Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Lior, The Idea of North & Elena Kats-Chernin with Zephyr Quartet. Her Majesty’s Theatre. 18 Jun 2017
Hush 16 is the sixteenth instalment of an original children’s music series created by The Hush Foundation, in collaboration with Australian artists and composers.
The foundation, established in 2000, was created in response to Dr Crock’s work with children undergoing painful medical procedures at RCH Melbourne. The Hush albums are composed for use in hospitals and care facilities across the country, to ease the emotional toll of childhood disease on its young suffers, their families and the medical staff who care for them.
The Adelaide Cabaret Festival production of Hush 16 features the album’s writers: singer-songwriter, Lior, vocal quartet, The Idea of North, and composer, Elena Kats-Chernin. Joining them onstage are beat boxing aficionado Kaichiro Kitamura on vocal percussion and Adelaide’s own Zephyr Quartet on strings.
The concert has a relaxed and raw feel, with lovely vocal performances and touching spoken word pieces from local children. The songs are a mix of upbeat, indie-jazz tunes and calm, dreamy numbers. The standout track, Edgar’s Essay, features as both the opening and closing number and is deserving of the double showing. Written by Idea of North’s Naomi Crellin, it’s quirky, child-like lyrics are perfectly coupled with a groovy tune that appeals to all ages. Other highlights include Sticks and Stones, a beautiful vocal performance by Lior, and Growing Pains, written by Nick Begbie after being inspired by his 5-year old son.
The album is full of heartfelt and transportive music will no doubt continue the successful Hush lineage. The show itself is a worthy platform for promoting and celebrating both the album and its noble cause.
One cannot help but feel that being billed as appropriate for ages three and up does it a disservice, however. As a result of this suitability recommendation, the audience is a mix of older music aficionados and families with eager under 10s. Once the show commences though, it is very quickly apparent that it is not aimed at children. The songs are performed in a stripped back style, and are interspersed with dialog that sheds light on the music’s inspiration and the creative process, but does nothing to engage the smaller audience members. As an adult, the interludes leave the performance feeling slightly drawn out, so one can only imagine the struggle of the many fidgeting, restless pre-schoolers and their shushing carers.
All-in-all, an enjoyable concert for a great cause, featuring some of Australia’s most talented musical performers. Just leave the kids at home for this one.
When: 18 Jun 2017
Where: Her Majesty’s Theatre