A group of University of Sydney music students recently had the opportunity of surprising singer-songwriter Lorde with a special performance during a Sydney visit by the international artist.
The Sydney Conservatorium of Music students were invited by 2DAY FM to play their own orchestral rendition of the chorus from Lorde’s hit single Green Light as part of the surprise organised by the Sydney radio station.
The students were part of a pre-recorded interview with the New Zealand musician who was in Australia to promote her new album Melodrama that was officially released today.
The musicians who performed are part of a student-led chamber orchestra, Ensemble Apex, set up by saxophonist Sam Weller last year. A second year Bachelor of Music (performance) student, Sam Weller, arranged the music and conducted the special performance for Lorde.
In a similar vein to the old-time live radio plays, Ensemble Apex were also asked to play a series of musical ‘stings’ at the end of each answer given by Lorde during her Q&A with radio announcer Angus O’Loughlin – bringing some drama to the ‘melodramatic’ interview.
“Essentially, my role was to arrange the best music clichés choosing some pieces from iconic movie soundtracks such Star Wars and Jaws, which was fun, if not dramatic!” said Sam Weller.
“It was fun to go behind the scenes of the pop music industry, as I spend much of my time studying and performing classical music. It is always a great opportunity to work with star artists from different musical backgrounds, and to play for broadcast radio, versus a lot of the live concerts and other performances we do,” added Sam.
Lorde was visibly impressed by the Con musicians’ performance, particularly remarking on how inferior she feels to string musicians!
Ella Yelich-O’Connor, now famously known by her stage name Lorde, was discovered at the age of 12 by Universal Music Group. In 2012 she self-released The Love Club EP via SoundCloud. The following year, the record was commercially released by Universal Music Group and Virgin Records and reached number two on national charts in New Zealand and Australia.
In September 2013, her debut studio album Pure Heroine followed, topping the charts in New Zealand and Australia, and reaching the top five in the national charts in the United States, Canada, Ireland, Norway and the United Kingdom. The album was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Album in 2014. In the same year, she released Yellow Flicker Beat, which was the lead single from the soundtrack for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.