New Order, Bon Iver, Max Richter (featuring Grace Davidson) and Ta-ku (featuring Wafia): generations of powerful, boundary-pushing artists join Anohni in Sydney Opera House exclusives as part of its Vivid LIVE 2016 program of transformative contemporary music, announced today forVivid Sydney, the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas.
Taking over all six stages and spaces across the Opera House, Vivid LIVE 2016 features more than 25 international and Australian performances from a genre-hopping line-up that spans jazz geniusEsperanza Spalding, future-soul quartet Hiatus Kaiyote, metal-benders Deafheaven, Goodgodclub nights, a night-long performance, dress-up kids’ shows and much more (full details below).
All within the soaring Songlines, a groundbreaking indigenous artwork that will transform the sails of the Opera House into an animated canvas, directed by the Opera House’s Head of Indigenous Programming, Rhoda Roberts.
A bold evolution of Vivid LIVE’s annual Lighting the Sails during Vivid Sydney, Roberts’s Songlines conflates time and space, weaving history lines and trade routes into a pattern of sharing systems. Roberts has selected six key Indigenous artists from different clans, national estates and territories –Karla Dickens, Djon Mundine, Gabriella Possum Nungurrayi, Reko Rennie, Donny Woolagoodja, and the late Gulumbu Yunupingu – to create this new and timeless work.
For the first time, the Opera House Forecourt will become part of the citywide Vivid Light Walk, with a very special installation, Flurry. This interactive space deploys LED lighting to make the public the performer, their presence triggering light effects within a structure they can walk through to a view of the harbour.
Now in its eighth year, Vivid LIVE celebrates the world’s boldest and most ambitious contemporary music at Australia’s boldest and most ambitious building, the World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House. Showcasing newly commissioned works, world-premiere performances and exclusive appearances, Vivid LIVE has included performances by The Cure, Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwomanKaren O, Kraftwerk, Lauryn Hill, St. Vincent and Morrissey.
Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer and Executive Producer Vivid Sydney Sandra Chipchase said, “Vivid Sydney returns in 2016 with an incredible program featuring a series ofexciting firsts. From the spectacular illumination of the iconic sails in celebration of Australia’s Indigenous artists through the story of Songlines, to the expansion of the Vivid Light Walk through the Forecourt with Flurry, this year’s Vivid Sydney festival is set to be our biggest yet.”
Ben Marshall, curator of Vivid LIVE and the Opera House’s Head of Contemporary Music, says, “It’s an honour to present the 2016 Vivid LIVE program, the second I’ve had the privilege of putting together. Vivid LIVE celebrates ambition and excellence in contemporary music – marrying artists interested in stretching the concept of performance with a building that symbolises the liberating power of art. It’s a unique time to take in the Opera House, when it’s being taken over by contemporary music performances, the Deep Purple Pool Hall, free artist talks & exhibitions plus the brilliant madness of Dress Up Attack!’s music festival for kids & adults, Max Richter’s overnight concerts and more. I hope everyone enjoys the city and the Opera House at this unique time of year and has fun trying on for size the musical worlds that are brought here.”
Ben Marshall, who follows an illustrious line of Vivid LIVE curators that began with the legendary Brian Eno and has included the late Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson, Modular Recordings founderStephen Pavlovic and Fergus Linehan.
Vivid LIVE is the centrepiece of the Sydney Opera House’s burgeoning, year-round music program.
Vivid LIVE 2016 Line-up
New Order, the synth-pop superstars who created the blueprint for the likes of Radiohead and LCD Soundsystem, will celebrate a 35-year, 10-album career that includes 2015’s Music Complete, their first album in a decade, featuring collaborations with La Roux, Iggy Pop, Stuart Price and Tom Rowlands from the Chemical Brothers. Inspired again by new possibilities of performing, New Order present a four-night residency in the Opera House Concert Hall, the band’s only Australian performances.
In a world premiere for Vivid LIVE, New Order will play two nights (1,5 June) in classic five-piece configuration and two with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, arranged and conducted by celebrated British composer Joe Duddell (2,4 June).
One of the great indie rock breakout stars of the last decade, Grammy Award winner Bon Iver, will open Vivid LIVE 2016 with a new show created for the occasion, Cercle, over four Sydney-only nights in the Concert Hall (27-30 May). No stranger to the Opera House stage, Justin Vernon’s three 2012 shows sold. Vernon also led a new collective of modern singer-songwriters and folk luminaries celebrating American folklorist Alan Lomax exclusively for 2013’s Vivid LIVE.
