Australian Art Orchestra’s Peter Knight explains the glorious intrigue of the music created by Canadian composer and musician Nicole Lizée – and why he’s so thrilled to be performing with her at Sydney Festival in 2017.
Calling an artist’s work “unique” is a risky business… but I’m going to stick my neck out and say that Nicole Lizée’s music is like nothing else on the planet.

It sits in an exciting space between contemporary classical, jazz, pop, minimalism and electronica, which is exactly the kind of space I like to work in with the Australian Art Orchestra (AAO, pictured below).

Sex, Lynch, and Video Games
will feature Nicole performing with the AAO and explores her fascination with 80s and 90s screen culture. It includes the Australian premiere of the solo piano and video work, David Lynch Etudes, which has us venturing into Twin Peaks’ Black Lodge with Kyle MacLachlan on screen and Canadian musician Eve Egoyan at the piano.

8-Bit Urbex, commissioned by the AAO, pays homage to the way cities are represented in 1980s video games and puts the audience back in front of the Atari 7800 and early Nintendo games while the orchestra creates a nostalgic yet strikingly contemporary sound with turntables, old tape machines and various Foley elements, along with traditional instruments.

Karappo Okesutura takes us out of the lounge room and into a messed up karaoke performance of pop hits including The Bangles’ Eternal Flame, Endless Love, and Devo’s Whip It. The karaoke machine begins to glitch, the singer holds on for dear life and the orchestra manages to hold it all together.

This is unique and exciting, and the most fun you’ll have at a “serious” music concert.

Peter Knight, Artistic Director, AAO