Arts Centre Melbourne unveils ALWAYS LIVE program

by the partae
Photo credit: Tiffany Garvie
Arts Centre Melbourne is proud to be a partner in theinaugural state-wide celebration of contemporary live music, ALWAYS LIVE, cementing Melbourne and Victoria as the live music capital of Australia.

Arts Centre Melbourne’s program boasts the popular return of BLAKTIVISM andthe Melbourne Music Bus Tour as well as ALWAYS LIVE Music Workshops in Arts Centre Melbourne’s creative workshop space, The Channel. There will also be continued daily access to the Australian Music Vault; the free exhibition space exploring the Australian contemporary music story – past, present and future.

Arts Centre Melbourne’s iconic venues – Hamer Hall, the Sidney Myer Music Bowl and the Australian Music Vault – will be filled with passionate music fans and the forecourt will be buzzing with the visually striking ALWAYS LIVE SoundBox, directly adjacent to the Australian Music Vault, bringing to life the Melbourne Arts Precinct.

“We are so proud to be a part of the inaugural ALWAYS LIVE music festival which spotlights Victoria as the key cultural destination for visitors across the Asia-Pacific. Audiences will be able to reconnect with their favourite local and international artists, or discover new ones, in a jam-packed summer of music!” said Arts Centre Melbourne interim CEO Leanne Lawrence.

BLAKTIVISMsees Yothu Yindi lead a line-up of living legends on Thursday 8 Decembercentring Blak voices of First Nations musical activism. Curated byArtistic Directors of GABA MUSIK Deline Briscoe and Airileke, BLAKTIVISM is a direct response to the global dialogue around the Black Lives Matter movement and Australia’s response to Indigenous sovereignty.

Joining Yothu Yindi will be Bart Willoughby, Deline Briscoe, Emma Donovan, Fred Leone, Lou Bennett, Romaine Moreton, Sorong Samarai and more, for a collaborative set as they perform together as the galvanised chorus of an unstoppable movement in a powerful one-night only special event.

“Now is the season for truth telling! It’s time to share the strength and beauty in our culture, the healing of language, ceremony and song lines. It’s time to celebrate our musical pioneers and the new voices singing the same tune to a fresh beat. It’s time for BLAKTIVISM!” said GABA MUSIK Artistic Director Deline Briscoe.

The Australian Music Vaultwelcomes all Victorians to see objects from artists like Tash Sultana, Missy Higgins, Dami Im and AC/DC, and discover exciting new stories from today’s Australian music scene.It will also see the return of the much-lovedMelbourne Music Bus Tourfrom 15 October – 10 December.

Led by Melbourne musicologist Bruce Milne and music journalist Mary Mihelakos, locals will become a tourist of Melbourne’s rich music history by discovering the past of dimly lit band rooms, untold stories from recording studios, secrets from side-of-stage and hear about the revolutionary musicians who have shaped the scene.

In the two-hour tour, music lovers will travel to a broad and diverse range of Melbourne sites including venues and locations associated with this season’s special guests. Guests confirmed to join the tours so far include Angie Hart, Clare Bowditch, Jane Clifton, Paul Stewart, Uncle Jack Charles, Wilbur Wilde as well as a special 70s Melbourne punk scene tout with The Birthday Party and Boys Next Door drummer, Phill Calvert. Tickets to the Melbourne Music Bus Tour will go on sale Tuesday 23 August.

Arts Centre Melbourne’s multi-use creative learning lab, The Channel, will present a series of inspiring, hands-on and one-off masterclasses for emerging artists with industry professionals that support collaborative music-making and sharing with sessions covering song writing, electronic music production and working with synthesisers.

The Song Writing workshop focuses on developing good creative practices in an encouraging and collaborative space. The Ableton & Hardware Integration workshop teaches emerging and established artists how to integrate hardware synthesisers with Ableton Live and use a range of synthesisers for hands-on experience.

The Household Techno workshopwelcomes artists to record and manipulate audio samples using found objects to create dynamic and fun tracks in Ableton Live. There will also be an artist feedback and development session where emerging artists are invited to join an open feedback session encouraging career and creative development through evaluation and collaboration.

As part of the regional First Nations concert series HometownIsaiah Firebrace and Alice Skye and will headline free concerts in Echuca on 4 December and Horsham on 10 December, respectively, enabling regional music fans to enjoy a series of incredible First Nation’s talent celebrating the rich Victorian music culture.

“Activating the state across Melbourne’s CBD and suburbs and throughout the regions, ALWAYS LIVE is a true reflection of the depth, breadth and world-class offerings of the live music industry and scene here in Melbourne and Victoria. We are tremendously grateful to our key stakeholders, the Victorian Government and Visit Victoria, for joining us on this journey and for their continued support for an initiative that will bring immense value to the state,” said ALWAYS LIVE CEO Steve Smith.

Houston, Texas psych-funk auteurs Khruangbin bring their First Class Tour to Melbourne on Saturday 3 December with special guests Kamasi Washington and Mildlife. Live on stage, Khruangbin’s electric range is performed with impeccable style, their sound rooted in globetrotting and meticulously constructed and universally adored.

Sampa The Great returns to Narrm to unveil a new live experience: As Above, So Below – Front to Back. Performing her forthcoming sophomore album of the same name in its entirety, the one-off concert at Hamer Hall on Friday 9 December will see Sampa The Great bring Zambia to Narrm, ushering in her new era.

The ALWAYS LIVE SoundBoxwill be a custom-made Spacecube structure taking take over the Arts Centre Melbourne forecourt giving visitors insight into the buzzing energy of the music industry. It will be the heartbeat of the festival, constantly activated with music videos, performances, recordings and interviews.The multi-use cubed space will be used for recording and broadcasting, and include a lo-fi performance space for podcasting, co-writing and more – the perfect front row viewing point through the glass windows.

Then on Saturday 10 December, HARDWARE 30: TRUE FAITH will celebrate 30 years of Hardware, the label which has been synonymous with the electronic music scene in Australia. Established by Richie McNeill, this event will share tales from the dancefloor.

“We’re bringing Victorians the live music experiences they love, to destinations across the state – offering even more reasons to hit the road and crank the tunes while discovering some of the best drawcards our state has to offer,” said Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Steve Dimopoulos.
Calendar of Events
15 October – 10 December
Melbourne Music Bus Tour
25 November – 10 December
3 December
4 December
Hometown: Isaiah Firebrace
8 December
9 December
Sampa The Great
10 December
Hometown: Alice Skye

10 December



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