Once an artist gets to a certain level, the idea of a conventional live show starts to feel, well, conventional. It’s the reason we see Kanye West harnessed to his own levitating stage, or Kraftwerk calling in a live stream from the International Space Station.
After you’ve played to a stadium, you’ve hit a ceiling in terms of audience size. For lack of being able to expand upwards, you build the experience into something that cannot be replicated, one-off events that your fans walk away from short of breath.
Lior, the Australian songwriter responsible for six hit albums and singles such as This Old Love, Daniel and Real Love, is just about to kick off such a performance. Joining forces with the Australian Youth Orchestra’s Momentum Ensemble, he’ll be undertaking a one-off show spanning his entire career to date.
Witness the career of one of Australia’s great modern songwriters laid out on a plate at Leaving The Western Shadows, Lior’s most expansive live show ever.
The collaboration between Lior and the AYO began in 2013, when the artist worked with composer Nigel Westlake on Compassion. A series of songs unified by the performance’s namesake feeling, the show saw Lior and Westlake performing a series of concert shows to celebrate the release.
“[I] was struck not just by how great the musicianship was,” shared Lior when speaking of Compassion, “but also by the passion and enthusiasm these young musicians brought, which is the difference between giving just a good performance or a truly moving one.”
Compounding his previous experience with Westlake and symphony performances, as well as his own large-scale shows, Lior’s efforts have been doubled leading into Leaving The Western Shadows.
“The decision to embark on a performance of orchestrations to my original singer songwriter material flowed from both of us.”
This one-off performance has been individually crafted by Lior, cherry picking material from six studio albums released over a 13-year career. He’ll be basing his setlist off a number of factors, from how well each song will play when arranged with an orchestral backing, to how the set will flow as a whole.
But when you have 13 years of performances and six albums under your belt, you make time for these considerations. The result is worth it, a show that leaves your audience with an entirely new experience, something that makes them feel truly special.
The Momentum Ensemble bears mentioning too, the backing band who will be elevating Lior’s ruminations on the night. The Momentum Ensemble is the AYO’s springboard for their brightest young talent, a collection of supremely gifted musicians on the cusp of something great.
It’s a beautiful thing, the talented leading the talented. The combination of Lior and some of Australia’s best emerging classical musicians will be once-in-a-lifetime, and certainly something you won’t want to miss.
Catch Lior and the Australian Youth Orchestra’s Momentum Ensemble performing Leaving the Western Shadows at Sydney’s Seymour Centre on December 13, 2018. Tickets are available via the Seymour Centre’s website.