VIVID Sydney at NAS
Vivid Sydney is coming to the National Art School
Wednesday 1 – Saturday 18 June 2022
Cell Block Theatre
See the National Art School’s grand historic Cell Block Theatre transformed after dark, when Vivid Sydney alights on the Darlinghurst institution – for the first time ever.
Unfurling a brand new, eclectic music and arts program over the winter festival, revelers can indulge in a smorgasbord of mind-bending and atmospheric music performances ranging from space jazz excursions and impromptu beatmaking to ethereal dreamscapes and neoclassical experimentation.
Presented by Vivid Sydney in association with the National Art School with support from the City of Sydney.
Wednesday 1 and Thursday 2 June
After making cosmic waves across the world, multi-instrumentalist Godriguez and his psychedelic jazz explorers return with two audio visual performance sets, alongside special collaborators. [Trance] Enter a state of profound abstraction absorption through Julian Bel Bachir’s Afro-Saharan trance, featuring Malian guitar maestro Moussa Diakite and a special international guest from Morocco. [Hypnosis] Conjure calm altered consciousness with the Ben Adler string quartet, arranged by Novak Manojlovic. Aural and Visual Immersion Live sound effects and mix production by Jack Prest, the co-producer and engineer for all of GODTET’s albums. World-building visuals by Swicked who also created the visuals for GODTET’s acclaimed Sydney Opera House performance.
Lightscape Piano Show
Friday 3 June
In this 360 degree, multi-sensory experience, alt-pop visionary Pluto Jonze reveals an epic dreamscape on the Lightscape Piano. Part-instrument, part light installation, his antique piano is deconstructed and retrofitted with responsive lights that illuminate the normally-hidden mechanics as the instrument is played. The sensitive lights allow Pluto to re-envision songs from his new album Awe, which “conjures a sense of endless possibility in a sprawling world” (NME) and was inspired by the contemporary visual artist James Turrell. As a composition, Awe is influenced as much by romantic composers Debussy, Erik Satie, Vangelis, Jean Michel Jarre, as by indie-psych modern greats Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Beck, Tobias Jesso Jnr, Tame Impala and Todd Terje. His music has earned comparisons with Tame Impala, Crowded House and The Beatles, amongst many others. At Pluto’s hands, light, sound and virtuosity expose the wonder of a beautifully crafted instrument that is a work of art in its own right.
“The John Lennon comparisons will always follow Pluto Jonze around, and for good reason: his reverbed vocals and psychotropic tendencies recall the spectacled Beatle at his most serene.” – The Guardian (AUS) “Echoing the softer moments of Vampire Weekend’s recent material.” – NME (AUS)
“Reminiscent of Kevin Parker’s floating vocals and melancholy lyricism.” – Life Without Andy (AUS)
“Jonze’s voice scales dizzy heights with another deep cut soul inflection.” – Backseat Mafia (AUS)
presents Dark Crystal
Saturday 4 June
Enter a dream-state when Eora/Sydney-based electronic music artist Ninajirachi brings together a diverse and eclectic ensemble for this one-off, intimate live electronic music experience. Melding live vocals, electronic and DJ performances, this is where you’ll feel Australia’s most forward-thinking club, pop, electronic and dance music pulse through your soul. Fans of left-field, hyperpop and future-facing sonic excursions, lace up your treads. The historic National Art School Cell Block Theatre is your destination for an intimate party prioritising inclusivity, joy, and wonder. All bodies are welcome and outward self-expression is celebrated. Dreamcore draws inspiration from an aesthetic and internet-culture fixation with dreamlike, surreal, hyperreal, uncanny, and nostalgic imagery referencing archived internet history and early-internet era memories, media, and animation. Weird and beautiful, like the music. Dreamcore sees a plethora of such artists take to the physical stage, lit up by an array of lights and accompanied by a live VJ set.
“With a sound that embodies a rich, opulent atmosphere and a flawless touch in the studio, Ninajirachi is truly in her own lane. The Australian triple-threat producer, songwriter, and DJ has built a career that encompasses the spectrum of electronic music, garnering praise from critics and notable artists alike.” – triple j unearthed
Dreamcore unfolds on stolen land, and 10% of net profits will be donated to Aboriginal Legal Services NSW.
Thursday 9 June
Musician, visual artist, and designer Annie Hamilton performs an intimate and immersive live show to launch her long-awaited debut album, The Future Is Here But It Feels Kinda Like The Past (out May 20) alongside a pop-up store showcasing the latest collection from her eponymous fashion label. Rejecting straightforward narrative structure in favour of pinning down hyper-specific yet universally empathetic moments, Annie’s new album is a stylised-yet-grainy collage of snapshots. Together, they span a mammoth range of emotion, sound and genre, yet are tied together as documentation of little human moments. Contradiction and duality, reality as metaphor and metaphor as reality, stumbling through life and trying to make some kind of beautiful, are all at the fleeting beating heart of it.
Friday 10 June
Relish the freedom of gender fluidity and embrace the beauty in androgyny when multidisciplinary artist HANDSOME takes to the stage. Enter the world of Blame (also her second EP) where desert grit meets hyper real adventure. This is anthemic electronic pop that hits all the feels. This special live show is enhanced by the Blame video and visual experience alongside special guests and wild one-off performances. As much a movement as a moniker, HANDSOME crafts a mix of Tomboy pop and brooding electronica. Her bold and new sounds celebration self-expression and carefree creativity, accompanied by obsessive perfection.
Thursday 16 June
The coastlines of Sydney – deep blue waves, dappled sunlight and crisp sand – inspire this immersive, multi-sensory live music and video experience in which multi-instrumentalist, composer and performer Jake Meadows drives the majestic sounds of the harp with ethereal electronic music. Always an innovator, he plays live utilising Yamaha object-based audio technology and AI-powered music engine MEMU developed by the cross-disciplinary technology team at Uncanny Valley. Be mesmerised by a fusion of art and science, where music and technology become the language of expression.
“Jake Meadows is a force of nature, a light that brings shadows to the forefront… an artist and a visionary who blends normality into absurdity, a painter of sound.” – Daniel Johns
Birds of Tokyo’s Adam Spark presents:
Snow vs Mountain
Saturday 18 June
Composer Adam Spark, the driving force behind ARIA and APRA Award winning rock band Birds Of Tokyo, presents the World Premiere of his bittersweet neo-classical opus. Be lured into a visually stunning yet fragile world before levitating into the night sky in this meditation on survival. In contrast to the stadium-filling rock anthems for Birds Of Tokyo, Adam drives this epic composition with cinematic pianos, synthetic soundscapes and a chamber orchestra. Layer in collaborations with legendary British arranger Audrey Riley (Smashing Pumpkins, Muse, Coldplay, The Smiths), and post-rock prodigy Otto Wicks Green (sleepmakeswaves) and the mountainous world comes to life. In 2018, composer and producer Adam found himself at the very bottom of the well. “I had to write my way into living”, he explains. “This project is the result of those writings. It literally saved my life and is designed to share my eventual realisation that living, even through pain, is well worth it.” This is music of hope, born out of dark times. Expect a spellbinding masterpiece from one of Australia’s towering rock gods.