Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo returned to Australia last week to perform his new composition Hurricane Transcriptions at the Sydney Festival. Jamie Williams from the Festival brings us these photos from the one off concert at the City Recital Hall.
Last Thursday, the Sydney Festival played host to two legends of alternative rock performing outside of their comfort zones. While both Lee Ranaldo and Mike Patton aren't best known for anything approaching classical music, they aren't strangers to the form, and from what they did last night I could see them moving into that area easily in the future.
Experimental electronica wizards Matmos are a duo that have no respect for boundaries; a team of gifted musicians - M.C Schmidt and Drew Daniel - who enjoy manipulating every sound they can get their hands on, and creating both skeletal and gorgeously layered productions, spun into their thematic studio albums like Civil War - an LP which delves into the folk music of the civil war era and chops it up into electronica.
I’ve seen Neil Gaiman perform live only once before, and I knew I had to go again. I say ‘perform’ because a Neil Gaiman book tour isn’t what you would expect, and he has such a stage presence it’s impossible not to be drawn in to his world of fantasy and dark humour.
The sparse interior of the City Recital Hall at Angel Place was given an auditory injection of life during Rokia Traoré’s stunning showcase of traditional West African classics that focused mainly on her own Malian heritage.
One thing I love about events like Sydney Festival is that it gives you the chance to discover new artistic beings you probably should have already known about, but didn't. Robert Wyatt was one such being, whose name I'd heard echo around the music ether over the years, but never really took the time to check out. Until, of course, the Sydney Festival announced a show paying tribute to icon of prog rock, which last night saw the 2009 record Around Robert Wyatt performed by France's national Orchestra, Orchestre National De Jazz.
I've always enjoyed dance. Though I rarely experience it live, few things can be as enthralling on stage (or screen - have you seen The Muppets yet?) than a dance ensemble pulling out the moves to a superb score - be it a musical, a music video, a ballet or a gymnastics display in the Olympics. Involved in musical theatre as a kid, and having friends in the industry, I know just how much work people put into it - heart, soul, dedication, time and of course the pure technical skill required to achieve the art itself. So in reading the descriptions for Assembly, appearing at the City Recital Hall as part of Sydney Festival, I have to say I was pretty excited to see what this piece would be, especially considering the involvement of experimental (and well hyped) dance troupe Chunky Move.
On his last night in Australia, master jazz artist and performer of the trumpet Chris Botti with Monique diMattina played to a sell-out crowd at the City Recital Hall. Lachlan Mitchell was there to capture the event.
Katie Noonan is arguably a household name in Australia. Thanks to an armful of ARIA awards, chart-topping albums and a voice that can silence audiences, the Brisbane songstress has certainly made her mark on the music biz.