Altered States

  • 11am – 11:20am
  • 12:15pm – 12:30pm
  • 1:30pm – 1:50pm
  • 2:45pm – 3:15pm

Level 1 in Z9 Building(Room 120)

Suitable for all ages

  • Free
Altered States - Image #1

A performance in a fantasy 3D environment

The Altered States project brings together the Deep Blue Orchestra and young people from Autism Queensland’s post school transition program, Studio G. Emerging digital artists from Studio G have created a fantasy narrative within a 3-D environment with live orchestral accompaniment.

Altered States - Image #2
Altered States - Image #3
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The Performers

Michael Whelan (Music at QUT)

Michael Whelan is an academic, writer, musician and autism advocate.

In addition to his memoir, The Other Country: A Father’s Journey with Autism which was published by Pan Macmillan in 2008, Michael also wrote the documentary film What are you doing?. This educational film for school audiences on the topic of social inclusion and autism was distributed to every school in Australia and was screened at the United Nations in New York as part of World Autism Day activities in April, 2013.

In 2014 Michael joined Autism Queensland where he developed and commenced delivery of Studio G, a post-school transition program for young people with autism. Studio G was launched in July 2014 and now supports 24 young people with autism in their transition to work, training and tertiary study.

In July 2015, Michael accepted the role of Associate Professor in Music and Sound in the Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology where he aims to continue his work supporting young people on the autism spectrum.

Studio G

Studio G provides a nurturing and dynamic environment where young people can build relationships of trust with skilled and experienced digital arts professionals. Working across disciplines including game development, animation, music for media, creative writing and short film-making, Studio G participants develop social and life skills in the preparation for transition to training, work placement or tertiary study.

DeepBlue Orchestra

DeepBlue the orchestra unleashed comprises strings, electronics and physical theatre amplified and magnified by video and interactivity. Their performances combine the lush strings of an orchestra, the groove of a band, the drama of theatre, and the excitement of a circus.

The group remixes Radiohead, Gotye, Bowie, and even Ravel, and their DeepBlue originals combining lush strings with big beats. The performers’ exquisite playing, precision moves, physical antics and immersive visuals have enthralled audiences around Australia and the world.

DeepBlue musicians Sophie Loades, Greta Kelly and collaborator Tara Simmons worked initially with Michael Whelan and students from the studio G program in a series of workshops and creative brainstorming sessions to bring to life the students vision for DeepBlue musicians to interact and perform in a 3D environment.


  • Autism Queensland
  • Studio G Post School Transition Program

About Studio G

DeepBlue perform in Mumbai, India

The Making Of

Studio G makers craft the 3D images
Studio G makers craft the 3D images

How did you make it?

Deep Blue Orchestra members and Studio G participants established a creative and technical framework for the piece during a series of workshops earlier this year. Following the establishment of a set of guiding principles, Studio G participants and their mentors have worked creating the visual and sound scape environment for Deep Blue’s performance. The final stage of collaboration will occur in the final weeks before the performance when the orchestra begin rehearsing within the new 3-d environment.

What's the point of difference?

One of the unique aspects of this project is that the narrative, the 3-d environment, and the sound design was created by young people with autism. Autism Queensland’s Studio G program supports young adults on the autism spectrum in the transition from secondary school to the next stage in their lives. Working in disciplines such as game design, animation, music and creative writing, mentors support program participants to develop creative and life skills.

How is this relevant to our future lives?

Creative practice in digital media is at the core of QUT Creative Industries programs. And digital natives on the autism spectrum are venturing out of their caves to make an exciting contribution to artistic practice at QUT.

What's some other interesting facts?

Deep Blue is a very visual orchestra, they move, they dance and they play. I thought that it would be interesting for an audience to immerse themselves with the orchestra in a visual 3-d game environment and explore the relationship between visual narrative and live musical performance.

Getting to CreateX

Cnr Kelvin Grove Rd and Musk Avenue,
QUT Kelvin Grove Campus