Thursday, 16 June 2016

My Dramaturgical Cohen: Stewart D'Arrietta @ Edfringe 2016

My Leonard Cohen

D'Arrietta's six-piece band present a stirringly personal tribute.

4th -28th August (except 18th)
Assembly Hall, Rainy Hall

Accompanied by guitar, drums, piano, vocals and accordion, D'Arrietta provides a gutsy and arresting interpretation of Cohen's powerful works, framed by a personal narrative. His stories, providing insight into Cohen's motivations and served with trademark laconic humour, punctuate a tribute that's deferential but not obsequious.

Few bodies of musical work rouse, seduce and are of such great solace as that of the great singer songwriter Leonard Cohen. Soulful lyrics laced with raw emotion have spurred many to lay claim to his songs as part of their personal soundtracks.

Expect a collection of Cohen's best, including the heartrending Suzanne, the iconic Tower Of Song, the desperately sensual I’m Your Man, and the mournful, but mighty Hallelujah - all delivered as you've never heard them before.

For two decades, Stewart D'Arrietta and his collaborators have brought their own musical personality to the works of great songwriters, including Tom Waits, John Lennon and Randy Newman, and have received praise for shows in Australia and overseas. 

What was the inspiration for this performance?
My inspiration for this performance came from the man himself, namely Leonard Cohen. His humility and talent has always been a rare combination in the music world and he has always struck me as a man who has a spiritual connection with this world and its troubles. I also felt that as much as I love his songs, I could see a different way of interpreting the arrangements of his songs.

How did you go about gathering the team for it?
The musicians came from years of working with them and knowing their strengths. The production side came from Sandy Bruns who is just great at getting things to happen.

How did you become interested in making performance?
I have done the Edinburgh festival twice before, once doing a Tom Waits show, and last year with Lennon Through A Glass Onion, so when William Burdett Coutts invited me to do the Cohen show I jumped at it, knowing how much fun it has been in the past.

Was your process typical of the way that you make a performance?
It was typical in the sense that all shows have to keep the audience interested and enjoying what they see in front of them. So I decided the set list based on what songs I thought they would like to hear, in the hope of getting their involvement.

What do you hope that the audience will experience?
I hope the audience come out of the show somewhat moved and at least having had a great time.

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?
The strategy of having played to audiences most of my life and determining how they react and using that history at the Festival.

Do you see your work within any particular tradition?
Only the tradition of the song and dance man.


  1. Great blog... I'm looking forward to seeing the show in August... so excited!!

  2. Great blog... I'm looking forward to seeing the show in August... so excited!!