Image by: SomeBizarreMonkey
Concert Reviews

Concert Review: Rhian Sheehan And A Quiet Divide

Where: Q Theatre, Auckland NZ
When: 26 Oct 2018
Tokyo Shadows (Live)

Rhian Sheehan brought his new album, A Quiet Divide, to life at Auckland’s Q Theatre. The Wellington-based composer presented a stunningly-unique show that was a treat for the eyes and the ears.

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After experiencing the immersive aural and visual feast that of The Great Divide Live, all I can say is, Wow!”

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Well, I will fill out the review with a few more words, but really, words fail to describe the beauty and emotions that Sheehan and his group conjure up over the course of two hours.

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A Quiet Divide is Sheehan’s first new album in five years, and it is well worth the wait. His genre-bending music incorporates elements of orchestral chamber music, jazz, electronica and post rock resulting in something that is truly unique. The songs are largely instrumental… just a few ambient vocals… but the music speaks directly to the heart.

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Accompanying Sheehan, who played electric guitar and electronics, was a superlative group of players including the Black Quartet (and friends) number 6 string players, pianist Raashi Malik, vocalist Anna Edgington, keyboard player Ed Zuccollo, bassis extraordinaire Marika Hodgson, Grant Myhill and Steve Bremner on drums & percussion and guitarist Jeff Boyle, on loan from Jakob.

In addition to the exquisite sonics, mixed beautifully by Chris Taite, the visual element was equally impressive.

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Three transparent projection screens were draped in front of the stage while a combination disco ball/ rotating prism, designed by Weta Workshop, hung from the middle of the stage, with multi-coloured lasers shooting out at various intervals.  

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The images projected on the screens ranged from abstract digital animation to real life dancers to anime-style cartoons. They always fit the mood of the music which ranged from gentle and introspective to explosive and jarring.

The segment that incorporated a series of text messages sent between long-distance lovers about to be reunited was especially thrilling.

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The show was presented in two halves with selections from A Quiet Divide making up most of the first half, while songs from earlier works such as Stories From Elsewhere (2013) and Standing In Silence (2009) comprised the second half.

I found the first half more emotionally engaging, while part two was an opportunity to close my eyes and chill. The only problem being, that if I closed my eyes, I missed the wonderful visuals. And believe me, this is one show that you want to experience in its entirety.

Radio 13 thanks and credits Reuben Raj from SomeBizarreMonkey for all the images used in this article.

More images can be found in the photo gallery further below. 

Rhian Sheehan set list:

First Half:

  1. Elegy For The Past
  2. Between Us And The Dying Starlight
  3. Absence Of You
  4. Lost Letters
  5. Soma Dreams
  6. April
  7. Atlas
  8. We Danced Under A Broken Sky
  9. The Upper Sky
  10. La Boite A Musique
  11. Little Sines

Second Half:

  1. Part 10 SIS
  2. Thimble Full Of Sorrow
  3. Part 2 SIS
  4. Part 3 SIS (Niva’s Tune)
  5. Nusquam
  6. Nocturn 1985
  7. Tokyo Shadows
  8. Somnus  


Written By: Radio13