Multi Grammy-winning jazz bassist and vocalist Esperanza Spalding will make her Sydney Opera House debut in the Joan Sutherland Theatre 4 June, presenting her fifth studio album, Emily’s D+Evolution. A series of vignettes conceived in collaboration with director Will Weigler (Arcade Fire, Spike Jonze), Spalding fuses pop melodies, funk-rock grooves and jazz improvisation. Each song builds its own world, complete with characters, video and physical movement.
Future Classic’s rising star, Perth producer Ta-ku, will take centre stage (3 June) in his first Australian headline performance, supported by Brisbane vocalist Wafia. One of Australia’s most indemand beatmakers, Ta-ku (real name Regan Matthews) is curator of an ever-expanding, multidisciplinary creative empire founded on storytelling. Beyond the producer’s forthcoming EP Songs To Make Up To – companion piece to last year’s Songs To Break Up To EP – a debut album is now in the works.
After a phenomenal rise internationally, Melbourne future-soul quartet Hiatus Kaiyote will receive the Australian platform – and spotlight – they deserve on the Opera House Concert Hall stage on 31 May. In a whirlwind five years, the band has amassed two Grammy nominations, multiple world tours, nods from Erykah Badu, Questlove and Prince. Inspiring female artist Sampa The Great will be supporting.
Max Richter will perform his record-breaking 31-track, eight-hour album Sleep the way he always intended – hibernating – at the Opera House (3,4 June). A special environment will be created in the Joan Sutherland Theatre Northern Foyer for the occasion. Hailed as one of the most influential composers of his generation, the German-British composer only made his Australian debut in 2014 – a dozen years after his breakthrough album Memoryhouse. This is an exciting moment in the Vivid LIVE program and the only place to experience this remarkable piece live. This performance also features the musicians who recorded the album, New York’s American Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACME), and rising-star British soprano Grace Davidson.
Brooklyn-based experimental electronic artist Oneohtrix Point Never will present his seventh album Garden of Delete in his own show (29 May), alongside his four performances in the Joan Sutherland Theatre with Anohni. Exploring the detritus of technology and lowbrow culture, Daniel Lopatin has skirted the borders of pop culture since signing with the illustrious Warp Records in 2013.
Crossover American black-metal band Deafheaven will make their way back to Australia to introduce their new album New Bermuda, the darkly cinematic follow up to the critically acclaimedSunbather. Treading the tightrope between harrowing metal screams and celestial beauty Deafheaven promise to be one of the heaviest bands yet to take the stage at Vivid LIVE – a fittingly epic performance on the Joan Sutherland Theatre (2 June).
Ten-time Grammy Award winner and legend of jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter will draw Vivid LIVE to a euphoric close in a rare Australian performance with the Wayne Shorter Quartet (13 June). One of the most charismatic figures in the long history of jazz, Shorter has played with Miles Davis, Weather Report and Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers.
Studio Club Nights are back at the Opera House for Vivid LIVE 2016, and this time Jimmy Sing is reviving the imitable brand Goodgod to curate all four nights across two weekends (27-28 May, 3-4 June). Recognising the cultural importance of the club in Sydney, Goodgod Super Club is a salute to the fundamental elements of sound, lighting and good music.
Inspired to rebel against the way women are portrayed in pop music across three albums, Poliçafollow their sold out Sydney debut with a fiery performance in the Joan Sutherland Theatre (3 June). In one of the most unique back stories of the past decade, folk singer Channy Leaneagh ended a band and relationship, began collaborating with producer Ryan Olson (Gayngs, Bon Iver), and formed a breakthrough ensemble that Justin Vernon described as ‘the best band I’ve ever heard’, comprising autotune vocals, bass and drums.
“Haunting melodies and deeply involved lyricism marked Tiny Ruins as one of the best acts to harness the power of dark folk … expansive, experimental and exciting.” Tiny Ruins is the project of New Zealand musician & songwriter Hollie Fullbrook. With the first stint at the Opera House opening for Calexico, Tiny Ruins now step out for a headline show in the Joan Sutherland Theatre (1 June).
