Stargazed multi sensory experience will have you seeing stars this Saturday

Stargazed is an event like no other. It’s a night of visual and music collaboration that aims to excite the senses and take you out of your comfort zone for experiencing live music. Eight bands and nine visual artist are working together to bring a huge immersive world at the Shadow Electric this Saturday April 9th and we caught up with Troy from Fierce Mild who’s not so mild mind came up with this incredible idea. We find out how a modest idea has snowballed into huge event and how visual and aural worlds will combine on the night.

Stargazed is certainly not your average band night out, what made you want to put art visuals and bands together? Do you feel that standard bands nights are becoming stale?

I wouldn't necessarily say stale, but we're definitely at a point where an audience is demanding more. Regular band nights are awesome and you can't always do something the scale of Stargazed. Same with art exhibitions – you can't always have an 8 band line-up of quality musicians!

We really wanted to transform both experiences by bringing them together. If you walk into a pub and see a band playing, you're like “Yeah, that's an awesome band!” Likewise, you go to an exhibition, you look at the art and you say “Wow, I love that piece of work!” but there's a certain set of unspoken conventions that go with how you're supposed to receive those things. A gallery can be quite sterile; a pub can be full of people just talking over the bands. We want to transform people's idea of consuming both mediums. We want to immerse people completely and let them be wrapped up in warm blanket of sensory goodness...whilst simultaneously having to face all their demons at once!

Where did you get the idea to do such an event like this?

We had intended to do it as a pre-tour fundraiser in a warehouse of some friends of ours. We had had live visuals at previous shows that had been received well and we had decided to work on a permanent basis with Stephanie Peters who is a fantastic artist based in Melbourne. She curated the visual element. People started getting wind of Stargazed and we actually had to upgrade the venue because it was looking way too big. The fundraiser part fell away and we were left with a proper mini-festival!

Have you done events like this before?

I have some experience in running events, but more in the musical theatre side of things. I've done Musical Direction and production management for a couple of productions. Maybe that's where the dramatic elements of our live show come from!

Other than that no! The first one, we just threw ourselves in the deep end. Or maybe we stepped into a shallow pool and the bottom just slowly kept running away. Either way, we learned things.

Who are the bands and what sort of music do they perform?

We're really stoked with this line-up. Along for the ride, we have Breve, Beloved Elk, Masco Sound System, Esc, Dada Ono, The Citradels and we have Audego headlining. Every one of the bands suits the visual aspect. From Dada Ono's spooky, folktronic violin driven psychedelia to Audego's precision production of broken beats and beautifully treated vocals, each band really takes you on their own journey. We've also thrown a few lighter ones in there. Masco Sound System have a painter perform on stage with them and will also have VJ Ka Koffiney's animated mash-ups to help pull the whole thing along!

How will the visuals be presented with the bands?

I think around 6 projections will be inside the venue. For the most part, projectors will do all the lighting, so you can immerse yourself properly in this ethereal world. There'll also be a side room/chill out room with a small installation and some bean bags that you can enjoy.

You also have a painter, what sort of stuff have they painted before? Have they painted to a live band before?

Monique paints with Masco Sound System every performance. She says she just tries to start with one emotion and expand on that in a frantic rush to finish everything by the end of the last song!

How were the bands and visual artists paired?

We handpicked the bands from the shows that we've played with them in the past. The video artists applied and the ones who were successful we allowed to choose who they wanted to work with. Luckily, none of them squabbled over anyone so we're thinking this means there'll be a beautiful array of diversity in the works.

Who are your presenters, The Craft, Weirdo Wasteland and curator Stephanie how are they all involved and contribute to the night?

Weirdo Wasteland is a blog and podcast focused on representing left-of-field artists. It's a one man operation and James Frostick is one of the best interviewers I've come across (apart from Johnny ROCK). He knows how to come from a place of genuine interest and let tangents happen, rather thinking about all the condensing and editing he has to do later!

For The Craft, I'll just quote Dougal from Breve: “The Craft are a fantastic bunch of local ladies who are doing great things around the Melbourne music band scene. If you're not following them, you should.”

They've been helping to cover the event by interviewing and promoting through their own channels. You can check out this podcast from Weirdo-wasteland here that has an interview with myself as well as Amy from Beloved Elk.

Stephanie has curated the entire visual side and been dealing with all the visual artists' needs. To add to that, she's been handling a lot of the media enquiries and not to mention working with us on our own 3 channel cinema piece to with our live set!

What is the experience of the visual artists? When they’re not doing stuff with bands (which I imagine would be hardly ever) what do they do?

If you're not doing stuff with bands, it's probably not worth paying attention to...

Actually, Adele Wilkes (paired with Audego) and Jutta Pryor (paired with Dada Ono) have both had some coverage on ABC. Adele is a documentary maker and video artist and Jutta creates these works that focus on melting colours merged with feelings of dislocation and dissociative thoughts.

Stephanie Peters has exhibited work in fringe, Gertrude Street Projection Festival and various galleries. She focuses her work around the transience and fallibility of memory, which fits really well with the way our music is thought out and put together.

Catch Stargazed this Saturday night 9th of April at The Shadow Electric Abbotsford Convent. Starts at 4pm

See more details here