Neil Finn’s bold new online experiment


NEIL Finn fans will get to witness the magic of music-making, and maybe a few hilarious mistakes, when he begins an ambitious month-long series of concerts to record his new solo album.

In what it is believed to be a world first, Finn will livestream a concert from his Roundhead Studios every Friday in August where he will road test new songs and play a few old favourites for his legion of fans worldwide.

His new album Out of Silence will then be recorded live in front of his fans on August 25 and then released on September 1.

media_cameraNeil Finn will record his new album live via webcast on August 25. Picture: Supplied

The Crowded House frontman was an early adopter of the live possibilities of the internet having performed for fans online since 2001.

Backstage before his concert at the Domain during the Sydney Olympics he imagined the possibilities the internet offered performers even as other bands were suing their fans for illegal file-sharing.

“I’m looking forward to the day when you can wake up and write a song in the morning, record it in the afternoon and have it out there that night,’’ he said in 2000.

Crowded House drew thousands of viewers when the band delivered a behind-the-scenes webcast at the rehearsals in his Auckland studio ahead of their sold out Sydney Opera House concerts last November.

media_cameraCrowded House attracted tens of thousands of people to watch their rehearsals on Facebook Live last year. Picture: Dylan Robinson

“During these Friday sessions you will be witness to a series of musical happenings featuring friends, family, fellow songwriters and singers playing tunes both old and brand new,” Finn said. “You can follow the progress of new song arrangements as we build towards the last stream on August 25.

“This final performance will be the actual recording of my new solo album.”

Finn has enlisted many of his favourite musicians and singers to help with the project and has been rehearsing the A-list choir at his studios ahead of the first “concert” which will stream on his Facebook page from 5pm AEST.

His singing group includes legendary Kiwi songwriter Don McGlashan; EJ Barnes (Jimmy’s daughter) and his nephew Harper Finn, son of Tim.

media_cameraEJ Barnes will be singing with Finn. Picture: News Corp Australia.

media_cameraDon McGlashan is a member of Finn’s new band. Picture: Supplied

Finn said the success of the Crowded House rehearsal concert last November made him enthusiastic about doing more live shows from the studio for his fans.

“You go straight to the internet and you can communicate with the audience directly. I try and keep them pretty loose and kind of like you’re in a lounge room which suits my kind of performing. So webcasting just seems like a natural place to be,” he told The Spinoff.

While the first three initial concerts to workshop the new songs will run for about 90 minutes, Finn believes it will take three hours to record the new album on August 25.

It will then be mixed and mastered and released a week later.

But it won’t all be about the music. Finn has also invited people to send questions and he will Skype with some of those fans during the show.

Originally published as Neil Finn’s bold new online experiment

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