Volume Live Music series at Art Gallery of NSW

Volume Live Music series at Art Gallery of NSW
Image: L-R: André 3000 (photo: Dexter Navy), Kim Gordon (photo: Danielle Neu), Genesis Owusu (photo: Bec Parsons) and Tkay Maidza (photo: Dana Trippe)

The festival of Sydney continues in July with the announcement of the new program for Volume from the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Now in its second year, the 2024 festival builds on last year and has been curated with a gimlet eye as it brings sounds and light encompassing the cutting edge of ambient, hip hop and pioneering rock royalty with a nod to our Indigenous people’s love of country music.

As with last year’s inaugural event much of the ’24 program will take place in the two former World War ll oil storage units known as The Tank, located in the new northern wing of the gallery and will spread out into the original historic building.

“The ticketed events are in The Tank and we have some free events across both buildings,” Jonathan Wilson, curator of music and community, Art Gallery of New South Wales said.

Jonathan Wilson, curator of music at AGNSW. Image: Supplied.

The list of artists and the range of their music and installations is staggering for an event of this size, with headline acts including Andre 3000, Kim Gordon, Genesis Owusu, Flume, Tkay Maidza and Blak Country royalty Frank Yamma and Roger Knox.

“Blak Country is curated by Liam Keenan and is across both galleries, and country music is not something that you would expect in an institution like this and Frank Yamma and Roger Knox are senior artists who have been doing amazing things for 30 or 40 years,” Wilson said.

“On Blak Country you will also have Kyla-Belle Roberts who is 15 and will be playing with her mum and dad.”

From the sounds of Blak Country, the program leaps into the now with Andre 3000 performing his new album of ambient jazz and devotional music, New Blue Sun.

“When it came out last year, I couldn’t get the idea of him playing in The Tank out of my head because it’s such an expansive album and The Tank is full of those echoes and the music could permeate through that space,” Wilson said.

“I love the idea that this American hip hop icon has moved into new age jazz.”

Sonya Holowell performs during Volume 2023 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, photo © Art Gallery of New South Wales, Daniel Boud

Kim Gordon spent 30 years playing bass with New York’s experimental rock outfit Sonic Youth and since their disbandment in 2011 has been pursuing ventures across music, art and acting.

Gordon will be presenting her new music in a highly anticipated two nights across the Volume program.

Two artists who are established in Australia and now making head-roads onto the world stages are Genesis Owusu and Tkay Maidza.

“Tkay is someone I considered last year and there is an opening for younger artists who are getting their global start here in Australia,” Wilson said.

“We are at this pint with artists like her and Genesis now hitting the world.”

Flume is an artist who used to work from his home on Sydney’s northern beaches but is now more at home on the world festival stages.

For Volume Flume will be teaming with visual artist Jonathan Zawada, who started as a designer at KSUBI before becoming art director at Modular.

“He is a visual artist who has been responsible for incredible artwork including the Presets and Flume,” Wilson said.

“Together they will be presenting fragments of their understanding of the many festivals they have played and you will have 30 second to a minute and bursts of lasers, projections and new music that will collide all at once in The Tank.”

Not all of the artists programmed for Volume have immediately recognisable names but are no less on the cutting edge of new music and art.

Future Tilt is a free program for the first Saturday and that consists of more experimental pop sets and will include sallvage, who takes field recordings from country and turns them into experimental techno, ambient artist Lydian Dunbar from Ballina and Deep Faith, who have been supporting Genesis Owusu’s US tour.

From Saturday July 6 to Sunday July 21 the beats will not be stopping at that Art Gallery of New South Wales as it pumps up the Volume.

For all event times and pricing, go to https://volume.sydney

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