What's coming up this week?
So, you’ve ordered your elaborate lederhosen or dirndl online, but you can’t decide where to show off your Bavarian threads this year? Consider Oktoberfest in the Gardens. The huge beer-fuelled party will once again transform the Domain into a giant beer garden inspired by Germany's own Oktoberfest. The Bavarian-style festival will host two big top beer halls that can serve more than 6,000 punters, sideshow games, a silent disco, roving performers and bring back a massive dodgeball competition to the Sydney Oktoberfest tradition. You can expect to see circus performers, a 20-piece brass band, magicians, accordion players, yodellers and pretzel fräuleins roaming around the grounds, as well as live musicians and local DJs across the three festival stages. There’s prizes to be won throughout the day – we know you secretly want to be crowned Miss or Mr Oktoberfest – plus a sideshow of carnival rides and games. They’ll be pouring all the hard-to-pronounce European beers, plus ciders, wine and spirits for variety. And it wouldn't be a beer-drinking party without salty snacks, so they’ve organsied a menu of bratwurst, pork knuckles, woodfired flammkuchen (that's German pizza), cheese fondue and more to sedate rumbling tums.
The City Recital Hall is turning 20, and to celebrate they’re inviting some superb Aussie music makers to get the party started. The concert is being curated by Aria Award-winning artist Megan Washington, who will also pepper the show with her own brand of boppy pop with soulful vocals. The ‘Sunday Best’ singer has invited Indigenous-led electro-soul duo Electric Fields to collaborate at the concert. The pair create mesmerising, danceable tracks, with vocalist Zaachariaha Fielding singing in Pitjantjatjara, Yankunytjatjara and English while Michael Ross produces and freaks out on the keys. We’ll be listening out for hits like the synthy ‘Shade Away’ and the 2019 ‘2000 and Whatever’, which is filled with incredible harmonies and hooks. Pianist Luke Howard will be mixing up the pop party with his classically-focused pieces, which will allow for a gentle reprieve from the more energetic performances. Then we’ll get another dose of classical music forms with Topology. This Brisbane-based group has been creating contemporary symphonies filled with theatrics, soaring strings and and energetic piano rhythms. This big evening of music will arrive at City Recital Hall on Wednesday, October 8.
There is a vibrant live music scene in Sydney today, despite what some contemporary nightlife tales tell. So if you dig the gigs happening every week in the city, you may be interested in investigating the history of Australian music. The Museum of Sydney’s Songs of Home exhibition provides insight into the music that was created and enjoyed by early colonists and the Indigenous people of New South Wales. It considers how these groups interacted and shared music, our limited knowledge of the musical world at this time, and the place of music in our society today. Artefacts exploring these ideas include the earliest transcripts of Aboriginal songs, the oldest surviving print music from the colony, the first Australian bagpipes, and a music box and barrel organ. Others come with intriguing tales, like a piano that was carried over the Blue Mountains by a Scottish family in 1843; a guitar owned by Napoleon that was given to a teenage girl who became a prominent Sydney socialite; and albums of music hand-copied by Jane Austen which reflect the top jams of the 18th and 19th centuries. Performance is also a central element of the exhibition. Hear special compositions from groups like Scotland’s Concerto Caledonia and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, as well as a series created by Aboriginal artists in partnership with Ngarra-Burria First Peoples Composers initiative. The works will reflect on ideas explored in the exhibition.
The Museum of Contemporary Art stays open until 9pm each Wednesday night with a program of live music on the terrace, discussions, performances, talks and workshops, to complement the exhibitions. The indoor-outdoor MCA Cafe, on the Sculpture Terrace, also stays open until 9pm. It's got some of the best views of the harbour at night – assuming there aren't any cruise ships. See our hitlist of art exhibitions this month and check out where else you can enjoy art at night.