As we say goodbye to the year that was 2022 I am trying to find a way to paint a picture for you about what an amazing year it was. I started by looking through our statistics – 80+ performances, 75+ workshops, reaching 10,000+ Tasmanians – the numbers are impressive but can they really capture the experience that was Second Echo Ensemble last year? So I looked through our photo albums and found myself both smiling and tearing up at the sheer beauty of it all – but is a picture worth a thousand words? And so I turn to the words themselves.
Inherent in our name is the secret to the magic that is SEE.
The last word of our name ENSEMBLE is key to who we are and what we do. The word is often understood as meaning “a group”. Dig a little deeper into the dictionary and you learn it might be “a group of separate things that contribute to a coordinated whole”. All of which is true in describing SEE, but I am drawn even deeper to the origins of the word. It borrows from the French “ensemblée” meaning all the parts of a thing considered together,” and from the Late Latin “insimul “meaning at the same time.
Everything, everywhere all at once.
I am thinking about the cult hit movie of 2022 and the ominous everything bagel. The movie suggests that all the toppings on the bagel will lead to a black hole. In case you didn’t see the movie, consider a box of 256 crayons… If you draw a circle, then use every single crayon to fill the circle.. By the end, all the brightness will be gone. You’re left with something dark and gloomy. Everything can equal nothing if you mix them all together. But an alternative reading to the moral of the story is one of hope. In the movie, having been everything and everywhere, the lead character is finally satisfied to just be one thing, in one place. It’s like having tried every crayon from the 256 box, they realise it’s okay to pick one and be happy with that one.
SEE isn’t about a mix – it is about recognising the incredible beauty of each and every individual. We bring people together not to form a mix or a mainstream – we are about creating new compounds – allowing each artist to celebrate their individuality and bringing them in contact with new artists, new ways of making art and new audiences. In science we are taught that when elements come together, they react with each other and form chemical bonds that are difficult to break. At SEE we work together – friendships and collaborative partnerships are forged and stories are shared.
So in 2023 we will continue to celebrate individuals working together, at the same time, towards a common goal – to develop, create and present exceptional art that challenges assumptions, shakes up stereotypes and gives voice to untold stories that result in real social change. In 2023 our Community Workshop Program will offer additional opportunities in music composition and performance. Our Pathways to Work Program will include a Certificate 1 in Work skills. We will share our stories in Ten Days on the Island, Adelaide Fringe Festival and beyond.
All of this made possible by the incredible artists of SEE, the support of their families, the SEE staff and board, generous SEE donors and investment from local, state and federal government. And of course the people like you- those that have slogged through this long rambling message – people who are committed to the arts and believe that creativity will save the world.
Thank YOU. I look forward to SEEing you in 2023.