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Nick Cave and Warren Ellis announce orchestral shows


As Nick Cave and Warren Ellis put the hard work on a new Bad Seeds album, the creative will take a brief step away to complete a new orchestral side project.

Ellis and Cave will join forces with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra to play two unique shows at Hamer Hall in Melbourne, Australia. The special shows will be held on August 9th and 10th.

The concerts will be composed of a setlist built around selections from their previous film scores work. Songs take from the likes of The Proposition, The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford, The Road, West of Memphis, the acclaimed Hell Or High Water and 2017 effort Wind River will be featured.

“This is a unique opportunity to celebrate the work and creativity of two outstanding composers who have made a significant and lasting contribution to Australian music,” the show’s conductor, Benjamin Northey, said in a statement.

“I know everybody at the MSO is deeply committed to this project and I see it as one of our most exciting and artistically meaningful collaborations to date,” he added.

Nick Cave recently opened up about his unbreakable friendship with longterm collaborator Warren Ellis as part of his online fan forum Red Right Hand Files.

Ellis, who officially joined the Bad Seeds as the band were working on 1995 album Murder Ballads, has been an integral force in the creative spirit of Cave and the rest of the band. When his fans asked for more information, Cave said: “His influence was apparent from the start. Over the years I have developed a relationship with Warren that goes way beyond a professional collaboration and we are the best of friends.

He added: “There is a certain sanctity in this friendship in that it has traversed all manner of troubles over the last twenty or so years, yet remains as resilient as ever,” before adding: “On a professional level we have developed a style of songwriting based almost exclusively on a kind of spiritual intuition and improvisation that feels, as Henry Miller prescribes, calm, joyful and reckless.

“In the songwriting sessions we sit and focus and grin and crash around in things. Warren is essentially an ideas machine (anyone who has worked in the studio with him will tell you the same) and it is an extraordinary privilege to be around him, both on stage and in the studio – and anywhere else, actually. When he is in full flight, he is unstoppable, and he is rarely not in full flight.”

Since he contributed to the creation of Murder Ballads, Ellis and Cave have been side-by-side ever since. Two years later The Boatman’s Call arrived, four years after that No More Shall We Part, Nocturama, Abattoir Blues / The Lyre of Orpheus, Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!, Push the Sky Away and, of course, the gutwrenchingly powerful Skeleton Tree. 

Detailing their, working relationship a litter further, Cave explained that one glance… one moment of eye contact is enough to push their ideas through the glass window that separates them: “When we write songs together, we do so in a small studio near Brighton. I sit in one room with my piano and lyric books and microphone, and Warren sits in another room with his many instruments,” he said. 

“There is a glass wall between us. We don’t discuss what we are doing, but simply start to play together. It is purely improvised. We make eye contact through the glass wall. This is essential. I can’t really define it but something happens; something that has to do with intuition and trust and jeopardy – the willingness to risk and, of course, to fail,” he added. 

“In the end, I think Warren and I understand that the longevity of a collaboration depends to a certain extent on the conservation of friendship – friendships need care and constant maintenance – and so we exist as friends beyond the work as well. We go about our work – sometimes together, sometimes apart – and we wish each other happiness, and when one of us is in trouble, the other comes a-running, as the song goes.” 

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