Tag Archives: Auckland

AWA17: 5 mis with Richard Orjis

Since completing his Masters at the Elam School of Fine Arts, artist Richard Orjis has exhibited his work both locally and internationally.   In 2016, he was the Tylee Cottage Artist in Residence at the Sarjeant Gallery in Whanganui and earlier this year, he was the Asisa New Zealand Foundation artist in residence at Rimbun Dahan in Malaysia.   His work is held in private and public collections including: The University of Auckland, the Jenny Gibbs Collection (Auckland), the University of Auckland (Auckland), Auckland Council (Auckland), The Film Archive (Wellington), The Wallace Trust collection (Auckland) and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport Collection (Madrid, Spain).

His new work will explore the fundamental concept of connection and how everything can be perceived as intrinsically linked.  Check it out as part of Artweek Auckland.

Describe your piece of work / installation in three words

Queer

Nature

Connectivity

 

What inspired it?

Connections with people through conversations, history and art

 

What’s your creative process?

It can be varied, but basically, it’s a process of absorbing the world around me and creating works of art as a result of that collecting.

 

What do you think of the Art scene in Auckland?  New Zealand?

I think it’s vibrant, active and keyed into a global discourse. It is also aware of its unique position in the Southern hemisphere.

 

Are there any artists / pieces of work that you’re looking forward to seeing this year?

Flora at the Franklin Arts Centre

Shifting Ground at Silo 6

 

What is your social media of choice?

Instagram

 

Who do you follow and where?

Best_of_grindr / Instagram

Palaceofwisdom / Instagram

Tom Sainsbury / Facebook

 

What are the top 3 tracks on your Spotify playlist right now?

It’s too embarrassing, I only listen to doof doof music at the gym and it’s just too embarrassing to mention.

 

Word Association:

Auckland – water

Art – Oh fuck

Festival – too many

Creative – everyone is

Collaboration – complicated

Politics – depressing

Summer – gardens

 

Richard Orjis’ exhibition Salt Felix at Melanie Roger Gallery, 444 K’Road as part of Artweek Auckland.

7 – 15 October, find out more.

been | London Grammar

They say good things come to those who wait and Kiwi fans of London Grammar were certainly kept in anticipation on Saturday night.  

Nearly half an hour later than scheduled, London Grammar graced the stage of Auckland’s Spark Arena and fans were awarded for their loyalty.  Over 5,000 were eagerly waiting to see London Grammar’s first ever New Zealand performance and they weren’t disappointed.

Starting with a minimalistic performance of Rooting for you, Hannah’s unique and mellisonant voice resonated throughout the arena.  Performing songs from both their albums, die-hard fans sang along to every song while the majority of the crowd bellowed to their chart-topping singles; Hey Now and Strong.

The subtle lighting and colour washes, their humble approach, and the emotion on their faces made it a mesmerising performance to watch.  This was further complemented by their unique ability to make the arena performance feel intimate.

My only gripe; after spending hours vocal training at local Karaoke bars, practising for my time to sing-along to their cover of Bitter Sweet Symphony, I was disappointed to hear it wasn’t part of their hour-long set.  Still, London Grammar gave a fantastic performance and I hope we see them on shores again.

Check out all the photographs from their performance here.

AWA17: 5 mins with Mardo El-Noor

Mardo El-Noor is a chai-latte drinking, left-handed, hybrid creative. Armed with a Masters in Art & Design (AUT), Mardo’s work can be found globally.

New Zealand music lovers will be familiar with his conceptual music videos, including ‘Shine’ by the Modern Māori Quartet, ‘Treat you better’ by Theia, ‘Sunday’s best clothes’ by Opshop, ‘Hometown’ by Salmonella Dub, and ‘Jump’ by Kings. He’s also made three animated short films, screening at NZIFF and other film festivals around the world.

Mardo’s most recent work; a series of ground-breaking images with renowned political commentator and editorial cartoonist, Tom Scott (ONZM) can be found in the NZ Parliament Buildings and (next year) at the Waikato Museum.

Mardo was 2016’s ART Venture recipient, an acceleration programme for experienced creative entrepreneurs working in Auckland.

This Artweek Auckland, check out Mardo’s hyper-real photo-illustrations depicting people as characters in elaborately staged scenes that tell their personal stories.

Describe your piece of work in three words
Family-friendly David LaChappelle.

Baby by Mardo El-Noor

What inspired it?
People. People. People. Everyone has a story but not everyone is a storyteller. I’m a curator of people’s stories.

