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A genre-bending new music festival kicks off Vivid Sydney

16 May 2016

A mash-up of genre-bending music by budding musicians from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music features in a one-day new music festival for the opening weekend of Vivid Sydney.

Secret Suburbs featuring at Sound Gardens, a one-day new music festival at the Con, for opening weekend of Vivid Sydney.

Curated by the Con’s Damien Ricketson, Craig Scott and Clint Bracknell, Sound Gardens new music festival will be staged across multiple venues at the music castle on Sunday 29 May.

Dr Damien Ricketson, Chair of Composition and Music Technology at the Con said: “Some people won’t expect the music they will hear at Sound Gardens. This is the first music festival of its kind staged at the Con. It celebrates improvised, experimental and never-before-heard sounds that break the rules and boundaries of music.”

University of Sydney students from the Con’s composition, jazz and contemporary music programs are joined by guest musicians for a Sunday afternoon of live music.

Special guest artists Natasha Anderson, Anthony Pateras and Clayton Thomas of Thymolphthalein, join the Con’s contemporary music ensemble and video artist Sean Bacon. The performance is a tense, rhythmical interplay of acoustic, electronic, improvised and composed music, organised by renowned musicians and teachers Phil Slater and Simon Barker.

Secret Suburbs, a young and contemporary Indie pop-rock band operating in Sydney’s inner west, infuse Britpop and psych vibes in an unforgettable music set.

Triple-J unearthed artist Thibaud Kessell, better known by his stage name Mlekö, draws on his jazz and classical music background to bring a chilled performance of live electronic music.

Singer-songwriter Sabrina Toon leads a sweet and colourful quartet that combine acoustic and electric pop genres in an original music set blended with dance.

Composer Sarah Thompson scores a crazy cacophony of sound that takes sonic art to a whole new level.

Jazz trio Cloud Loops, led by Holly Conner, perform an original set of contemporary classical music, combining improvisation with the composition techniques of noted musicians John Cage, Steve Reich and James Blake.

The Thomas Avgenicos jazz quintet creates a hybrid of genre music, bringing a new wave sound and composition like nothing else.

Composer Mimi Kind, with musicians Geena Cheung and Lilli Pearse, perform a new work written for her self-made instrument The Rhythm Machine. Dubbed the giant, homemade music box, the instrument is made from a wood lathe, rubber bands and tin cans. Festival goers are also invited to experiment and make their own sounds on the instrument.

Pendulum, an interactive installation created by Victoria Pham and James Maher, consists of four pendulums made of glass jars and bells that will trigger an electroacoustic soundscape.

To launch the Vivid celebrations at the Con, the façade of the 101-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.