Restrung Festival is returning to Brisbane next month for its third season of cross-genre and contemporary classical strings-driven ensembles, bands, soloists, dance and physical theatre. From August 17 to 19, Brisbane Powerhouse will host an all-star line up of international, national and local guests for three huge days of ticketed concerts and free events.
More than fifty performers and artists will explore the spaces in between genres — classical, electronica, folk, jazz, rock, pop, minimalism — and artistic disciplines.
Headlining the three day genre-busting music fest is New York City’s art-rock band Blonde Redhead, performing their seminal album Misery is a Butterfly with string quartet. Blending eclectic influences — noise rock, dream pop, shoegaze and psychedelic rock — with gloriously lush and darkly-tinted instrumental and vocal textures, Blonde Redhead are known for their playful, wry lyrics and an emotionally-laden intensity of sound.
Joining Blonde Redhead is a mix of artists from around the globe, together with music-making stars from here in Australia. The defying London-based cellist, composer and producer Oliver Coates; famed New York City-based fiddler Cleek Schrey, local guitar and violin reskinners The Scrapes will be making an appearance.
Also joining the line-up is world acclaimed didgeridoo player William Barton, and the masters of music mixology Topology.
The festival is founded by the award-winning cellist Danielle Bentley, who has worked extensively in rock, popular and classical music and was the winner of the prestigious national APRA-AMCOS Art Music Award for Excellence by an Individual.
“Restrung is, above all other, a celebration of music, and I am thrilled that we have been able to secure this extraordinary, world class line-up of sound makers to come to Brisbane and create what we promise will be amazingly memorable music,” Bentley said.
“Luring Blonde Redhead to Brisbane is most definitely a coup, and we look forward to sharing their music with our festival fans. They are just the tip of the three-day musical iceberg, with the full cast of artists brilliant in so many ways.”
Talking of Restrung Festival’s previous years, Topology’s Robert Davidson said it was a highly playful and exploratory celebration of creativity.
“It was incredible to have the opportunity to create my piece “The Gathering” for a disparate group of musicians spread all around the Powerhouse – something that would not have been possible without the open-minded spirit of the festival,” Davidson said.
Following the success of last year’s Muscle Memory, Collusion returns with Queensland Ballet Academy’s talented pre-professional dancers in Reflex, a double-bill of resonant intersections at the forefront of new ballet by Gareth Belling and chamber music.
Zen Zen Zo and The Viola Cloning Project’s DUSK is an exploration of the liminal, the space between, the threshold which facilitates transformation. Zen Zen Zo’s dancers move like shamans or spirit walkers between the light and dark, life and death, music and silence, weaving a shadowy web through The Viola Cloning Project’s bitter-sweet live looped original score.
Oliver Coates, the genre-defying London-based cellist, composer and producer known for his minimalist dance tunes and collaborations with Radiohead, Massive Attack and Mica Levi will star along with the Cris Derksen Trio, the Canadian multi-award winning cellist who combines classical training and Indigenous ancestry with electronics and cellistic sound effects.
Brisbane artists include Monique Clare, famed as the cello-wielding songstress and Folk Alliance Australia Young Performer of the Year 2017. She creates raw, eclectic folk fusion, and beautifully quirky songs where old traditions meet unconventional ideas.
Local jazz legend David Bentley, globally recognised for penning Python Lee Jackson’s 70s classic In a Broken Dream, sung by Rod Stewart and recently sampled in A$AP Rocky’s hit Everyday, will perform with his jazz trio, and will be joined by internationally renowned didgeridoo player William Barton for an incredible music experience.
Sydney’s much-lauded string ensemble, The NOISE rounds out the program, one that would be at home in any city of the world.
Restrung Festival 2017
When: August 17 – 19
Where: at the Brisbane Powerhouse
Cost: There are ticketed and free shows. Festival pass – $135 two shows (Blonde Redhead plus one), $150 for three shows (Full ticket), $100 – two shows (Blonde Redhead plus one), $110 for three shows (Concession).
For bookings and the full program, visit brisbanepowerhouse.org