"Here was a genuinely audacious piece of festival programming. Canadian composer Nicole Lizee leaves you wondering whether you have just witnessed pop culture being turned into high art or vice versa. The answer, of course, is that the line has been obliterated."   Four stars Sydney Morning Herald

Review of Sex, Lynch, and Video Games at Sydney Festival 19th January 2017


Sydney Festival 'Sex, Lynch, and Video Games' 19th January 2017

Metropolis New Music Festival
Melbourne Recital Centre, 'Hymns to Pareidolia' 
9 May, 2016


Artistic Director
Peter Knight
Nicole Lizée, Peter Knight and Austin Buckett
Tristram Williams
Peter Knight  
Nicole Lizée and Martin Ng
Steve Raegele
Andrea Keller
Vanessa Tomlinson
Drums/Revox B77 reel to reel tape machine
Joe Talia
Double Bass/drums
Sam Pankhurst
Erkki Veltheim and Veronique Serrett
Saxophone/flute/bass clarinet
Tony Hicks
Adrian Sherriff
Gian Slater
Mary Christina Rapp

Technical Consultant
Jem Savage

'Nicole Lizée's music fits in the ear newly and very neatly. Its startling personality, broad scope, and pungent mix of iconic elements trick you into familiarity then lead you off on a seductive adventure. Close listening will reveal many worlds, some with shards of familiarity, but she seems to be singing for us in a region of her own devises, leaving the door wide open for our immediate pleasure and for memory. The only real mystery is where she will take us next.'

- Music Works




The Australian Art Orchestra (AAO) explored the cycles, rhythms, and glitches of contemporary life with Hymns to Pareidolia, for the 2016 Metropolis New Music Festival presented by Melbourne Recital Centre. This distinctive program, which traversed music, electronica, turntablism and experimental jazz, celebrated some of the daring new directions taken by the Australian Art Orchestra under Artistic Director, Peter Knight, and showcased the work of the celebrated young Canadian composer/turntablist, Nicole Lizée.

Hymns to Pareidolia saw Lizée perform for the first time in Australia along with some of this country's most distinctive musical voices. The work included world premieres by Lizée and Knight, along with work by rising Sydney-based conceptual composer, Austin Buckett.

For its 2017 Sydney Festival program, Sex, Lynch, and Video Games, the group explored Lizée's unique responses to 80's and 90's screen culture with the Australian premiere of solo piano and video work David Lynch Étudeswhich has us venturing into Twin Peaks' Black Lodge with Kyle MacLachlan on screen and Canadian Eve Egoyan's at the piano 

Nicole Lizée has been called a 'brilliant musical scientist' and lauded for 'creating a stir with listeners for her breathless imagination and ability to capture Gen-X and beyond generation.' She creates new music from an eclectic mix of influences including the earliest MTV videos, turntablism, rave culture, Hitchcock, Kubrick, 1960's psychedelia and 1960's modernism. She is fascinated by the glitches made by outmoded and well-worn technology and captures these glitches, notates them and integrates them into live performance. 

Lizée has been by an impressive range of ensembles including, the Kronos Quartet, BBC Proms, l'Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal, CBC, Radio-Canada, the San Francisco Symphony, NYC's Kaufman Centre, Darcy James Argue's Secret Society, and So Percussion. Her music has been performed worldwide in renowned venues including Carnegie Hall (NYC), Royal Albert Hall (London), Muziekgebouw (Amsterdam) and Cité de la Musique (Paris) - and in festivals including BBC Proms (UK), Huddersfield (UK), Bang on a Can (USA), All Tomorrow's Parties (UK), X Avant (Canada), Luminato (Canada), C3 (Berlin), Ecstatic (NYC), Switchboard (San Francisco), Casalmaggiore (Italy), and Dark Music Days (Iceland).

The AAO would like to thank the following project supporters:
Soundstreams and Lawrence Cherney, Arts Centre Melbourne, Music Workshop and CALQ (Conseil des arts et des lettres de Québec)

Listen HERE to ABC Music's podcast of Hymns to Pareidolia presented by Stephen Adams. 

More reviews

Real Time "In this concert, the challenging melding of music and media reached a deeply satisfying apotheosis."

Sydney Morning Herald "Breathtakingly inventive and extremely witty."

Sydney Arts Guide "There is a curious but satisfying symbiosis to experience between image and musical motif."

Limelight "...smudging the lines between digital and organic sounds."

Sydney Morning Herald Festival Highlights