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Telling a Life: Music and Biography
Saturday, May 23 2015
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Free, no bookings
Sydney Dance 1, Pier 4/5, Hickson Road, Walsh Bay
Music is an abstract art and the figures who make it are often elusive. This makes music writing and biography complex and full of sensitivities. 2SER music director Andrew Khedoori speaks with The Church's Steve Kilbey on writing his autobiography; photographer Bleddyn Butcher on writing about friends Nick Cave and The Triffids; and US novelist Jonathan Lethem, whose incisive pieces on Bob Dylan, James Brown, Talking Heads and the Go-Betweens perfectly balance knowledge, insight and fandom.
Steve Kilbey (Australian)
Steve Kilbey began his professional music career when he was 17. He played in several bands before forming The Church in Sydney in 1980. After some initial success, Kilbey and The Church shot to international fame in 1988 when their album Starfish, featuring the song ‘Under the Milky Way’, rose to the top of the music charts in both Australia and the US. Kilbey has collaborated with a vast array of musicians on various projects and has produced a number of solo works as well. He is also a painter, poet and music producer. In 2010 The Church was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame. Steve Kilbey currently lives in Bondi, Sydney.
Bleddyn Butcher was born in England and scathed in Western Australia. He worked for NME in the 1980s, photographing musicians (Alex Chilton, Joe Strummer, Michael Stipe, the Pogues, and U2) and authors (William Gibson, J.G. Ballard, and Greil Marcus). His photographs have since appeared in many leading music journals and are included in the permanent collection at Australia's National Portrait Gallery in Canberra. In 2011, he published Save What You Can: The Day of The Triffids, a biography of that band's prime mover David McComb. Currently living in Sydney, his most recent book A Little History, Photographs of Nick Cave and cohorts, 1981-2013 was published in 2014.
Jonathan Lethem (International)
Jonathan Lethem is one of the US’s greatest contemporary writers, exploring a range of subjects across an array of forms. He has written nine novels including Motherless Brooklyn, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award, the international bestseller The Fortress of Solitude, and his most recent, Dissident Gardens. Jonathan’s stories and essays have been collected in five volumes, and have appeared in The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, McSweeney’s and many other periodicals. His books have been translated into more than 30 languages.
Music Director for Sydney’s popular 2SER-FM 107.3, Andrew Khedoori has profiled artists from The Ramones to David Byrne for radio, press and 2SER and Groovescooter’s live In Conversation series. In 2014 he presented Anatomy of A Song for Sydney Writers’ Festival with Josh Pyke, Urthboy and Sarah Blasko. He also runs the acclaimed independent label, Preservation.