Sydney – Thursday 20 April, 2017. Richie Hawtin’s live performance CLOSE – Spontaneity & Synchronicity was revealed over the weekend at Coachella, giving audiences a sneak peek of the raw energy and live visuals that will be performed for an Australian-exclusive headline show at Vivid LIVE as part of Vivid Sydney, the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas.
The techno minimalist’s return to the Coachella Valley marks a legacy – he played at the inaugural festival in 1999 as a fresh Detroiter with a bleached Mohawk – and his performance for 2017 evolves on the sonic and visual technology that has peaked across those eighteen years.
In four rare minutes from Coachella, Hawtin re-worked a techno standard from Emery Warman as a swarm of cameras relayed live footage of his hands working analogue synths and mixers into sound visualisations projected behind him. Hawtin stood at the front of the stage with two tables of gear to his side, bare and physical compared to the familiar sight of a DJ hidden behind their turntables.
“How can I bring people closer to what I'm doing?” Hawtin told the LA Times. “How can I make them feel that they understand how I play my instruments?”. CLOSE is an experiment in representing the raw, frantic physicality of performing electronic music in a live environment, bringing the energy and evolution of live visuals reacting to synthesised techno with the energy of a rock show headliner – “that human connection between man and woman and machine”.
In a rare headline performance and Australian first, Richie Hawtin's CLOSE will take place on the harbourside Northern Broadwalk as part of Vivid LIVE on 3 June, previously only used once for Future Classic’s 10th anniversary concert FCX headlined by Flume.