Bringing dreams to Leigh

Blackbird Ensemble

Leigh Sawmill Cafe will be transformed into a dreamland when the Blackbird Ensemble performs on December 17 on its latest tour, entitled Dreams.

The ensemble has become renowned for its elaborate music experiences.

Musical director Claire Cowan says the show will feature nine pyjama-clad musicians, who will roam the stage, performing on the theme of ‘dreams’.

“It’s set in a timeless bedchamber, and explores music themedaround dreams, nightmares, lullabies, and the rituals of the bedroom.

“The stage will be littered with musicians in half-sleep states, some on beds, some sleeping on their instruments.

“They drowsily begin the show and take the audience with them on a fantastic journey into the dream space.

“We love to get our audiences up close and personal with the musical experience, so we prefer to play in smaller venues.”

The music will feature an eclectic mix of covers from musicians who have been inspired by slumber.

“Many composers and artists are influenced by dreams – it’s a fertile place for ideas; a time when the subconscious mind can run wild without the restrictions of logic and reality.

“Our fantasies, our terrors, our internal struggles are all explored when we go to sleep.

“We’ve picked a range of music inspired on these themes, from Nina Simone’s Don’t Smoke in Bed, to The Cure’s nightmarish Lullaby, even a bit of Stravinsky and Piazzolla – there’s plenty of contrast in our dreamy journey.”

The band lineup includes brass, strings, keys, guitars, bass, drums and three singers.

Claire has worked with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, has composed scores for TV dramas including the Billy T James movie, Billy, and her works have been performed by soloists and ensembles throughout the USA, NZ, Europe, Japan and Australia.

She has played at Leigh Sawmill before,  in 2014, in a collaboration with Spanish Flamenco dancer Isabel Rivera Cuenca.