10 Jul
75 Minutes

Exploring the history of tribute bands and cover songs

Music Talk with Dr Paul Smith

Join Dr Paul Smith for the final instalment in our 2024 Music Talks series as he explores the changing trends of music that pays tribute to iconic performers or builds from the existing work of another artist.

A complex system of values comes into play when singers and performers choose to perform in the style of a well known group such as ABBA or The Beatles. Similarly, when an artist chooses to perform a song originally performed by another singer, the public will begin to compare and rank versions of a performance often privileging the original.

This fascinating talk will trace the history of the cover band and also look at some contemporary examples of projects that invert the usual politics and find new ways of claiming authorship when a song is being covered.

About Paul Smith
Paul is a composer and researcher based in Sydney who specialises in opera and music for the toy piano. He is Associate Professor in Music at the University of New England and his works have premiered in Singapore, the UK, Italy, the USA, and Armenia in addition to Australian festivals and concert performances. In 2023, his vocal work ‘Songs of the Sirens’ was performed on the sands of Bondi Beach as part of Bondi Festival and he was a recipient of the ABC Classic Composer Commissioning Fund to write three new works for toy piano and recorder. Paul’s work draws on ideas of play, satire, and the absurd and he regularly collaborates with visual artists, theatre makers, and directors.  Paul is the co-artistic director of Blush Opera where he is currently developing a new work based on the life of Florence Broadhurst.

Audience Information

Duration: 75 minutes

Wednesday 10 July at 11am

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