After experiencing the immersive aural and visual feast that of The Great Divide Live, all I can say is, Wow!”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
More images can be found in the photo gallery further below.
Rhian Sheehan set list:
- Elegy For The Past
- Between Us And The Dying Starlight
- Absence Of You
- Lost Letters
- Soma Dreams
- We Danced Under A Broken Sky
- The Upper Sky
- La Boite A Musique
- Little Sines
- Part 10 SIS
- Thimble Full Of Sorrow
- Part 2 SIS
- Part 3 SIS (Niva’s Tune)
- Nocturn 1985
- Tokyo Shadows