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Our Lobby Lounge is the newest venue for live music by VIVID STRINGS, the capital’s collective of classical string musicians. We caught up with founder, director and musician Alexandra Partridge on a special shoot in our very own Billiards Room.
After finishing a music degree at Victoria Uni, she moved to Melbourne and met musicians collaborating on everything from classical to contemporary pop, musicals and recordings for all sorts of artists. These connections led her to working with performers like Hugh Jackman, Katy Perry, Michael Bublé and Neil Finn – to name a few!
Alexandra takes us behind the scenes at her film shoot and tells us all about her path back home to Wellington to start VIVID STRINGS.
How did you dream up VIVID STRINGS?
The idea of VIVID STRINGS came to me a couple of years ago when I noticed there were very few of these types of agencies for classical string musicians in New Zealand but there’s a wealth of world class talent here. Wellington also has so much on in terms of events, festivals and other cultural activities. I thought it would awesome to offer the capital a collective of talented performers available to record and collaborate with artists and to play great live music for all types of functions and parties.
This year of course, the arts scene was abruptly put on hold so I found I had a lot of time up my sleeve during lock down to put all my effort into really getting the idea off the ground. I actually had a lot of fun learning all the ins and outs of starting a small business.
You’ve played with some amazing artists!
Michael Bublé is one of the most recent artists I’ve played with. My good friend (and booking agent) in Australia asked me to help her source 16 string players to accompany him when he came to Hawke’s Bay earlier in the year. That was really fun to coordinate and solidified my desire to organise these types of events more regularly in NZ. The performance at Mission Estate was wild!
I’ve noticed a trend that keeps coming back time and time again is for pop artists to have live strings in their albums – I mean Adele is a prime example of this, but even Lady GaGa’s latest album begins with an interlude of strings and brass. There’s something so lush and beautiful when they’re included – something ‘je ne sais quoi’ – so to speak.
What’s the coolest live music venue you’ve ever played in?
This one’s for the Aussie AFL fans out there – I performed with a string quartet and accompanied The Living End for the AFL Grand Final in 2016 at the MCG. We also shared a backstage room with Sting and Vance Joy so that was definitely a highlight, as well as the 100,000 people in the stadium cheering/screaming/drunkenly singing! That was quite a surreal experience actually.
You recently filmed in the Billiards Room at QT Wellington. How does the space resonate with VIVID STRINGS?
I teamed up with Thomas Corn, a videographer who spent over 10 years in South America and has recently returned to New Zealand. His eye for detail is awesome. He had done some videography at QT Wellington before and thought the space would be perfect and I couldn’t have agreed more. It’s quirky, elegant and moody all at the same time. The rich golden colours and darkness really evoke a sense of both intimacy and classiness, and being able to collaborate with the hotel to shoot some videos was the perfect fit to showcase what we can offer.
We can’t wait for you to play at QT. What can guests expect from your evening performing live music in our Lobby Lounge?
A viola and cello duo will be entertaining guests in the Lobby Lounge. The music will be a mixture of light background music from classical favourites to easy-listening pop tunes. We are really looking forward to performing there soon!
VIVID Strings is performing in QT Wellington’s Lobby Lounge from 6pm on 4 December 2020.
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