The Secret Noise

secretnoise 90 x 90In The Secret Noise, Ensemble Offspring will be joined by a cast of dancers and actors to explore the secrets of hidden sound, in a hybrid arts production inspired by music that is deliberately shielded from public life.

Join this exploration over a series of fantastical scenes referencing forbidden ceremonies, legally extinguished music, covert music-making and private love-songs. You will move through the catacomb-like maze of Sydney’s Lower Town Hall uncovering secrets and hidden messages in this intimate performance, a cross between music, dance and installation.

Created by composer and co-Artistic Director of Ensemble Offspring, Damien Ricketson, The Secret Noise has something for everyone – from those who love intimate performance experiences of new sound worlds, to anyone fascinated by work crossing the boundaries of music, dance and performance. And for those who can’t resist uncovering mysteries, the work is like the ultimate music trivia, where you can delve into the experience and try to uncover more than 35 hidden messages and music references.


Delve into the secrets of The Secret Noise through its online portal. View footage of the premiere, hidden layers of meaning and special behind-the-scenes documentation.


Damien Ricketson – The Secret Noise (World premiere)


Carlos Gomes (director)
Narelle Benjamin & Katherine Cogill (movement)
Katia Molino (actors)
Jason Noble (clarinets)
Claire Edwardes & Bree van Reyk (percussion)
Fausto Brusamolino (lighting design and technical management)


Sydney Lower Sydney Town Hall, 8pm Thu 20th – Sat 22nd November, matinee 3pm Sat 22nd November, 2014.

North Melbourne Arts House, 14th October 7:30pm; 15th October 2:00pm and 7:30pm, 2016.

Media & Acclaim

“…the intimacy and strangeness of these inexplicable rituals was, at times, spell-binding.”

“…some beautifully crafted moments – all of the musicians are the real deal, and use their instruments with a conscious, bodily presence; and performers Narelle Benjamin, Katherine Cogill and Katia Molino were hypnotic.”

Georgia Symons – ArtsHub
“Strong fluid and flexible contemporary dancers integrate the interesting sounds and music to bring the whole thing together. Their incredible strength, technique and stamina captivates us.”

“The Secret Noise is defying genres and discovering magical creative gems for audiences of all ages to share and enjoy.”

Joanna Simmons – Theatre Press
“…the most engrossing passage of play came in a solo from Edwardes on keyed percussion: not over-complex, shaped with clear-speaking artistry…”
Clive O’Connell – The Age
“Gomes and Ricketson have succeeded in negotiating the potential pitfalls inherent in immersive performance to create an insightful and highly visceral evening”

“Ricketson is a composer whose skill lies in his unique control of sonority.”

“This idea of being transported is an apt allegory for what Ensemble Offspring have begun to explore with this production. The conundrum of “audience development” is a riddle that has arts organisations scratching their heads …Any change in the established norm must be led by trail-blazers willing to buck the trend and take a risk. Ensemble Offspring are pioneers and with this production they have left the first footprints in the sand of an exciting new territory for Australian performance.”
Full review

Maxim Boon, Limelight (The Secret Noise)
“It was the sort of music Dickens’ Miss Haversham might have listened to in her wedding dress every night of her life.”

“With a budget probably less than the average North Shore children’s party, composer Damien Ricketson, director Carlos Gomes, Ensemble Offspring (Claire Edwardes, Jason Noble, Bree van Reyk) dancers Narelle Benjamin, Kathy Cogill, and performer Katia Molino have created a playful and original exploration of gesture, sounds and the ghosts of machines that produce them.”
Full review

Peter McCallum, SMH (The Secret Noise)
“Well, it’s an installation, really. Well, no, it’s more dance theatre. Well, it’s both. And a concert, or recital. With a little bit of circus sideshow. It’s all of these things. And more.”

“Edgy isn’t always assimilable, but the virtuosity of Ensemble Offspring and its esteemed partners, their collective sense of genre-defying adventure, commitment and striving for excellence distinguishes this work as truly cutting-edge.”

“It’s, at once, very now, with more than a hint of tomorrow.”
Full review

Lloyd Bradford Syke, Syke on Syke (The Secret Noise)

The Secret Noise is supported by the City of Sydney

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