The Now now was last in the city in 2007 – its last three years have been hot-house music festivals in the Blue Mountains. This year it returns to Sydney to share the fun and games.
The festival, which boasts a slew of international music icons – as well as stars of the Australian music scene – will be held at three inner west venues from the 21st to 28th January: The Red Rattler Marrickville, Serial Space Chippendale and the ‘secret’ People’s Republic of Australasia.
The Now now has undergone much change over the decade but its unique spirit of exploratory improvised music remains.
There are many debuts as well as popular returns at this year’s festival, which again features eclectic programming across all genres: multimedia, installations, verbal, electronic and more. What they have in common is sense of adventure and an embrace of the moment.
Among the fantastic ‘traditions’ again on the card is latest incarnation of the legendary SPLINTER ORCHESTRA… a full scale 36-piece big band featuring an improvising musical Who’s Who of the fest – with musicians aged from 16 to 66 – all together… and present!
Featured artists include electronics virtuoso YAN JUN from China, Brisbane’s SKY NEEDLE, local trio ROIL (Chris Abrahams, Mike Majkowski & James Waples), Tassie’s UNTERMORAST (featuring Tim Panerotos with processed/looped bazouki and Matt Warren with processed vocals), recent Walkley Award winner, radio presenter and experimental musician JOHN BLADES (dragon generation word salad), Hollis Taylor with violin plus field recordings, The UNAUSTRALIAN STRING QUARTET and the CLEPTOCLECTICS.
Other visiting international artists include Argentina’s experimental film/audio artist ALAN COURTIS, pianist MAGDA MAYAS from Germany, SCOTT SINCLAIR from Berlin, Scandinavian band THE THING, Canadian combo DUO VULGARITÉS and many more.
There’s enticing international and local collaborations on offer too, such as MAGDA MAYAS with Tony Buck and then with locals Monika Brooks (accordion) and Laura Altman (clarinet), Swiss synth star JASON KAHN with Brisbane’s Matt Earle and Adam Sussman, YAN JUN with Alex White among others. Plus sax maniacs JIM DENLEY and ROSALIND HALL, open circuit artist PETER BLAMEY, cornet Kiwi GERARD CREWDSON & NZ vocalist NOEL MEEK.
It’s EXTREME ART. And it’s Sydney’s own in January 2011
The Now now festival Friday 21 to 28 January
Red Rattler 6 Faversham St Marrickville + Serial Space 33 Wellington St Chippendale
See full festival program at www.thenownow.net
Day pass $15/$20; 3 day pass $35/$45; festival pass $65/$85
Available at venue moshtix outlets or www.moshtix.com.au or 1300 GET TIX (438 849)