Perth Symphony Orchestra play Massive Attack and Fatboy Slim in Ministry of Sound Orchestrated

Pascale Whiting from Perth Symphony Orchestra. Picture: Andrew Ritchie
Pascale Whiting from Perth Symphony Orchestra. Picture: Andrew Ritchie

AS a member of Perth Symphony Orchestra, violinist Pascale Whiting has come to expect the unexpected.

Last year she bashed out the sounds of Seattle grunge gods, Nirvana with End of Fashion’s Justin Burford on vocals, and plucked the works of Mozart with a Steampunk edge in the Midland Railway Workshops.

So when the job of performing Ministry of Sound dance floor classics by Fatboy Slim, Massive Attack and Underworld recently arose, she was hardly surprised.

“That’s their tag: ‘the orchestra that makes the rules’ and that’s what’s incredible about them: they are constantly pushing the boundaries and thinking outside the classical music box,” Whiting said.

“We’re so used to doing all sorts of music now that we just switch into it – we do every possible genre that you can imagine.”

The orchestra performs with homegrown talents, DJ Groove Terminator and vocalists Daniel Merriweather and Ilan Kidron (The Potbelleez), and UK singer Alison Limerick at Kings Park & Botanic Garden.

The music comes easy for Whiting and the ensemble; their biggest hurdle concerns the venue.

“Outdoor gigs can be a challenge: the sound guys we work with are pretty incredible at dealing with wind and all the different elements of being outside,” Whiting said.

“If we were to perform in the same space each time we’d get used to the acoustics and learn to work with that space, whereas with every concert we do we have to really adapt.

“We love that challenge and discover places with the most incredible acoustics that we could never possibly have imagined, like the E Shed markets in Fremantle.”

Whiting joined the orchestra at its inception in 2011 and has come to appreciate her role on a new level since becoming a mum.

“I can be with my two-year-old son the whole time during the day and be completely devoted to him and then rehearse and do concerts all night – it is an amazing balance,” she said.

“A lot of males and females in the orchestra are parents and you just get this adrenaline rush when you’re performing and rehearsing and playing as a group.

“It raises you to this higher level and you’re driving to the gig thinking: ‘I’m just not going to be able to do this’ and then you get there and switch in and you do it.”


What: Ministry of Sound Orchestrated

When: March 24

Where: Kings Park & Botanic Garden