What’s your creative process?
I depict people as characters in elaborately staged, highly-detailed scenes that tells their personal stories (Imagine a freeze-frame in a non-existing movie, with you as the star!). The process starts with a conversation/interview, which leads to a pitch of a sketch, then a photoshoot, then a long post-production process.

Havana by Mardo El-Noor

What do you think of the Art scene in Auckland? New Zealand?
I’m not familiar with it – as my background is in commercial art & advertising. New Zealand market is quite small, which makes it easier to stand out.

Unnamed by Mardo El-Noor

What is your social media of choice?
Facebook. You can customise your newsfeed to follow all your fave websites (& block out all social noise from ‘friends’)

Who do you follow and where?
I mainly follow trending videos on Vimeo, Nowness & the likes. Behance is a huge source of inspiration too.

What are the top 3 tracks on your Spotify playlist right now?
The Dillinger Escape Plan – Dissociation (album)
Future Islands – The Far Field (album)
The National – Sleep Well Beast (album)

Word Association:
Auckland – Traffic
Art – Stories
Festival – Festival
Creative – Job
Collaboration – Synergy
Politics – Status Quo
Summer – Recharge

Mardo El-Noor, Personal Stories at Ponsonby Central as part of Artweek Auckland.
2-15 October, Find out more.

been | Cole

How much charisma does it take to fill the Auckland Town Hall? If you’re Michael Griffiths, consider the building bursting.

The spirit of Cole Porter lives in Griffiths, who has been portraying Porter for 3 years in this show. From the moment Griffiths stepped onstage – complete with Porter-esque limp – the spell was cast for an hour of marvellous musical magic.

As with the best cabaret, all of the glamour and fun of the genre combined beautifully with hints of melancholy as Mr Porter regaled us with the highs and lows of his life and career; taking in Paris, New York, a marriage of convenience, love lost and found, and the riding accident that nearly ended his career. These moments, retold wittily and wistfully, but never self-pityingly, were touchingly revealing, and Porter’s greatest hits are cleverly woven into the narrative, musically illustrating the story.

Typically matinee audiences are subdued, but Griffiths in mischievous style alternately teased, cajoled and affectionately bullied the assembly until we were transformed into his own private singalong chorus. A gorgeous setting – complete with glittering curtains at the doors, romantic lighting, roses on the tables, and a particularly well-deployed mirrorball– completed the spell.

Like the most pleasing of parties, the hour flew by in the blink of an eye. I didn’t want it to end. Five stars.

Grab tickets HERE.

interviewed | The fabulous Miss Frisky

Miss Frisky is gracing Auckland again this month for two evenings of karaoke cabaret nonsense, vocal pyrotechnics, and riotous fun. You may remember her from the British musical comedy cabaret double act – Frisky & Mannish – who performed at last year’s Auckland Live International Cabaret Season.

This time, the audience gets to choose the playlist during her performance! The show is all about classic music and why we love it so much. It will allow the audience to offer their random favourite songs, and express why they love certain tracks so much. Miss Frisky admitted: “It’s about getting to use me as a human jukebox and hear your favourites belted live, right in your face.”

When I asked her what she has lined up for the audience, she replied: “Really, it’s about what the audience have lined up for me! I genuinely do not know what I will be singing, it’s in the hands of the audience and I know we’ll all have a brilliant time together.”

After extensive research into interactive technologies, Miss Frisky and her team have decided that the audience will let them know their choice of songs by writing on a post-it note, and sticking it to their heads. Miss Frisky told me how incredibly efficient this method is, “and everyone looks suitably ridiculous, so I enjoy it,” she said. “I’ll then choose whichever songs I feel like singing. Bribes will be accepted.”

Along with the show, she’s super excited to be back in Auckland to visit Ponsonby’s food market, boutiques and brunch spots. She loves Karangahape Road’s vintage shops and the Wharf’s killer oysters and seafood. She also spoke very highly of Waiheke’s vineyards but will be looking for new adventures this year. She said: “All the best days out I’ve had, were suggested by Auckland locals, so write it on a post-it and stick it to your head, please.”

She is one of the biggest voices in cabaret and has performed all over the world, but she still gets nervous. She said: “What’s extra-nerve-racking about the show I’m doing here, is that I am totally in the audience’s hands. We will be making something unique every night, so comfort won’t really be coming into it! But the nerves are the thing that give you superpowers – I cannot wait to see what happens.”

Miss Frisky

Miss Frisky

Miss Frisky performs in Miss Frisky’s Karaoke Experience from Friday the 15th to Saturday the 16th of September at 8pm in Basement Theatre. Buy your tickets here.

After Auckland, Miss Frisky will fly back to London for a short time, before heading to Berlin to host a nightly dinner cabaret show, drink gluhwein and eat currywurst until March 2018.

