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FRINGE '04: 4Play For Visual Junkies


4PLAY, a VJ performance event opening this year’s Wellington Fringe Festival, features some of New Zealand’s top live VJ (video jockey) talent. A performance on four fronts, 4PLAY will create a new, awesome experience in moving image. It aims to evolve VJing into a new environment that is a combination of performance, installation and the classic club visual set by having four visual artists performing at the same time.

“The 4PLAY concept is very simple”, says director and visual artist Robert Appierdo (VJ sectiongfx). “But it’s the first time that it has been done in this format. Its all about raising the bar for VJ’s and experimenting with new formats to expand peoples awareness of what we do. It will be a show to remember.” The show will see four screens hung from the lofty roof of Shed 11 as living tapestries, accompanied by live music from LOOP’s Rhian Sheehan.

Production manger Ray Beal, a.k.a. VJ Rayzordoll, is enthusiastic about the concept.

“As a short film maker I am excited about mixing video with other people instantaneously in the moment, blurring the lines between creator and participator. It’s going to be phenomenal.”

4PLAY will be the first time large visual rigs have been set up as the central feature of a VJ-dedicated performance show. Headlining the 2004 Fringe Festival opening night, Friday 13 February, and playing again for the public on Saturday 14th, 4PLAY will present a collection of eight different artists from around the country from behind a bank of vision mixers at Shed 11. Each night four different visual performers will step up to their mixing desk and play together.

“The talent just blows me away, it is world class,” Appierdo says of the performers who will light up the screens. “New Zealand has such a vibrant musical and visual scene right now.”

Each VJ has been given a general theme of “liberty and revelation” to guide their content but audiences can be sure that a healthy dose of dynamic improvisation will evolve as the performers gather rhythm and inspiration from Rhian Sheehan’s melodious landscapes during the 40 minute show.

Rhian Sheehan, an inspirational new artist with Wellington’s LOOP label, is a musician accustomed to working with visuals and bouncing off the energy the VJ mix inspires. With the rave reviews on his debut album Paradigm Shift, Sheehan will bring his natural guitar and synthesized soundscapes to create a spiritually charged acoustical backdrop to the visual playground of 4PLAY’s focal artists.

On the shows second night Rhian will be performing a live concert after the show with songs from his soon to be released second album ‘Tiny Blue Biosphere’.

4PLAY opens the 2004 Fringe Festival alongside the performance fashion extravaganza Quiddity04 on the 13th February at Wellington’s Shed 11 on Jervois Quay (this is a free event). The show will be on again on the next night (14th February) with tickets $20 ,$15unwaged on the door.

For more information see the website: VJ lineup: 13th Feb : Mike Bridgeman, Francis Cheetham, Naomi Lamb (Ch-Ch), Marcel Allen (AKL). 14th Feb : Rory McHarg, Ray Beal, Jon Baxter (AKL)

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