cara stricker and john kirby's 2014 highlights & new year mixtape

With just a couple of weeks until their performance at Sugar Mountain festival and two days of the year remaining, we catch up with the creative collaborators.

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30 December 2014, 5:25am

On the 24th January, a masterfully-curated, definitive cast of musicians and artists will converge at the Victorian College of the Arts for the next instalment of the Sugar Mountain festival. With a line up featuring internationals like Ariel Pink, Nas (performing Illmatic in-full!) and Body/Head (Kim Gordon and Bill Nace's project) and local faves like Midnight Juggernauts, Banoffee and Dexter, choosing between the five stages is likely to be the key concern.

The festival is also interested in the weird and wonderful space where music and art intersect and the art component consists of creatives such as Robin Fox, Leif Podhajsky and Cara Stricker x John Kirby amongst others. This is a novel take on a traditional festival, which promises to be a visual and audial feast fit for a very discerning king.

We caught up with Australian born, NY based Australian artist, director and musician Cara Stricker as well as John Kirby - keyboardist, producer and songwriter with Sebastien Tellier and Blood Orange - who will be performing with Cara at Sugar Mountain. They describe their performance as a natural fusion of music and visuals - an improvised wonderland which considers all the senses. In anticipation of this 2015 treat we asked John and Cara for their favourite moments from 2014.

They were also so kind as to make one hell-of-a special New Year's Day mixtape for us which you can listen to here.

Cara's highlights:

1. The release of Jodowrosky's film DUNE. It was an amazing insight into his work - what I got from it was that it was a failure but a ultimately a great success.

2. My exhibition at The Hole - Make Love To The World. There were flood warnings all over the city on the opening night - we were all wet and boiling together. It washed away everything outside of us and we hid inside - it literally felt like a different climate in the gallery. 

3. Waking up to check out Richard Prince's exhibition at the Gagosian and finding one of my images posted, printed, and sold!

4. Living in a House upstate in New York, with a collection of creatives. Boots came up for a weekend and alongside films I made with him, we got to create some amazing images and films with Kirin, Kirby, Holland, Abbey, Dan and Jedda and my little nephew..Kirby's synths were splayed out in the centre of the circular house and only the most colourful vegetarian feasts flowed out from the kitchen…. I'll never forget the purple potatoes.

5. Living two blocks from my studio in Brooklyn so I could live in my pyjamas for four months straight.

John's highlights:

1. The Pale Fox exhibition at Bétonsalon. This was Camille Henrot's anthropological yardsale of everythingness.

2. Festival NRMAL in Mexico with Blood Orange. Mexico City is one of my favourite cities to play.

3. Kirin J. Callinan's new record. Kirin is working on a new record and it's awesome! I was in London with him over the summer to work on it a bit. He and his brother Tex shaved their heads. When we would go into a bodega they'd sometimes get things for free because people thought they were Hare Krishnas (they even got free beer!).

4. Recording at Tuff Gong. Legendary ZE label owner and record producer Michel Esteban emerged from a 20 year hiatus in the music business to produce a record for my good friend Dean de la Richardière. I got to record in Bob Marley's Tuff Gong Studios in Kingston alongside riddim legends Sly Dunbar, Steven Stanley and Dean Frasier.

5. My yoga Teacher certification. I had the chance to study intensively with Yoga Master Sri Dharma Mittra.