trio with Peter Rowe & Terri Delany 2003 – 2007
When qwerty walk on stage they have no idea where the performance will go; no idea of the song content, the sounds to be used or the musical style, let alone such details as key or time signature. Audiences are taken on a journey; sometimes emotional, sometimes funny, sometimes philosophical, often intense and always musically eclectic.
Linsey Pollak “live looping” on WX5 windsyth, the amazing improvising wordsmith Peter Rowe and soaring vocals by Terri Delaney. The process that occurs between the artists is a first in Australia, and more than likely worldwide.
It is performance and musical risk taking in the extreme. The lyricist, Peter Rowe, who cannot communicate by speech, uses facilitated communication (FC). FC is a mode of assisted communication using a board with letters, numbers and some words on it.
Peter improvises a whole concert of completely new songs by tapping out words on the board. These words are read and then sung by Terri. (Think about it a bit …….Peter is totally improvising a complete concert of song text, and……as Terri sings the words that Peter writes she is simultaneously reading the next ones). Her melodies are totally improvised in response to the music that Linsey is creating by improvising and “live looping” (playing, recording and building up complex layers of various sounds) using his WX5 (a midi windsynth).
All three artists agree that this is one of the most extraordinary projects that any of them have worked on…..they describe it as a process where the sense of self becomes blurred. The ego is consumed by the necessity of absolute group focus. It is improvisation in its purist form, where each performer must let go of any expectations or preconceptions. There must be no fear when stepping off the edge. It is a process that is undeniably liberating.
‘Few experiences are as deserving of being labeled ‘A MUST’ in the entertainment world as Qwerty. With sublime aesthetic, playful dynamic and infinite imagination, this ever-ready team of improvisers challenge the moment, themselves and their audience on the threshold between necessary thought provocation and pure raw emotion. They have been a catalyst for more tears, laughter, hope and inspiration than I’ve ever seen in an audience. The reason is because their work is disarmingly real in every sense of our perception and its reflection on our existence. It is quite simply evolutionary art.’ – Carl Pannuzzo
“ I loved seeing Qwerty at Woodford last year (2005) and wanted to recommend it to a friend. It’s really a phenomenal project. ‘Innovative’ is not a grand enough word”. – Ember Swift
QWERTY is quite simply one of the most extraordinary performances to emerge in recent years……… QWERTY is emotive and challenges audiences musically, socially and philosophically. All this, I believes makes it highly tourable and ‘festival ready’. – Christie Anthoney (Adelaide Fringe Director)
QWERTY first worked together as part of the “Horse to Water” project in 2004. Tthey have continued as a trio since that time developing their unique style of creating song. They have performed at The Woodford Folk Festival (to standing ovation) and at the Music by The Sea Festival in Sandgate as well as various venues around the Sunshine Coast.