Neil Gaiman & FourPlay String Quartet To Premiere New Album Live At Sydney Opera House

24 October 2023 | 3:25 pm | Ellie Robinson
In Partnership With Sydney Opera House

The unconventional supergroup released their debut album, ‘Signs Of Life’, back in April.

Neil Gaiman with FourPlay

Neil Gaiman with FourPlay (Supplied)

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Back in April of this year, bestselling British author Neil Gaiman released his debut album, Signs Of Life, alongside Australia’s own FourPlay electric string quartet. Now, they’ve announced an extremely special one-off show to celebrate it.

The gig will take place on Monday January 15, 2024, going down at the iconic Sydney Opera House (SOH) concert hall. Tickets are on sale now – find them here.

Gaiman himself confirmed it was at the SOH that they first linked up with FourPlay and sowed the seeds of their ongoing collaboration. He explained: “I first stepped onto the stage of the Sydney Opera House in August 2010, with the members of the FourPlay String Quartet. We had barely met: we had been rehearsing what we would do, and often creating it, in a small back room, for a day.

“It was an astonishing show, unforgettable and it started a collaboration with FourPlay that continues to this day. It feels both appropriate and joyful that we will return to the Opera House stage over thirteen years later to show some of the remarkable things we have made together in the meantime.”

FourPlay shared Gaiman’s excitement, adding in a statement of their own: “It seems inevitable, yet wonderful, to be returning to the Concert Hall with Neil Gaiman, where our collaboration first began. We've done so much since that magical first meeting, and have forged a long and collaborative partnership which has been both joyous and well received. We're excited to bring our new work to Sydney audiences at the Opera House once more.”

In addition to a cover-to-cover performance of Signs Of Life – which is nominated for Best Classical Album at the 2023 ARIA Awards – the set will reportedly feature “a selection of unreleased material” from Gaiman and FourPlay.

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The author and orchestral group first convened for the 2010 edition of the SOH’s Graphic Festival – celebrating comics, animation, illustration and music – where FourPlay composed a soundtrack for Gaiman’s then-unreleased graphic novel The Truth Is A Cave In The Black Mountains. Following its release, Gaiman and FourPlay embarked on a world tour with the performance they debuted at the SOH.

SOH’s Head of Contemporary Music, Ben Marshall, said of the upcoming concert: “A tingle of electricity still runs down my spine when I think of the first Graphic festival we staged – and how wonderful it is to now have this dazzling creative aftershock from Neil Gaiman and FourPlay, whose spark of connection first ignited there.

“As an avid reader of Neil’s work from my teenage years to the present day, I feel a profound joy seeing his influence flowing off his indelible pages into all facets of our popular culture, including (yet another) world premiere with the immense talents of FourPlay on the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall stage. Signs Of Life is a genuinely brilliant addition to Neil and FourPlay’s already intimidatingly impressive individual oeuvres, so its debut live performance here is a truly unmissable moment in our city this summer.”