Above the concourse at Flagstaff station

Thousands of people pass through Melbourne’s Flagstaff railway station each day, but I doubt any of them notice the little used walkway tucked way on the upper level.

Eastern wall of the Flagstaff Station concourse

Once upon a time even I didn’t notice it, until I realised it made a great vantage point to observe the ever-increasing Myki queues during morning peak.

Wow - the morning queues at Flagstaff are getting even worse!

So imagine my surprise last week when on my way home from work I discovered a keyboardist setup on the walkway, along with a few other musicians.

Why is there a keyboardist on the upper level concourse of Flagstaff Station?

On my way home yesterday evening the same keyboardist was back with the same gang of collaborators, but this time with a row of seats facing towards the void. So what gives?

The keyboardist back at Flagstaff station

A minute or two searching through Google turned up the answer – it’s a performance piece titled fifteen, which forms part of the Next Wave Festival which is currently running in Melbourne. Rehearsals presumably happened last week, with performances occurring during evening peak hour from May 21 to 25.

So what is it supposed to represent? Art critic Jane Howard has the following to say on her blog:

While she says you can’t notice the work unless you are an audience member listening to the music on headphones, through rehearsal of the work in the public space the artists have been engaging with pedestrians who don’t normally interact with the artistic process. At first, she said, people shut off, but now they are starting to get used to it, and a more congenital atmosphere runs through the space.

I guess it’s something different!


On Friday night I passed through Flagstaff Station during the middle of the final performance. It appears as well as music, the piece involves a number of dancers down at concourse level.

The audience listen to 'fifteen' with wireless headphones

Audience watches from the upper level concourse, listening with wireless headphones

Dancers on the station concourse, the audience up above

Further reading

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6 Responses to “Above the concourse at Flagstaff station”

  1. Daniel says:

    Here’s a pic of the audience watching intently with their headphones on: http://yfrog.com/nzd3dnbj

    • Marcus says:

      Thanks for that – this week I seem to keep on heading home too early to see the performances!

  2. Peter P says:

    Marcus, I’m suprised you didn’t sieze upon this gem in the blog quote:

    “and a more CONGENITAL atmosphere runs through the space.”

    The mind boggles. One thinks of congenital defects. Or worse.

    Did she mean “Congenial” instead?

    • Marcus says:

      Wow – I missed that one completely! I may be eagle-eyed for anything transport related, but a proof reading careers is not for me.

  3. Liesel Zink says:

    We loved working at flagstaff station, next stop is performing this work at Brisbane Festival…thanks for watching!
    Liesel Zink (the choreographer).

  4. […] Myki queues, other annoying like the recent plague of chuggers, and finally some odd ones like this performance piece on the concourse. However this 1985 event takes the cake – a full on fashion […]

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