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Restrung Festival 2017 announces full program

July 22, 2017 Whats On No Comments Email Email

Featuring an all-star line-up of international, national and local guests, Restrung returns to the Brisbane Powerhouse for its third season of cross-genre and contemporary classical strings-driven ensembles, bands, soloists, dance and physical theatre from August 17 to 19.

Over three days of ticketed concerts and free events, Restrung will showcase more than 50 performers and artists who explore the spaces in between genres — classical, electronica, folk, jazz, rock, pop, minimalism — and artistic disciplines.

Headlining the three day genre-busting music fest is New York City’s art-rock band Blonde Redhead, performing their seminal album Misery is a Butterfly with string quartet. Blending eclectic influences — noise rock, dream pop, shoegaze and psychedelic rock — with gloriously lush and darkly-tinted instrumental and vocal textures, Blonde Redhead are known for their playful, wry lyrics and an emotionally-laden intensity of sound.

Joining Blonde Redhead is a brilliant mix of artists from around the globe, together with music-making stars from here in Australia and yes, Brisbane – think genre-defying London-based cellist, composer and producer Oliver Coates; famed New York City-based fiddler Cleek Schrey, local guitar and violin reskinners The Scrapes, world acclaimed didgeridoo player William Barton, the masters of music mixology Topology and all sorts in between (full artist bios and imagery available on request).

Curated by festival founder and award-winning cellist Danielle Bentley, who has worked extensively in rock, popular and classical music and is a winner of the prestigious national APRA-AMCOS Art Music Award for Excellence by an Individual, Restrung is a tribute to new and traditional sounds, new and known repertoire and new and known artists.

Restrung is, above all other, a celebration of music, and I am thrilled that we have been able to secure this extraordinary, world class line-up of sound makers to come to Brisbane and create what we promise will be amazingly memorable music,” Bentley said.

“Luring Blonde Redhead to Brisbane is most definitely a coup, and we look forward to sharing their music with our festival fans. They are just the tip of the three-day musical iceberg, with the full cast of artists brilliant in so many ways.”

Topology’s Robert Davidson said Restrung was a highly playful and exploratory celebration of creativity. “Certainly some of my most memorable ever times in music have been at Restrung Festival in Brisbane, both as a composer and bassist. It was incredible to have the opportunity to create my piece “The Gathering” for a disparate group of musicians spread all around the Powerhouse – something that would not have been possible without the open-minded spirit of the festival.”

Following the success of last year’s Muscle Memory, Collusion returns with Queensland Ballet Academy’s talented pre-professional dancers in Reflex, a double-bill of resonant intersections at the forefront of new ballet by Gareth Belling and chamber music.  Contact Point takes Elena Katz-Chernin’s works for string quartet as a starting point for this electrically charged ballet of human connection. Beginning at the end, Before is a neo-Romantic ballet for today, set to Peteris Vasks’ masterful String Quartet No 4.

Zen Zen Zo and The Viola Cloning Project’s DUSK is an exploration of the liminal, the space between, the threshold which facilitates transformation. Zen Zen Zo’s dancers move like shamans or spirit walkers between the light and dark, life and death, music and silence, weaving a shadowy web through The Viola Cloning Project’s bitter-sweet live looped original score.

Oliver Coates, the genre-defying London-based cellist, composer and producer known for his minimalist dance tunes and collaborations with Radiohead, Massive Attack and Mica Levi will star, along with the Cris Derksen Trio, the Canadian multi-award winning cellist who combines? classical training and Indigenous ancestry with electronics and cellistic sound effects.

Cleek Schrey, the New York City-based fiddler who is a master of the rare 10-stringed hardanger d’amore, will perform Appalachian songs from his native Virginia, traditional repertoire and improvisations.

Brisbane artists include Monique Clare, famed as the cello-wielding songstress and Folk Alliance Australia Young Performer of the Year 2017. She creates raw, eclectic folk fusion, and beautifully quirky songs where old traditions meet unconventional ideas.  The dark, haunting Brisbane-based duo The Scrapes will celebrate feedback drenched guitar and apocalyptic, epic violin; known for their wild improvisation and immersive live shows, they reframe music stereotypes time and time again.

The Sweetness of Things Half Remembered is a live rendition of Brisbane-based saxophonist and composer Rafael Karlen’s critically-acclaimed album for sax, piano and strings, while Topology also takes a starring role in the festival, presenting Queensland at Home: a time capsule of vintage film from the State Library of Queensland and a live original score creating an evocative portrait of life in 20th century Queensland.

Local jazz legend David Bentley, globally recognised for penning Python Lee Jackson’s 70s classic In a Broken Dream, sung by Rod Stewart and recently sampled in A$AP Rocky’s hit Everyday, will perform with his jazz trio, and will be joined by internationally renowned didgeridoo playerWilliam Barton for an incredible music experience.

Sydney’s much-lauded string ensemble, The NOISE rounds out the program, one that would be at home in any city of the world.

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