One of the most fun and chaotic events is back for another year. Dress Up Attack! For Children and Grown Ups (29 May) is programmed for children aged 2-8, together with their parents and carers (as the title suggests, dressing up is encouraged). This year special guests Sally Seltmannand Holly Throsby will perform with Walter Martin (of The Walkmen) and band.
There will be exhibitions on site (27 May – 5 June), with a special New Order Project to experience artwork, photography and videos documenting the band from the early days until now. New Order’s indelible influence doesn’t stop at their stamp on modern music – it touches, at close range and from a distance, aspects of design, photography, nightclubs and running independent record companies. Intimate screenings of Control, 24 Hour Party People, Joy Division, neworderstory, Here Are the Young Men and New Order Collection are in the line-up.
As part of the exhibition, celebrated British music photographer Kevin Cummins will show his New Order and Joy Division work. Cummins has contributed to many major media, including The Times, The Observer, The Guardian, Esquire, Maxim, Elle, Vogue and Mojo. Cummins captured the burgeoning punk scene in Manchester, taking some of the most iconic band photographs of that era.
Vivid LIVE free talks sessions are back in the Concert Hall Northern Foyer this year. The first talks announced will investigate New Order’s lasting contribution:
In New Order x Paul Morley (1 June) with writer,broadcaster and cultural critic Paul Morely, who has written about music, art, and entertainment since the 1970s. He first wrote about Joy Division in 1977 and New Order in 1980, and wrote and co-directed neworderstory in 1992. Paul will present his views on the magic of New Order, then Myf Warhurst will lead a conversation with him about the historical and the present-day New Order, the band’s various collaborators and lasting influence, and then take audience questions.
Kevin Cummins will also feature in talks, at Shadow Play: Photographing Joy Division and New Order w Kevin Cummins (2 June). Accompanying the New Order and Joy Division photography exhibition, Cummins will discuss with Myf Warhurst his long association with these artists and what makes them such compelling subjects.
Long-term New Order friends and collaborators Paul Morley and Kevin Cummins will also host a talks session together Manchester: Looking for the Light Through the Pouring Rain (4 June) to discuss the remarkable city that shaped Joy Division, New Order, The Smiths, The Stone Roses, the Buzzcocks and other singular musical acts.
Song Exploder is a hugely popular podcast: musicians take apart their songs and, piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made, dissecting music songwriting, recording and production. Produced, edited and hosted by LA film/tv composer and songwriter Hrishikesh Hirway, Song Exploder’s previous guests have included Björk, Thundercat, U2, The National, Oneohtrix Point Never, Chet Faker, Kelela and Courtney Barnett. Hrishikesh will do his first Sydney live taping in a special episode with a Vivid LIVE performer 9to be announced); previously he has live-taped at Sundance Film Festival and SxSW.
Artist Leif Podajsky was the creative force behind this year’s festival imagery and his work will also be on display around the Sydney Opera House. Leif’s work explores themes of connectedness, the relevance of nature and the psychedelic or altered experience. He has created artwork and design for a number of brands, record labels and musicians around the world including Australia’s own Tame Impala.
2016 also sees the hotly anticipated return of the Deep Purple Pool Hall, a low-lit cue-shooting favourite from last year, the team behind Tio’s and The Cliff Dive return in a perfect haze as this comes back to life for ten nights only at Vivid LIVE.
Sydney Opera House Major Partner Intel in 2016 will for the first time partner with Vivid LIVE in 2016 to deliver a creative collaboration that will share what happens inside the festival outside. Capturing the most important moments of Vivid LIVE through the Intel Broadcast Studios*, this creative and technological partnership is designed to spark the imagination of the audience wherever they are. As the Major Event Partner of Vivid LIVE, Intel will showcase the best of their technology at the Sydney Opera House to create amazing experiences over 18 days. More information on this will be provided in due course.
As the sails light up, Opera House food and drink experiences will celebrate Australia’s rich culinary heritage in a range of Vivid-inspired menus. Vivid-exclusive guided tours will also be available each night, offering visitors the chance to discover the Opera House’s famous theatres and spaces before taking in the illuminated sights around the Sydney Harbour. A two-hour backstage tour will explore behind the scenes and stages including the state-of-the-art recording studio as the Opera House prepares for the evening’s Vivid LIVE shows, wrapping up with dinner and drinks in the famous Green Room.