image of a Zeppelin

Humanity has always sought to extend the boundaries of knowledge through innovation and discovery.
Yet, just over a hundred years ago there was no space travel, bionic ear, cinema, telephone network…

Or atomic bomb.

The innovation of the 20th century created opportunities and choices like never before. And it changed us.

The 7 Great Inventions of the Modern Industrial Age

New music, old objects, an actor and a sextet take to the stage in a new dramatic music work inspired by inventions that changed our lives forever.

Driven by celebrated Australian composer Sally Greenaway, featuring new music champions Syzygy Ensemble, a delightful and whimsical script by Paul Bissett and Catherine Prosser brought to life through a local actor (cast for each show). Accompanied by stunning set and lighting design with over 100 historic 20th C. items long forgotten or since taken for granted.

CD release

Superbly recorded by Move Records featuring award-winning Syzygy Ensemble, one of Australia's finest new music ensembles.

image of CD cover

"Greenaway imaginatively weaves her original music score with specially researched audio sourced from archive collections around the world, bringing to life the wonder of an age of unprecedented innovation"
- Canberra Times

Purchase CD:

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Download digitally:

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Work Detail

This award-winning work was made possible with thanks to the inaugural Merlyn Myer Composing Women’s Commission, initiated by the Merlyn Myer Fund and co-developed by the Fund and Melbourne Recital Centre.


  1. Invention-Reinvention
  2. Telecommunications
  3. Prelude to Convenience & The Age of Convenience
  4. The Mechanical Brain
  5. And So Begins Massed World Warfare & Postlude: Hymn to Freedom
  6. The Miracles of Modern Medicine
  7. The Advent of Cinema
  8. Finale: The 7 Great Inventions

Creative Team

Devised & Composed by Sally Greenaway
Script Developers: Paul Bissett & Catherine Prosser (Magenius)
Musicians: Syzygy Ensemble
Actor: Dene Kermond (CBR); Anni Ha (MELB)
Director: Shelly Higgs (CBR); Eugene Wong
Props & Costuming: Christiane Nowak
Lighting Designer: Linda Buck


APRA AMCOS Art Music Awards
Winner: 2017 Instrumental Work of the Year (ACT State Award)

Canberra Critics Circle
Winner: 2017 Music Award

Capital Arts Patrons Organisation (CAPO)
Winner: 2017 Canberra Weekly Arts Award

Past Performances

The Street (Canberra, AU)
26-29 July 2017 (7x sold-out performances)

Melbourne Recital Centre (Melbourne, AU)
27 April 2016 (1x sold-out performance)

Promotional video