Thursday, November 14, 2019

Brett McKenzie, Laurie Anderson and Neko Case will be at the Festival!


Late last week, at two special events held in the banquet hall at Parliament in Wellington, Creative Director Marnie Karmelita presented the programme for New Zealand Festival Of The Arts 2020. The programme has an extra special angle to it this time with three guest curators putting together mini programmes.

Director and Choreographer Lemi Ponifasio has put together a range of music and dance shows such as Chosen and Beloved, a vast and spectacular reworking of Goreki’s Symphony No.3 Symphony of Sorrowful Songs and Jerusalem written by Ponifasio and inspired by the great Middle Eastern Adonis (Ali Ahmad Said Esber). The second guest curator will be well known to music fans and art fans alike.

Laurie Anderson made her mark in the mid-80’s with avant garde pop such as Language Is A Virus and the boundary smashing O Superman. She’s worked with Kronos Quartet, Philip Glass and Lou Reed. One of her works at the festival, Here Comes The Ocean, is a concert that interprets Reed’s music and Anderson’s words using an ensemble of musicians.

Reed will also be ‘present’ in the exhibition Drones, which features his guitars hooked up to a sonically awesome feedback loop. Anderson has a personal connection to Aotearoa, as her niece was tragically killed in a traffic accident. Her returning will be marked by a special improvisation and incantatory work called The Calling, dedicated to Thea Anderson. Even more exciting is a new free free flying VR experience, which takes participants on a lunar expedition. To The Moon will definitely by one to smash the walls of conventional art down. Finally, another performance is her Concert For Dogs. A free event where our canine friends are all invited along (followed by a film she’s made about her own beloved mutt, Lolabelle).

The third curator is also well known. Brett McKenzie doesn’t really need an introduction. Comedian, Actor, composer and all round nice Wellingtonian he adds a bit of grounding to the festival. He’s worked with artists Kemi Neko and & Co to produce a series of miniature huts to discover around the Kapiti Coast. These are an expansion of an earlier project that made tiny tramping huts based on real DOC buildings and hid them around the city for eager explorers to discover. McKenzie himself has scored a bit of a coup composing the music for the National Theatre’s (UK) upcoming work The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil by George Sanders. This is a work in progress and festival goers will be able to get in on the prototype of the work even before UK audiences see it. Also in McKenzie’s programme is Netherlands based comedy virtuoso Släpstick, who were a major hit at the recent Edinburgh Festival. And there are also a pile of late night gigs where musicians get to try out new material.

The programme includes Estère, Nadia Reid, Jazz musicians John McLaughlin and L.Shankar, Aldous Harding, Weyes Blood and Purple Pilgrims. Poet and musician Kate Tempest will make her mark, too.

Finally, the most exciting news we leave until last. The New Pornographers will be here – including Neko Case – performing their new album In the Morse Code of Brake Lights. There’s plenty more, of course, from opera to dance to programmes for the deaf to schools programme and public art exhibitions.

Check it all out at : https://www.festival.nz/

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