Restrung: Sounds Unbound

A three-day genre-bending celebration of music will be uncovered at the Powerhouse this October 26-28 as Restrung returns to Brisbane for the second time.

Catered to local audiences with a truly omnivorous music taste, Restrung will bridge the borders between rock, folk, world music, jazz, contemporary classical and electronica.

The festival is the brainchild of local curator Dr Danielle Bentley from the Queensland Conservatorium, who says the event will fuse all things music with an adventurous edge.

“There is a real Alice in Wonderland flavour intertwined in the line-up this year to encourage audiences to lose themselves in the adventure,” she says.

“We want to defy the traditional notions of chamber music and allow people to see strings for what they are — the element which shapes and infiltrates every type of music.”

Strings will clearly take centre stage this year with the return of the world’s largest playable violin, the Violinarium – 12m long, 4m wide and 5m tall, using fencing wire for strings. A penny-farthing bicycle has also been transformed into an instrument strung with guitar, cello and violin strings.

Danielle says the major highlight of the festival is Transient Beauty, blending music and dance to find fragments of beauty in everyday experiences.

“This performance is inspired by, and also builds on, cutting edge advances in dance in Zurich and Vienna,” she says.

“The piece brings Collusion Musical Arts, Queensland Ballet’s principal Rachael Walsh and Australian choreographer Gareth Belling together for the first time as they create a striking image of mankind’s desperate yearning for connection and belonging.”

The second premiere is The Aqueduct, a chamber opera exploring what happens when a Jewish woman befriends a Palestinian in Israel, by acclaimed composer Jennifer Game- Lopata.

Opening night will present Nightingale Floor by Sallie Campbell and a commission by Robert Davidson designed specifically for the Turbine Hall, with performers surrounding the audience over three levels to create a unique immersive sonic experience.

Restrung will also include a commissions program featuring six new miniatures by Australian composers, and a roundtable discussion tackling “music at the margins”, sponsored by Queensland Conservatorium and QUT.

This session will bring together a number of researchers working in various areas including feminist musicology, contemporary art music, Indigenous music, queer musicology and community music.

Free performances across the three days will include Ensemble Offspring (Sydney), Silver Sircus, Trichotomy, Cam Butler and the Shadows of Love (Melbourne), Peter Knight (Melbourne), The Scrapes, Jason Machado, Topology, DB3, The String Contingent (Sydney), Taraf Tambal, Gilded (Perth), Clocked Out, and Syzygy (Melbourne). Installations will also be featured throughout the venue by Lawrence English, Nathen Street, Cam Butler and Velvet Pesu.

The inaugural Restrung took place in 2008 and formed the core of Danielle’s PhD thesis on festival curation. Danielle is a core member of Camerata of St John’s, Queensland’s chamber orchestra, and Collusion Musical Arts.

Danielle has performed with the Paris Opera Ballet, Opera Queensland, Opera Australia, Australian Ballet, Queensland Symphony Orchestra, Cologne Philharmonic and has recorded, performed and toured with the likes of Pete Murray, Harry Connick Junior, Kanye West, De La Soul, Missy Higgins, Xavier Rudd, Kate Miller-Heidke, Pavarotti, Nigel Kennedy, Il Divo, Jerry Lewis, Sarah Blasko, Hugh Jackman, Olivia Newton-John and Grace Knight, The Waifs, Sarah Blasko, Tommy Lee and Chrissy Amphlett.

For more on the Restrung Festival visit

Media contact: Lauren Suto, 0418 799 544, [email protected]