Ben Heim (left) and Connor D’Netto in St John's Cathedral
Ben Heim (left) and Connor D’Netto in St John's Cathedral
15 February 2016

Brisbane’s St John’s Cathedral and the Spring Hill Reservoirs are set to be transformed for a series of “immersive concerts” created and produced by a University of Queensland duo.

Composers and performers Ben Heim and Connor D’Netto last year joined forces as classical/electronic duo Argo.

Mr Heim said the performances next month would bring the historic venues alive with creative lighting, colour and music.

“We are lucky to have secured these landmark locations and we will be producing music that plays to their strengths, from the luscious reverb of St John's Cathedral to the echoing chambers of the Spring Hill Reservoirs,” he said.

“We are also very visually minded, catering for what the audience will see, as well as what they hear.

“Visuals will be projected across the cathedral walls and at Spring Hill we will create some interesting effects by placing musicians at various positions around the reservoirs.”

Mr Heim said the series included a performance at UQ St Lucia’s Nickson Room.

Mr D’Netto said the pair were long-time friends and had always worked together on each other’s music.

“We formed Argo to further collaborate on pushing the boundaries of genre and art form,” he said.

“We are committed to producing immersive events featuring our original compositions and finding innovative ways in which classical music can be experienced.”

Mr Heim graduated from UQ last year with a Bachelor of Music (First Class Honours) and Mr D’Netto has completed his Bachelor of Music studies and is now in his honours year.

UQ School of Music Performance Studies Director Professor Patricia Pollett said Mr Heim and Mr D’Netto were “gifted and exceptionally talented”.

“Not only are they talented, writing quality music with originality and flair, they are also innovative with their programming and presentation,” she said.

Mr D’Netto said the duo had other projects in the works, including collaborations with some of Queensland's best ensembles and performances in unusual venues.

“We're going to see how we can expand the series in future, with bigger collaborations and venues,” he said.

“We are also looking at other projects, such as recordings.”

Mr Heim said their immediate challenge was “the colossal amount of work these concerts require”.

“Composition is not the kind of task you can just force yourself to do,” he said.

“Sometimes you just have to wait for a good idea or the right texture to come to mind.

“We design and produce all our own promotional material: videos, photos, posters and flyers. The work adds up!”

Argo’s promotional video can be seen here, and tickets are on sale here. The upcoming concert details are:

  • Meditations, 19 March, St John’s Cathedral: Contemporary classical composition meets surround-sound and cathedral architecture meets live projections. The program of original works for two pianos, flutes, strings and soundscapes features live projections across the cathedral’s vaulted ceiling, the largest of its kind in Australia.
  • Encore, 24 March, Nickson Room, UQ St Lucia: Highlights of Argo’s 2015 and 2016 concerts reinterpreted for an intimate chamber setting.
  • Flow, 6 May, Spring Hill Reservoirs: The maze-like chambers of this heritage site will be transformed with music for two guitars, strings and surround-sound electronics. Musicians will be dispersed in the space, and audience members can explore the venue throughout the concert. Presented in conjunction with Anywhere Festival 2016.

Contact: Gillian Ievers, +61 7 3346 1633, +61 (0)406 510 668,; Connor D’Netto, +61 (0)423 877 790, Ben Heim +61 (0)421 206 525,