Speculative fiction, new music and flutes will come together in a performance at the Melbourne Fringe Festival.

Cabinet of Odditiesis an extravaganza of new Australian speculative fiction, new music and unusual flutes. The brain-spawn of writer Laura Goodin and her husband, composer Houston Dunleavy, the concert was first staged at the Conflux Speculative Fiction Convention in Canberra in 2015 and will be coming to the Melbourne Fringe Festival in September.

Peter Sheridan and just some of the space-age flutes he’ll be using in The Cabinet of Oddities, photo © Lucia Ondrusova

The idea took root as a melding of its creators’ two vocations. “I read Laura’s story The Monster Tarantella,” explains Dunleavy, “and I immediately heard it in the tradition of sprechstimme, as realised by Liszt, who wrote a number of works for narrator and piano. This led to Schoenberg’s works like Pierrot Lunaireand A Survivor from Warsaw. However, The Monster Tarantellawas nowhere near as grim! And instead of a piano, we thought a contrabass or subcontrabass flute would provide the appropriate instrument-partner to the story.”

From this beginning, the idea for a larger project was born. “I thought, ‘Wouldn’t...

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