Festival of Colour hit The Blue Moments Project to perform in Dunedin
By Laura Williamson | Posted: Friday September 8, 2017
It’s a show that brings new meaning to the phrase “music and lyrics”. The Blue Moments Project, an evening of jazz, blues and spoken word, is coming to Dunedin for a one-off performance at Knox Church’s Stuart Hall on October 2.
The October gig will be the first Dunedin outing for the show, which premiered to a sold-out audience in the Crystal Palace at Southern Lakes Festival of Colour earlier this year.
Festival-goers described The Blue Moments Project as everything from "hypnotic" and "transformative", to "like a Leonard Cohen/Jill Scott/Graham Sydney hybrid thing".
The show is a cycle of 10 songs and 10 spoken poems which explore ideas of landscapes, longing and what it means to be foreign.
A collaboration between Canadian poet Laura Williamson, who is based in Wanaka, and New Zealand composer Angela Mote, who lives in Cambridge, the songs range from jazz to blues to a smattering of classical and a touch of bossa nova.
Both keen mountain bikers, Angela and Laura first met through sport. “I asked her to go for a ride. It was a couple of years before I found out much about Ange’s work as a musician, and I’m not sure she even knew I was a writer at first,” Laura said.
But talk eventually turned to subjects other than cycling, and Laura, who also writes and publishes poetry, invited Angela along to an open mic poetry night she was running. The rest is Blue Moments history.
“I was interested in composition and songwriting, but I’d always struggled with lyrics. As soon as I heard Laura’s poems, I knew I wanted to put her words to music,” Angela explained. Laura handed over a folder of her writing.
The Blue Moments Project is the result. The work is unusual in that Angela based her songs around words that were not written as lyrics, but as poems. “It forced me to take the music in atypical directions. These are not traditionally-structured songs. But I think this has produced an unusual sort of beauty,” Angela said.
The pair workshopped the songs with a group of Southern Lakes-based musicians: pianist Graeme Perkins, formerly of Dunedin and now of Luggate, drummer Jeff Sinnott, who lives in Tarras, Wanaka bassist Dominic Stayne and Queenstown vocalist Karen Hattaway.
A group of Dunedin poets will also be opening the show, including Sue Wootton and Ian Loughran.
The group had also recorded a CD and have put together a book - both will be available for sale at the show.
For more information, and to listen to some of The Blue Moments Project’s work, check out their website:https://editor523.wixsite.com/bluemomentsproject
Tickets for The Blue Moments Project’s Dunedin show are on sale now at www.eventfinda.co.nz/2017/the-blue-moments-project/dunedin.
The Blue Moments Project
Blue Spaces Mini Tour
Stuart Hall, Knox Church
449 George Street, Dunedin
Monday, October 2 @7pm (doors open 6.30pm)
Tickets available www.eventfinda.co.nz/2017/the-blue-moments-project/dunedin