This October, Melbourne Festival is returning to deliver its annual assembly of local and international art, and as part of that this year’s music program features some truly exceptional international acts that festival organisers have managed to lure to Australian shores.
The first weekend of the festival on October 13 & 14 begins with ANTONY AND THE JOHNSONS performing Swanlights, the group’s 2010 album which was also their fourth. Originally commissioned by New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Swanlights is a transcendental work that sees the sublime vocals of Antony Hegarty backed by a 44-piece orchestra and an unforgettable visual aesthetic.
Performing exclusively for Melbourne Festival at the Arts Centre’s Hamer Hall, the festival will also host an intimate exhibition of the singer’s personal artwork.
Sonic Youth frontman THURSTON MOORE will also be playing Hamer Hall, complemented by an ensemble that includes harp and violin. The icon of alternative music will be premiering new work to Australian shores and audiences, additionally supported by Kid Sam’s KIERAN RYAN.
Fellow Sonic Youth bandmate and equally legendary guitarist, LEE RANALDO will bring his powerful and ever-changing solo live show to the Hi Fi Bar, and will be supported by Sydney shoegazers THE LAURELS; currently touring for their album debut, Plains. Ranaldo will also take to the stage with talented ensemble, TEXT OF LIGHT, to soundtrack the films of Stan Brakhage, one of cinema’s true masters of the avant-garde.
Abrasive, wild and ﬁercely independent, minimalist punk provocateurs SHELLAC descend on Melbourne for two (extremely) rare live appearances at the Hi Fi Bar. Returning to Melbourne for their ﬁrst Australian shows since their 1993 tour with Fugazi, Shellac will supported by local bands MY DISCO and BLACK LEVEL EMBASSY.
Modern day troubadour BILLY BRAGG comes to the Melbourne Festival this year with two special performances: one celebrating the legacy and 100th anniversary of the birth of Woody Guthrie, and the second will see Billy perform a selection from his own incredible back catalogue.
The festival will host a blistering double headliner show from Seattle based jazz, funk and soul-inﬂected hip hop duo THEESATISFACTION, and New Orleans booty queens BIG FREEDIA & THE DIVAS. Keeping things ﬂowing between acts will be partysmashers GROUSE PARTY DJs; combining for a show sure to get your rump shaking.
In collaboration with the curators of Melbourne’s Sugar Mountain Festival comes BERMUDA FLOAT, an electro-psych aquatic odyssey. The sunset boat cruise will feature USA psychedelic pop six-piece PURO INSTINCT and Melbourne’s NO ZU, combining an intoxicating mix of trumpets, percussion, abrasive guitars and chanted Australiana.
Having been in development for over 12 months, Melbourne Festival will host the world premier of Conversations with Ghosts. Featuring iconic Australian musician Paul Kelly will join recorder virtuoso Genevieve Lacey, electronic soundscapist James Ledger, and 10 ANAM musicians to present an evening of beautiful and atmospheric music which touches on the theme of death and mortality.
ACMI and Greater Union will also be hosting a full program of international films curated by Richard Moore, containing several documentaries examining the world of music.
Full dates and venue information are available at MelbourneFestival.com.au
MELBOURNE FESTIVAL // MUSIC PROGRAM LINEUP
OCTOBER 11-27, 2012
ANTONY AND THE JOHNSONS
BIG FREEDIA & THE DIVAS
GROUSE PARTY DJs