The Nervous Atmosphere

A haunting sound performance charged by extreme encounters with nature

A Chamber Made Work by Zoë Barry

Co-Presented by Arts House, Chamber Made and Zoë Barry

World Premiere

‘I was struck by lightning. Three times. This is what happened.’ – Zoë Barry

The Nervous Atmosphere is a new solo performance by cellist, composer and theatre-maker Zoë Barry. A haunting and poetic reflection on her real-life experience of being struck by lightning three times, The Nervous Atmosphere explores the myriad strange symptoms, chaos and confusion provoked by this bizarre and terrifying experience.

Told through text, live cello and striking design, this powerfully evocative work offers glimpses into the immense emotional and psychological schisms experienced throughout an overwhelming encounter with nature.

A hypnotic meditation on the relationship between fear, consciousness, nature and vibration, The Nervous Atmosphere combines Zoë’s real-life experience and her fascination with late nineteenth century parascientific investigations; a time in history when science, medicine, spiritualism, and psychoanalysis were crossing over in curious ways.

The Nervous Atmosphere conjures the awe, rupture and isolation we experience when faced with a situation so much larger than ourselves, then navigates a return pathway to a place of connection and grounding.

‘a sublime theatrical poem.’ THE SATURDAY PAPER

‘Mesmerising stage craft, sublime lighting and stunning orchestrations.’ LIMELIGHT

‘Vulnerable questions about humanity, survival and the very nature of existence itself.’  THE AGE

‘ … electric piece of performance art.’ ARTS HUB

‘Visually and sonically stunning.’  WHAT DID SHE THINK?

Conceived in 2019 during residencies at the Lucid Art Foundation, Northern California, and Historical Damsite, New Mexico, the work was further developed to design concept in May 2022 through Arts House CultureLab.

Join panellists Zoë Barry, Jonathan W. Marshall and moderator Emilie Collyer from Chamber Made as they delve into the research and themes that underpin The Nervous Atmosphere in a free Salon event Invisible Forces 6.30pm Thursday 7 September 2023.