Vivid Music at the Con – Symphonies of Gaia and Sound Gardens


For the first time during Vivid Sydney, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music (the Con) – that iconic ‘music castle’ nestled on the edge of the Royal Botanic Gardens, will be a beacon of spectacular light and live music as part of the opening weekend of Vivid Sydney, the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas. The façade of the 100-year-old landmark building will be illuminated in a wash of colour by TransGrid for three evenings from Friday 27 May to Sunday 29 May. 

The Con will stage live music across the first weekend of Vivid Sydney on 28 and 29 May 2016, from a wind symphony concert, Symphonies of Gaia,  to a new music festival, Sound Gardens.

The University of Sydney’s Dr Damien Ricketson, Chair of Composition and Music Technology and co-director of Sound Gardens at the Con said, “It will be a weekend music marathon that extends from popular, classical works in a Saturday night concert to jazz, electronic and experimental music in a Sunday afternoon festival. Festival goers will see the breadth and depth of music and musicians coming out of the Con today. We will surprise and inspire visitors with what they see and hear!” 

Vivid Music Curator, Stephen Ferris said, “Vivid Sydney is the perfect platform to showcase and celebrate the diversity of music talent this city has to offer. The Con plays an important role in fostering the rising stars of Australian music and I can’t wait for visitors and Sydney-siders to be able to come together for this special weekend of inspiring performances at one of our cities most iconic venues.” 

Guest artists, lecturers and emerging musicians from the University of Sydney’s music school will form the unique line-up of music talent performing live over the weekend. 

On Saturday night, the Sydney University Wind Orchestra will present Symphonies of Gaia, conducted by Dr Steven Capaldo. From Raider’s March (John Williams), the famous theme song of Raiders of the Lost Ark, to a major finale work Symphonies of Gaia (Jayce John Ogren), the concert program is a diverse repertoire of modern symphonic wind band music for all tastes. 

On Sunday afternoon a one-day, new music festival Sound Gardens curated by the Con’s Damien Ricketson, Craig Scott and Clint Bracknell, will be held across multiple venues at the Con. 

Headlining the festival are guest artists Natasha Anderson who is the recipient of this year’s Peggy Glanville Hicks residency, the exploratory Anthony Pateras and bassist Clayton Thomas, along with well-noted musicians and Con lecturers Phil Slater and Simon Barker. They are joined by rock music group Secret Suburbs and other musician groups that are emerging from the Con. 

Pendulum, an interactive installation made of glass jars and bells that trigger an electroacoustic soundscape, and a performance by student Mimi Kind with her self-made instrument, the Rhythm Machine, will produce new experimental sounds at Sound Gardens.


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