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Contemporary Music

Guide to Vivid LIVE 2023

Ben Marshall, Sydney Opera House’s Head of Contemporary Music and Vivid LIVE Curator, has handpicked each performance to bring you a truly unforgettable Vivid LIVE 2023. We sat down with Ben to find out more about the artists coming to the House this year.

Love List: Art Music by Claire Edwardes

Ensemble Offspring’s Artistic Director and lead percussionist Claire Edwardes dedicates a playlist to the composers of electro-acoustic-minimal art music that inspired their ‘Mesmerism’ concert.  

Love List: Piano by Chris Abrahams

Chris Abraham has curated a playlist of his favourite piano tunes, to celebrate his Liminal show at the Opera House. Strap in for an eclectic Love List to the keys, courtesy of a grandmaster.

Love List: Opera House memories by Cosmo’s Midnight

Sydney electro duo Cosmo’s Midnight have curated a Spotify Love List dedicated to their favourite artists who graced the Opera House stages before them.

Love List: Steve Reich by Nicolette Fraillon AM

We asked The Australian Ballets Music Director and Chief Conductor Nicolette Fraillon AM to pick her favourite Steve Reich works.

Love List: Dubfluences by Nils Frahm & F.S.Blumm

To celebrate the release of Nils Frahm and F.S.Blumms new dub-influenced record, ‘2X1=4’, the duo have curated a list of contemporary dub tracks that inspired their album.

Love List: Vivid LIVE 2022 by Ben Marshall

Chuck on your headphones and enjoy Love List: Vivid LIVE 2022 a playlist that showcases the emerging Australian voices and world-class icons set to take the stage at Vivid LIVE.

Listen Contemporary Music

Music for... Pride, Power & Protest by DOBBY

Indigenous rapper and drummer DOBBY compiles a playlist that represents a sample of “abundant blak excellence”. Essential listening representing intergenerational tradition and resistance.

Music for... a mother and her son by Sharon Van Etten

Bond while you bop with your little one! Tune in and enjoy this curated playlist by Sharon Van Etten – inspired by her son’s favourite songs.

Music for... Rewinding by Gordi

Discover the songs that help Australian singer-songwriter and producer Gordi rewind and recentre two themes she explores in her latest record, Our Two Skins.

Music for... Séances by Courtney Act

Let Courtney Act be your guide to getting witchy. A playlist for the next time you're trying to get in touch with the world beyond the veil.

Music for... An Afro Future by Sampa The Great

Imagining a world of creativity and culture beyond the confines of colonialism, game-changing MC and poet Sampa The Great has put together a playlist for An Afro Future ahead of her exclusive performance at Vivid LIVE 2021.

Music for... a Coltrane state of mind by Godriguez

Drawing inspiration from John Coltrane’s personal entreaty to the divine in ‘A Love Supreme’, explore this curated collection of deeply spiritual, cathartic music from GODTET’s guitarist Godriguez, whatever God means to you.

Music for... Tomorrow by Becca Hatch

Western Sydney singer/songwriter Becca Hatch curates a playlist of artists who represent the future and forward thinking through their own varied expressions.

Music for... the journey ahead by Party Dozen

Sydney-based musicians Kirsty Tickle (Exhibitionist) and Jonothan Boulet of the experimental sonic project Party Dozen compiled their playlist 'Music for... the journey ahead' following the live performance of their track 'Play The Truth' recorded on a vacant Drama Theatre stage.

A young woman holding a basket.

Music for... Storytelling by Steve Francis

Bangarra Dance Theatre's resident composer Steve Francis picks scores, soundtracks and compositions that are ripe for narrative that tell stories. Grab your headphones and settle into our newest playlist which promises to take you places, even if you're in lockdown.

Music for... Turntabling by DJ Total Eclipse

This playlist by DJ Total Eclipse samples his many influences as a producer and DJ, spanning soul, funk, jazz and pop. It paints a picture of a kid growing up in Brooklyn playing with his father’s vinyl collection, before becoming a world-renowned turntablist, famous for cutting up and sampling some of these very tracks.

Music for... Love by Budjerah

Teen R&B sensation Budjerah has themed his playlist around love, and all the daydreaming and sweet talking that comes with a budding romance. Listen in, then tune in to his exclusive Opera House show for Liminal.

Music for... Painting a dragon on a cloudy day in lockdown by Ninajirachi

Ahead of her set for our new digital music series Liminal, Ninajirachi has curated a playlist of perseverance and imagination: “new and old(er) music that made me feel nice while i was stuck inside and soundtracked the creation of a dragon painting on a cloudy day.”

Music for... Getting through by Maina Doe

Alongside her Opera House gig for Liminal, the local rising star has curated a playlist of tunes that echo the fluctuations of lockdown – tracks to help push through the direst of circumstances, comprised of the genres she knows best: R&B and hip-hop.

Music for... The new Australia by BLESSED

A musical enigma on the verge of superstardom, Ghana-born Sydney-sider BLESSED brings his singular mix of hip-hop, punk rock and soul to the Joan Sutherland Theatre for his Sydney Opera House debut as part of Liminal. To mark the occasion, BLESSED has curated a playlist of emerging local talent in the R&B and hip hop space that will blow your mind.

Music for... Immersion by Deepfaith

It takes a special sort of playlist to work in Henryk Górecki, Deftones and Queen and still make perfect sense... This is a listening experience like none other, courtesy of Daniel Stricker and the team from DeepFaith.

Music for... Your heart in the dark by Liz Martin

One of my favourite places to listen to music is in the cinema, wrapped in darkness... Ahead of her Liminal concert, Liz Martin has curated a playlist of songs featured in films by Pedro Almodóvar, her favourite filmmaker.

Music for... Road Trips by Bonobo

Buckle up and escape into the wild with this playlist by electronic wizard Bonobo.

Music for... Mali and Texas by Khruangbin

Take off on a musical adventure from Mali to Texas with this curated selection of sounds by globe-trotting trio Khruangbin.