Jury 2015

The Scotsman - Kirstin Innes ****
Herald Scotland - Mary Brennan
Real Time - Varia Karipoff
Heavy Petting - Camryn Rothenbury
Stage Whispers - Suzanne Sandow
Arts House Newsletter - Urzula Dawkins
The Age - Jordan Beth Vincent

Please make contact for links to video documentation

Documentation images by John Possemato, Ana Tiquia, Chris Heywood and Nigel Brown
Documentation footage by NON

Notes on the sound design:

Shifting Ground underwent three development periods with the creative team. The outcome of the first was a work-in-progress presentation in Zoe’s living room; the domestic setting being an integral part of the construction of the work and the audience experience.  

A second development funded by the Australia Council Music Board focussed the relationship of sound to the other elements of the work; performative, physical and interactive. Tactile transducers of various kinds were used in developing a ‘vibration table’ for creating cymatics, ‘singing rocks’ for immersive sound installation within set design, and approaches to activating architecture through subsonics.

The final on-site development through Culture Lab at Arts House Studio B saw all of the previously explored ideas refined into a 14-channel installation environment. Lavalier and contact microphones were used to feed live sound from the performance to an Audio Mulch patch for real-time processing and redistribution through the sound system.



League of Resonance


The League of Resonance seeks out the intangible and barely perceptible. We detect vibrations that form the backdrop to the mythical narrative of daily life. We situate ourselves in places of intrigue, we listen, we talk, we connect and we hum. In collecting and combining the resonance of individuals: their stories, perceptions and rituals, we unravel the backdrop to this myth. Together we create a new sound. This sound is The League of Resonance.

Project Artists: Sarah Rodigari, Jason Maling, Jess Olivieri

Producer: Jane Smith

Sound Designer: Nigel Brown

Graphic Designer: Julie De Paoli

A League of Resonance Production in Co-production with The City of Melbourne Arts and Participation


Notes on the sound design:

The League of Resonance project got me on board to help create the ‘resonant signature’ of each newly inducted League member. After returning from a guided walk around the League site in the Melbourne CBD, new members were asked to enter a photo booth at Flinders Street Station. Handed a simple recording device as they entered, inductees were requested to ponder the stories and places shared on their tour and hum whatever came into their head as their photo was taken.

From these collected recordings I went mining for a short loop to represent each individual’s place in the League. At the culmination of the project these ‘resonant frequencies’ were published on a CD as part of the Swap Meet kit. The Swat Meet was an opportunity for the whole League to come together. Attendees were issued with a Swap Meet kit and a set of swap cards to be traded with other members to obtain a full set. The Resonant Hum CD was presented on multiple CD players with headphones throughout the meeting space with individual tracks on loop. As attendees collected member cards they were able to match up individuals with their corresponding Resonant Hum.

Further information on the project

league of resonance CD artwork with #db4d4d background.jpg

Mimic Mass


To Mimic Mass page