“It seems inevitable, yet wonderful, to be returning to the Concert Hall with Neil Gaiman, where our collaboration first began. We’ve done so much since that magical first meeting, and have forged a long and collaborative partnership which has been both joyous and well received. We’re excited to bring our new work to Sydney audiences at the Opera House once more.”– FourPlay String Quartet.
Sydney – Thursday 12 October, 2023. Best-selling British author Neil Gaiman and Australia’s electric string quartet FourPlay will reunite for a world premiere performance of their debut album, Signs of Life, and a selection of unreleased material. They will be performing at Sydney Opera House on January 15th.
Released in April, Signs of Life debuted at #1 on the Billboard ‘Classical Crossover Albums’ chart and has been nominated for an ARIA Award for ‘Best Classical Album’. Its eclectic blend of classical and indie rock intersecting with thought-provoking poetry and prose marks a long partnership of music-making for Gaiman and FourPlay. They first crossed paths in 2010 when the quartet was commissioned by Sydney Opera House’s Graphic Festival of comics, animation, illustration and music, to compose a soundtrack for Gaiman’s then-unreleased story ‘The Truth Is a Cave In The Black Mountains’. The sold out performance was a triumph, described as a mesmerising, genre-bending display of art, music and storytelling. They released this story as a graphic novel (hitting #1 on the NY Times Best Selling Graphic Novels list), toured the world, sold out Carnegie Hall and embarked on a decade of friendship and dynamic collaboration.
“I first stepped onto the stage of the Sydney Opera House in August 2010, with the members of the FourPlay String Quartet. We had barely met: we had been rehearsing what we would do, and often creating it, in a small back room, for a day. It was an astonishing show, unforgettable and it started a collaboration with FourPlay that continues to this day. It feels both appropriate and joyful that we will return to the Opera House stage over thirteen years later to show some of the remarkable things we have made together in the meantime.”– Neil Gaiman.
One of the most popular and celebrated writers of the modern era, the international best-selling author’s work transcends genre, format, and audience, and crosses novels, comics, films, television, theatre, and now music. His critically acclaimed work includes landmark comic series ‘The Sandman’, novel ‘Good Omens’ (with Terry Pratchett), ‘American Gods’ and ‘Coraline’.
Australian electric string quartet, FourPlay, have been dazzling audiences for more than 25 years with their unique approach to music and radical reinventions of pop songs. Described by Gaiman as “the rock band of string quartets”, they blend classical string instruments with elements of rock, pop, jazz and electronica, performing covers by an array of artists alongside their brilliant and wildly eclectic original material.
“A tingle of electricity still runs down my spine when I think of the first Graphic festival we staged – and how wonderful it is to now have this dazzling creative aftershock from Neil Gaiman and FourPlay, whose spark of connection first ignited there. As an avid reader of Neil’s work from my teenage years to the present day, I feel a profound joy seeing his influence flowing off his indelible pages into all facets of our popular culture, including (yet another) world premiere with the immense talents of FourPlay on the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall stage. Signs Of Life is a genuinely brilliant addition to Neil and FourPlay’s already intimidatingly impressive individual oeuvres, so it’s debut live performance here is a truly unmissable moment in our city this summer.”– Sydney Opera House Head of Contemporary Music, Ben Marshall