Five musicians are submerged in five tanks, hair slowly undulating, fingers turned pruney. It’s an arresting sight – eyes are round and glassy, movement is restricted and slow. The sounds they make, playing a variety of instruments both recognisable and foreign, put you in mind of any number of marine mammals: mournful, haunting, and decidedly aquatic. One woman, shrouded in a red gown, floats to the surface and then back down like some awe-inspiring selkie, emitting strange, wordless tones with a bubble in her mouth.

AquaSonic, Sydney FestivalLaila Skovmand. Photo © Per Victor.

Created by Danish art group Between Music, this is AquaSonic, billed as the first underwater concert in the world. Uniting five musicians from disparate backgrounds – a classical violinist, a pop-rock vocalist, a jazz drummer, and a singer-songwriter – its mission statement is “a shared passion...

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