To observe artists in their environment is often a sight to behold. The superstars often offer shows that include massive screens, choreographed dance numbers, and special effects. They are more spectacles than concerts. But when an artist is traveling by herself and performing in small venues, that is when you get to see her talents shine. Where you truly get to experience her music.
On a rainy Thursday evening in Wellington, New Zealand, Julianna Barwick brought her ethereal ambience to the intimate Caroline. Armed with just her sensational voice and a handful of instruments and pedals, the Brooklyn-based artist had nowhere to hide and no one to help carry the load. She was essentially naked on the small stage, as 125 pairs of eyes were fixated on her. But once the first notes from her keyboard were heard and her vocals hovered into the air, those eyes soon closed as Barwick enslaved us with her ethereal ambience.
For an hour, we levitated from our spots, dreamed of peaceful and serene places, or felt our souls leave us momentarily. Songs like “Nebula” and “Same” were breathtaking and mind-altering. On “See, Know”, she blended lush harmonies with a dubstep vibe that simultaneously had us swaying while being lulled into a languid state.
Julianna Barwick’s performance was more than a show. It was a beautiful, spiritual experience. Now all we need to do is see her perform in a church because that experience could only be heavenly.
The photos are from Stella Gardiner while text was written by Ben Yung. We know what we have shared does not do justice to Ms. Barwick’s show. The only way to experience it is to see her live. She will be in San Diego opening for Bon Iver on Wednesday, October 26th. She will then be in Europe in December. Her tour dates can be found on her website (see below).
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