Friday, November 20, 2015

SUCCESS: Liam Finn

Tonight I went to see SUCCESS at ACMI, a specially created piece by Liam Finn and New York filmmakers Anthony & Alex for Melbourne Music Week. The piece tackled the concept of success through a series of filmed vignettes and performance pieces accompanied by Liam playing original compositions and improvisations live.

The performance started with a clip of Liam backstage getting ready and warming up before he came into the room. Next was an interview clip between Liam and his brother Elroy, which was quite funny with some pointed barbs. Then Liam performed the song "Miracle Glance" with a theremin that was mirrored by the clip shown on the screen.

From there the piece went into the series of vignettes, with each one commencing by focusing up close on someone's eyes before pulling back to the scene. The music Liam played varied from the somber to manic with him jumping between guitar and piano and triggering different loops. The clips by Anthony & Alex were quite interesting and sometimes disturbing. The most memorable one for me was a woman cutting out the bottoms of small teddy bears and inserting dollar bills interspersed with footage of kids in Halloween costumes. I got nervous when it went from the first bear being cut to a shot of a baby in a bear costume, but thankfully it didn't take the dark turn I was fearing. SUCCESS was an interesting and thought provoking performance piece that will take a while to digest and mull over.

To give you an idea of the clips, here are three teasers that Liam put up ahead of the performance.

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