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13 Most Beautiful...Songs for Warhol’s Screen Test

13 Most Beautiful...Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests at the New Zealand International Arts Festival

“Sound and image powerfully entwined” THE BOSTON GLOBE

When Dean Wareham brings 13 Most Beautiful... to the New Zealand International Arts Festival next March he will be performing in his home town for the first time.

Wellington-born Wareham and Britta Phillips are Dean and Britta who the Andy Warhol Museum and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust commissioned to create the multi-media project 13 Most Beautiful...Songs for Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests.

The screen tests are silent, black and white film portraits that Andy Warhol shot at the infamous Factory in New York City between 1964 and 1966 and his subjects – both famous and anonymous – were visitors to Warhol’s studio. They include a smouldering Lou Reed with a bottle of coke, vocalist Nico, socialite heiress Edie Sedgwick, and actor Dennis Hopper.

Click to enlarge

“I probably came to Warhol via the Velvet Underground; he has had a huge influence on the history of rock music. You could make a case that he was one of the first punks,” says Wareham. “He suggested that anyone could be an artist, and that an artist could try his hand at anything.”

Warhol used the screen tests in his Plastic Exploding Inevitable multimedia shows of the 1960s. These shows were events that featured dancers, and projected film, with music played by the Velvet Underground and Nico.

Wareham and Phillips perform a live soundtrack onstage with their band while the screen tests are projected overhead. They also give brief stories about some of the people in the screen tests. The mostly original music was created for the images and includes a couple of covers from Bob Dylan and the Velvet Underground.

Both Wareham and Phillips are former members of the dream pop/indie group Luna that achieved indie stardom in the nineties with its small but perfectly formed pop/rock songs. Luna’s music is built on superb melodic guitar work, reminiscent of earlier New York bands Television and the Velvet Underground.

13 Most Beautiful is sponsored by Clemenger BBDO.

WHEN: 4 March

WHERE: Wellington Town Hall


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