MONA FOMA 2024 To Feature Live Recording Sessions From Courtney Barnett, Kutcha Edwards & More

22 January 2024 | 6:42 pm | Ellie Robinson

Artists will jam out in MONA's purpose-built recording studio, the Frying Pan, and visitors will be able to watch the magic unfold through a special viewing window.

Courtney Barnett

Courtney Barnett (Credit: Pooneh Ghana)

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The program for this year’s MONA FOMA festival has been added to with a suite of new installations, including a chance for attendees to get up close and personal with some of Australia’s best musicians – like Courtney Barnett and Kutcha Edwards – while they jam out in the studio.

As announced last November, MONA FOMA 2024 promises “17 days of summer mayhem”, running from Thursday February 15 to Sunday 25 in Hobart (nipaluna) with an extra day of programming set for Saturday March 2 in Launceston (kanamaluka). The first week will feature performances from international icons like Queens Of The Stone Age, Mogwai, Holy Fuck and Shonen Knife, plus locals like Paul Kelly, Hiatus Kaiyote and the aforementioned Barnett and Edwards.

For those who don’t already know, MONA (the Museum of Old and New Art) has its own purpose-built recording studio, the Frying Pan, which regularly hosts artists for jam and recording sessions. As part of this year’s MONA, the studio will hold a series of sessions where those on the festival’s performing lineup will come to jam, record and “bring their creativity” to the space.

Though the studio itself will remain closed to the public, it’s explained in a press release that festival-goers will be able to look in on these sessions through “a viewing window in the library”. Alongside Barnett and Edwards – the latter of whom will be appearing with The Australian Art Orchestra – artists said to be performing these sessions include Darren Hanlon, FFLORA and Grace Chia, Ugly Little Girls, Ajak Kwai, Sui Zhen, Jarabi Band, and Mulga Bore Hard Rock.

Also announced today were the addition of programming sessions hosted by Music In Exile – “a not-for-profit record label showcasing artists from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds” – as well as the South Weight Hi-Fi Sound System, curated by Moses Iten with “a rotating cast of local DJs”, and Ben Salter’s Salty Sessions, where “an array of local artists” will perform “with the odd mainlander joining in”.

Exciting, too, is the return of Robin Fox’s installation Hyperbolic Psychedelic Mind Melting Tunnel of Light, which debuted in Launceston last year. Fox describes the show as an “extreme time and space-bending experience”, where punters will be invited, individually, to “take control of the installation’s light, sound and motion”.

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Renowned jazz musician Danny Healy will also pen at least two new compositions, live in the flesh, by hand, for every day he performs at the festival. The process will unfold in realtime through a video feed, and then Healy – accompanied by a group of fellow musicians – will perform the compositions live (alongside solo variations and instrumental pieces on woodwind instruments) in MONA’s Nolan Gallery and Ladies Lounge.

Tickets for MONA FOMA 2024 are on sale now – head here to grab yours, and see the full program for this year’s festival.