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This is What Happened When We Got the Keys to the Sydney Opera House

Empress Of, Oscar Key Sung + Banoffee, and Charles Murdoch transformed the Joan Sutherland Theatre with Sound+Vision.
February 1, 2016, 2:45am

Images: Joe Crossley

The layout of the evening seems pressurised. Not for the audience – quite the opposite there, in fact, with a looseness that didn’t threaten the decorum of the setting – but for the artists, Empress Of, Banoffee and Oscar Key Sung, and Charles Murdoch, performing condensed sets complemented by state of the art visual spectacles for tonight’s Samsung: Sound+Vision event. Pressure makes diamonds.

Murdoch was engulfed by rhythmic organisms – sunsets, jellyfish – concocted by Tin&Ed, utilising the scale of the theatre with projections well overhead. Projection mapping accentuated the majesty of the building’s interior, often overlooked with focus on stage. Giddy in attempting to express gratitude, Murdoch grappled with a turned off mic, later turned on for a cameo from Oscar Key Sung. There is dancing in the aisles.

After shimmying off stage during Charles Murdoch’s set, Oscar Key Sung returned for his collaboration with likeminded singer-producer Banoffee and visuals from Prue Stent. A balloon veneer was unveiled at the front of their production desk, both artists decked out with incandescent white. Hi-tech silhouettes flanked the stage, either through electric outlines or more abstract avatars. Oscar and Banoffee make a good pair, interlocking aesthetics coagulating into something fluid and arresting. This could mark the beginning of their Run The Jewels moment.

After crushing it at Sugar Mountain, Empress Of arrives at Sydney Opera House in a starkly different setting, a world away from a sun-drenched mid-arvo festival set. Bathed in darkness with swathes of light (created by Nonotak, who unfortunately had their Sugar Mountain instalment cut short) sweeping overhead, flashing rhythmically with strong cuts from debut album Me, garnished by just enough lashings of live drums.

Usually we throw parties in a pub or a club but tonight was when sound and vision came together for a grand time in a grand building.

Head here for more images of the night.