Media Release: Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Harp virtuoso Joanna Newsom returns to Sydney Opera House
“This extraordinary harpist has a glorious, untamed voice and a sheaf of tricky song poems…conjuring one startlingly vivid image after another.” New York Times
After beguiling audiences with the Sydney Symphony two years ago, California-based harp virtuoso Joanna Newsom will make her much anticipated return to the Sydney Opera House on January 18, 2010.
Recently working on new material, fans of Newsom’s stripped back, live sound will be thrilled to hear a vast selection of her sweeping song suites, accompanied by her band plus brass and string musicians.
Mixing gothic tales with her ethereal, melodic harp over expansive orchestrations arranged by Van Dyke Parks, Newsom is reminiscent of Bjork, Gillian Welch and Cat Power’s Chan Marshall.
Her music is a confounding mix of her delicately broken down voice – part child, part crone – threaded through Appalachian folk, bluegrass and psychedelic indie pop.
Traversing traditions as diverse as Celtic, Senegalese, Venezuelan and western Classical, Newsom’s arrangements are infused with a tinge of other-worldly timelessness.
Her second album, Ys was recently voted by Mojo Magazine and Pitchfork as one of the album’s of the past decade.
With Ys, Newsom has proved she is a conceptual musical talent with no peer, and is happiest in uncharted territory.
Epic in its scope, her sophomore release is more musically rich and lyrically complex than her debut, The Milk-Eyed Mender, released in 2004.
Newsom’s vocals still pack a yowling punch as suddenly as they might turn soft and sweet. Her songs tell meandering stories, formally pure but highly individual.
Since developing a huge underground following, Newsom has played at festivals the world over – including the Patti-Smith curated Meltdown – and has toured with the likes of Will Oldham, Cat Power and Devendra Banhart.
Sometimes ethereal and fragile, ornate and wild at others, Newsom’s ragged, homespun wisdoms, floating over the lapping notes of her harp, will again transfix and delight Sydney audiences.
Date: Monday, January 18, 2010
Venue: Concert Hall
Tickets: A Reserve $75. B Res $65. C Res $49
Bookings: 02 9250 7777 or sydneyoperahouse.com
Claire Vince, Senior Publicist, Sydney Opera House
02 9250 7825 / 0401 711 531 / email@example.com
Joanna Newsom will also play at The Tivoli, Brisbane (Jan 16), Forum Theatre, Melbourne (Jan 20), Playhouse Theatre, Canberra (Jan 21) and Anita’s Theatre, Bulli (Jan 23).