California, USA


DeeBlue USA was a collaboration with DeepBlue, QUT and CalPoly, over the course of four years DeepBlue musicians and QUT and Cal Poly students, researchers & professors came together both in America and Australia to design and develop innovative performance technologies, share knowledge, deliver professional development and YoungBlue workshop opportunities and create memorable & unique performances.

Together Professor Andrew Arthurs from QUT and Professor David Gillette from CalPoly brought together hundreds of CalPoly and QUT undergraduate and postgraduate students and academics, linking industry professionals from Australia and California with schools and communities in both San Louis Obisbo and Kelvin Grove to create a long-lasting, exciting and unique collaboration.

Some outcomes of the project were: Interactive visual technology designed and presented by CalPoly students with DeepBlue; Occulus Rift Technology development and presentation (Cinestasia); DeepBlue performances and lectures in the USA; Professional development and YoungBlue workshop opportunities in the USA

The project would not have been possible without the support of the Queensland University of Technology (Engagement & Innovation Grant) the Center for Expressive Technologies, and the Liberal Arts & Engineering Studies program and the Cal Poly Music and Theatre & Dance departments. With special thanks to David Gillete, Andrew Arthurs, Sophie Loades and Greta Kelly.

Innovative performance group Deep Blue offers workshops at Spanos Theater By Hayley Thomas

Are you experiencing a musical rut? Do you retreat into the same handful of songs whenever you’re looking for a little ambiance? Did you last dance on Dec. 31, 1999—and that was only because you thought the world was going to end anyway?

Try this foolproof plan for musical liberation: Australian experimental music, dance, and performance troupe Deep Blue.

The multi-talented group is visiting SLO and will make a range of appearances at the Spanos Theater Oct. 8 through 10 with engaging workshops centering on innovative performance techniques.

A free performance will kick off on Oct. 11 at the theatre bursting with string instrumentals, foot-stomping choreography, and entertaining education.

Want to learn how to captivate an audience? Want to be captivated? This is your perfect shade of blue. For more information, visit


DeepBlue is not just a musical performance troupe, we are also a dedicated group of musical scholars, teachers and researchers who are attempting to find a way to increase interest in live, orchestra-based performance and revitalizing an art form that is in dire need of support in the USA and around the world. As most people associated with orchestral performance knows, the audience for orchestral performance is aging and is not being replaced by younger audiences, while orchestras around the world are facing severe funding cuts. In the USA alone, in 1998 there were 1,200 orchestras but by 2007 there were only 117, and the numbers continue to decline. One of the best ways to combat this decline is to revitalize orchestral performance itself, finding new audiences along the way, and teaching a new generation of musicians about the power and tradition of orchestras, while providing them the freedom and support to innovate and experiment.

DeepBlue’s performance success is based upon years of research and development at the Queensland University of Technology and the program in Creative Industries. Four DeepBlue musicians and group managers are currently conducting Ph.D and Masters -level research on the group and related topics in performance and music pedagogy. One co-creation project of DeepBlue composer and Ph.D student Dane Alexander’s, involves fans who have offered to critique various interations of a musical work. As a result, DeepBlue has thrived as a form of research and development, innovative performance and music education, and as a new way to connect with audiences earning us the Australian Performing Arts Centre Association’s Award for Excellent Audience Response.

The purpose of our project in the US is to build the DeepBlue concept in America and revitalise orchestras around the world. Currently the project looks like:

October 2014
Project development with key partners in California: Cal Poly staff, students & researchers; Schools; Community groups; Sponsors, organisations & businesses; Auditions for DeepBlue USA.

October 2015
Demo performance of DeepBlue USA with YoungBlue feature; Professional Development Program for performers & teachers; YoungBlue Program for young musicians; Cal Poly student project development & pitches; Cal Poly research presentations & projects.

The DeepBlue Professional Development Program will cover all the elements of becoming a 21st Century DeepBlue hybrid musician offering training in technology (Digital processing, development and composition & analogue manipulation), stagecraft, choreography, composition & improvisation, public speaking, creative development etc… The next step in the program is to deliver workshops for young musicians with DeepBlue.

DeepBlue have conducted workshops with thousands of young musicians and wowed sold-out audiences across Australia and Asia. DeepBlue are passionate about encouraging young people to experience a different way of playing music and the YoungBlue Holiday Programs are no exception, providing a one of a kind opportunity to the young musicians of today.

April 2016
Brisbane Development and Beta performances with select DeepBlue USA & Cal Poly students; BETA technology developed in California; BETA any musical/visual ideas developed in California; Performance extravaganza at QUT with DeepBlue performance

May/June 2016
Refine and develop a Californian DeepBlue; Develop and apply CreateX Performance to CalPoly.


Our aim is to build a DeepBlue concept in California and over the next 3 years. Teachers and professional musicians are invited to participate in DeepBlue’s professional development workshops to build your skills as a 21st century hybrid musician. The end goal is design and build a show together which we will tour across America.

DeepBlue instrumentation currently includes: Electronics, percussion, strings, synths and samples

Skills you can bring to DeepBlue: Technology, circus, stunts, live & pre-recorded visuals, video, design, composition, creativity, imagination, administration, bookings, management.

DeepBlue ran auditions in October 2014 at the PAC Pavilion, San Louis Obispo

Online Auditions are now open for musicians in the SLO area.  Visit our Online Auditions page for more info and to register.

Professional Development Program – October 2015: Show Development & Touring – May/June 2016

We want to meet you when we are here this year. Audition registrations open now for Thurs 23 Oct 2014. Register for your audition today and find out more about the project and why you think you would fit.


The YoungBlue Program, now in its fifth year, aims to empower young musicians to think like musical entrepreneurs. By learning through doing in a supportive environment YoungBlue participants are encouraged to design and present their own unique performance. Embracing the rapid evolution of the music industry, DeepBlue inspires YoungBlues to think out-of-the-box musically and creatively. In 2015 DeepBlue will bring their holiday programs, for the first time ever, to the USA! Participants will work with members of DeepBlue, industry experts and exciting guests, workshopping music, dance, improvisation, composition, technology and live performance, stage craft, circus antics and much more!


The Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Australia are partnering with Cal Poly to bring students real world learning outcomes. Developing student run projects for an international touring act including development of the electronic show program, lighting & visual design, new performance technologies, set and venue design.

To find out more about the projects available to students at Cal Poly get in touch with David Gilette: Dr. David Gillette, Professor.


There are collaborative research opportunities with QUT in performance, Interactive Visual Design, robotics, games, apps, new performance modes & models etc… To find out more about how you can get involved with collaborative research opportunities in Australia contact Professor Andy Arthurs.


Researchers suggest creative industries have a role to play in community well-being and that music is an inherently social act, and one which contains enormous potential to bring people together. Ranging from our most well-known YoungBlue program, which aims to empower young musicians to approach their music with a totally different attitude, to ChoralBlue in which we work with a different local choir in each town we tour to. Further afield we are working with a community in Zimbabwe to help support their project the SCHONA Music School and back home we work with a variety of local schools and charities. Of course, the DeepBlue audience is also part of our community. We love how they’ve been interacting with us particularly through our unique Electronic Show Programme (ESP).

If you would like to find out more about how you can get involved with any of our community engagement programs email Sophie Loades.


To find out more about how you can partner with DeepBlue in this innovative project contact Greta Kelly.

Past Events