She said: “I won’t be able to do more karaoke for a little while, so it’s going to be very very special doing these shows.”

 

been | Matilda the Musical

A revolting success full of maggots.

Here’s a hypothetical question; if a parent was rude, vile, and hated their child and poor treatment of this child causes them to develop telekinesis, would they have created a child with a superpower? Does this now make you a great parent?

Going to watch Matilda the Musical to get the answer to this question would be pointless.

But if you want to see one of the best musicals ever performed in Auckland; this certainly is a show not to miss. It’s spectacle of modern musical theatre with larger than life villains, catchy numbers, spectacular performers and humour for everyone; young or old.

The story centres around Matilda; an unwanted, unloved girl with magical powers. She’s just joined the local primary school, which is run by the biggest, well-bosomed, ex-Olympic hammer thrower, Miss Trunchbull. Whilst at school, she befriends her class teacher and together, they face their bullies.

The young actress playing Matilda, steals the show with per performance and every ‘revolting’ maggot is pitch perfect. Performing as an ensemble, they truly shined; there were several moments where the audience were left in fits of laughter and amazement.

The production is expertly curated with just the right dash of exaggeration and the set changes are seamless.

Whilst Tim Minchin, didn’t perform any of the musical numbers in Auckland, his involvement was certainly apparent. Every song was ‘Minchinesqued,’ it had the upbeat switching of chords, intertwined with Dahl’s irreverent wacky world.

A celebration of wit and creativity; this show is certainly not one to miss. If I was giving stars, this would be a 5-star performance.

Matilda the Musical plays at the Civic until October.  Buy your tickets here.

been | The Legend Of Zelda – Symphony Of The Goddesses

At E3 2011, Jason Michael Paul Productions produced a 4 minute overture to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the iconic Zelda franchise. The clip contained footage from the various titles paired with an arrangement of some of the stirringly beautiful themes the series is famous for which, for anyone who’s spent even a moment of their childhood wrapped up in the saga of Link and Zelda, was one hell of a nostalgia trip. Shortly after the event a full concert was announced whose success would eventually lead to the creation of “The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses” to which I had the unique pleasure of seeing on the evening of the 14th of August at Auckland’s Civic theatre.

Multiplay Insomnia60 at NEC – Matthew King/iEventMedia

The show begins with the aforementioned overture, conducted with infectious enthusiasm by award winning Australian conductor Jessica Gethin, and performed by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra with assistance from the haunting Freemason Chorus. The performers are accompanied by the very same footage from the E3 presentation projected upon the back of the stage behind the Chorus.

The closing of the overture precedes an early teary eyed applause from series fans and newcomers alike and is followed by a brief introduction from Jason Michael Paul and a short clip from the one and only Shigeru Miyamoto himself. Not the last we see of the legendary game director as he makes a further announcement towards the end of the show, espousing his love for the series and the personal impact it’s had on him. He’s joined by two further clips, one from designer and current director of the Zelda series – Eiji Aonuma (who began his work with the series during the spectacular “Ocarina of Time”) and the renowned video game composer Koji Kondo.

Each piece of music is expertly choreographed to footage of the particular title it’s inspired from. It’s not just promotional footage either: a good deal of the scenes are actual gameplay meaning someone played through and recorded them for the show (I like to imagine Mr Paul did a start to finish “Let’s Play” of all 30 years worth of games for this himself). The masterful pairing with the swelling and pacing of the score suggests the clips were chosen by someone with a love for the series and, while a couple of clips felt like slightly odd choices, the vast majority of footage fit in sublimely and included enough chicken chasing and Master Sword pulling to satisfy everyone.

The pieces include arrangements from many of the greatest games in the series. Act one begins with a composition of the Dragon Roost Island theme from Wind Waker which, as the piece draws to a close, has the orchestra bathed in crimson light while showing Links dramatic battle with Gohma in the caverns. The stage lighting is used to great effect throughout immersing you even further from the vibrant greens of the Plains of Epona during a piece from Breath of the Wild to the deep blue of the Great Sea during Movement III – The Wind Waker.

I could more than happily talk about each piece in detail but, as Miyamoto says himself that “life, just as in the game, is full of surprises” and the surprises of this show really need to be experienced in person. The show will be moving on to Perth on the 24th of August and Singapore on the 26th before returning to Melbourne for two more shows on the 3rd of September. I implore you, if you’re able, crack open some pots and collect as many Rupees as you can to make it to one of these showings. You will not be disappointed.

Hyah!

 

 

 

Visit the Official Website HERE