Youth Ambassador Review: Between Zero and One

Two of our Youth Ambassadors, Matt and Mel went along to the world premiere of Between Zero and One on Friday night. Here's what they thought.


When Plato said "music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything" he could not have been more correct, and Friday night's phenomenal premiere of the monumental"Beyond Zero and One" by John Psathas with Strike percussion was one of the most memorable, impressionable and powerful performances I have ever attended.

Psathas' brand new work combined with incredible lighting effects and the brilliant energy of Strike Percussion not only gave a 'soul to the universe', but it spoke with great depth and mystery. Special mention must goto the virtuosic talent and contagious energy of the performers in Strike and the brilliant creative team that transformed this work into a total artistic universe of its own through stunning lighting and sound. 

The eight-part work was a triumph of collaborative art, with the programme listing a huge number of creative contributors. The title work 'Between Zero and One' was written by John Psathas and friends, with amazing video projections working in union with the live percussionists to pull of a truly awe-inspiring piece that was an amalgamation of genres and New Zealand talent.The beginning and end pieces 'Shiva Sleeps' and 'Waking Brahma' were overwhelmingly powerful, with Jack Hookers' synth arrangements adding to the power of the percussionists atop a visual scaffold of galactic projections.

Overall John Psathas' 'Between Zero and One' together with Strike, David Downes and Jack Hooker was an amalgamation of the best of New Zealand composition and performance - a testament to the power of collaborative art. This performance was perhaps the most powerful live concert I have ever been to and left me, along with a number of other audience members, on my feet at the end.

Psathas, Strike and all creative contributors of 'Between Zero and One' are to be commended for creating such a moving work, one that was both timeless and momentary, and as universal as it was personal. This incredible piece of musical art truly does 'give soul to the universe'. Bravo.


If someone ever says that playing a musical instrument isn't a workout, then they obviously haven't seen Strike Percussion. I felt exhausted just watching them perform with such physicality, intensity, and enthusiasm. The near capacity audience couldn't help but be inspired by their musicianship and immense talent. Combined with awe-inspiring compositions, this performance did not disappoint.

The composer, John Psathas, along with David Downes and Jack Hooker, captured the talent of a number of musicians who played in backing tracks with Strike. These backing tracks gave extra timbre to the performances.

The work was made up of 8 pieces, which blended together at certain points. The use of numerous percussive instruments, audience participation, and vocal noises were used well to create different textures. Some of the instruments that stood out for me was a knotted rope used to hit various spots on a large round wheel and also a collection of cymbals tied together hanging down from the roof.

This was more than just a concert; it was a theatrical performance including fantastic music and very talented musicians.

A special mention has to be made to Set and Lighting Designer, Glenn Ashworth. The set was stunning, paired with fantastic use of lighting and data projector, made Between Zero and One a truly sensational concert.