The Museum Sessions | Volume

I had the great pleasure of working with Auckland Museum to create this series of four filmed performances – The Museum Sessions.

This is the first content that Auckland Museum has created for its own online exhibition purposes.

We selected four emerging artists. Each of them chose a song they wanted to perform and I music directed the performances (which were filmed live, after hours when the museum was otherwise empty) to each fit into a unique space in the building. I also changed the musical context of the songs and rearranged the music to include new instruments and styles that the artists hadn’t explored before, so that the performances would be completely unique.

Louis Baker’s beautiful song ‘Love’ was performed in He Taonga Maori with Horomona Horo on Taonga Puoro (traditional Maori instruments), Chris O’Connor on drums, Sandy Mill on vocals and myself on backing vocals and trunk organ.

 

We filmed Raiza Biza performing ‘Get By’ on the roof of the museum in the midst of winter. It was freezing. Bianca Paulus featured on vocals, CrimeHeat on laptop, Mike Hall on Acoustic Bass and myself on Rhodes. The fact that the recording sounds as if it happened in a studio is entirely down to the talents of Andre Upston who recorded all of the films. This sound is a live take from the top of a huge building on a windy night.

 

‘Don’t Move’ is Georgia Campbell’s first live performance and certainly her first performance with an acapella choir. The song was so moody and dark – and the acoustic of the Museum’s glorious Entry Foyer, that it seemed the perfect opportunity for the voices of the Jubilation Choir. This performance also features Chris O’Connor on percussion.

 

Finally, we recorded ‘Reptilian Journey’ with Estere in the beautiful Castle Gallery. Sandy Mill returns on backing vocals, my husband Ashley Brown performs cello and vocals and I perform rhodes and vocals.

Published by

Victoria Kelly / Music

I am a composer and performer of music. I have three gorgeous children and a sweet (yet manly) husband... I'm a vegan (but my husband and children are passionate carnivores)... I love reading (and I'm not a literary snob, but I just could NOT stomach more than 2 pages of Fifty Shades of Grey)... I try to keep up a regular yoga practice (and regularly fail)... I appreciate honesty, clarity, mischief, intelligence and humour in other people... my many heroes include Oscar Wilde, Christopher Hitchens, Tina Fey, JS Bach, Prince, Kurt Vonnegut, Igor Stravinsky, Bernard Herrmann, Joni Mitchell, Stanley Kubrick and Francis Bacon... because they all tell the truth, individually and uncompromisingly, as they see it. I wish I could still eat cheese, mayonnaise and red meat but I'm better off without them and the world would probably be a better place if the manufacturing of those foods was carried out on a smaller scale, in a more compassionate, environmentally and socially conscious way. It would be great if we were all more directly involved with our food chain. I always vote, and get a bit tearful on election day, because brave women fought for that right on my behalf and there are women in the world who are still fighting for that right today. But I vote, now, with a sense of hopelessness and cynicism, because I don't think politicians have anything except their own, and their benefactors', best interests at heart. At the risk of sounding too serious, it should be said that I do love a good bottle of Pinot Noir. And indeed, Champagne. In fact... maybe even more than one bottle. More than two bottles however and I will either sing Eye of the Tiger or pretend to be a Solid Gold Dancer. Neither of these things are desirable outcomes. If a person can make me laugh until I cry, struggle to breathe and roll around in pain, I will be their friend forever. My guilty musical pleasure is Roger Whittaker. And, while I like to think of myself as fairly educated about music, I must confess that I simply cannot listen to Wagner. I love my work. And I love being a mother to my children. But I do feel as if, when I'm trying to do both, I do neither well. And yet, if I did only one of those things, my longing for the other would be as miserable as feeling that I can do neither thing well. I think this catch 22 is paralysing almost every woman I know. Feminism is not dead and neither should Masculinism be... men and women have been equally displaced by the social changes of the past few decades. But someone or something is profiteering from our compromises and our sacrifices and I would like to see that injustice addressed and some balance restored. I have no idea what that says about me politically - I believe as much in personal responsibility as I do in compassion for others. I cannot abide greed, racism or prejudice - or the proud and willful ignorance & arrogance that tends to go hand in hand with them. I fear for the world when I see those traits overrepresented in the people who lead us. But show me a good thing well made - whether it's a piece of art, a book, a song, a car, a building, a meal, a neighbourly gesture, a garden or a unified field theory - and I regain my hope for humanity instantly. (The painting is Dirty Grapes by Mark Rothko)

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