News: The Art Gallery of NSW’s Volume Festival Launches Tonight

Sampa the Great

Volume is a new festival of sound and vision at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and will be headlined by American Grammy Award–winning R&B singer-songwriter and multidisciplinary artist  Solange, who will debut new music at three sold out shows.

Backseat Mafia attended the launch of the festival today. Director of the Art Gallery of NSW, Dr Michael Brand spoke of how the Gallery hopes to provide a unique architectural place for artists to perform and produce distinctive art and experiences. He went on to note that Solange’s performances will be the world premiere of two original orchestral compositions. Volume will also feature two new commissions by dancer Angela Goh and filmmaker Sam Smith.

Taking place over the next 17 days, Volume will feature 86 local and international trailblazing musicians, boundary-pushing filmmakers and cutting-edge performers, presenting more than 50 music, film and dance events, by day and night, across the Art Gallery’s new North and original South buildings.

Jonathan Wilson, who is the music and community curator, spoke about how exciting it has been to invite local and international artists to come into the Gallery’s new space to create novel ideas and concepts in sound and vision.

The Tank an atmospheric space built on the site of two oil tanks built in 1942

Wilson invited us to join him in The Tank where we viewed an excerpt of a new work by Sam Smith. We were also treated to a mesmerising performance by Sampa the Great accompanied by Kora player, Amadou Suso.

Scene from Sam Smith’s new work ‘A Concave Space’

Check out our gallery of Sampa’s performance below.

Sampa the Great in conversation with Jonathan Wilson
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