Homegrown talent Gordi returns for Cowra concert

 Gordi (Sophie Payten) is set to treat audiences to an intermate performance at the Cowra Civic Centre this weekend.
Gordi (Sophie Payten) is set to treat audiences to an intermate performance at the Cowra Civic Centre this weekend.

Homegrown talent Gordi (Sophie Payten) will take the stage at the Cowra Civic Centre this weekend as part of her album tour and the ARIA Great Southern Nights festival.

The Canowindra local released her latest album "Our Two Skins" in June of 2020 and has just recently released a remixed EP of the album.

Speaking to the Cowra Guardian in the lead up to her tour date in Cowra, Gordi said the remix EP was an exciting reimagining of her work.

"It's been really cool, I remixed the tracks myself recently, you feel like it's a real peak behind the curtain," she said.

"You send someone the stems of the track, they peruse through it and break it down to the nuts and bolts, pick the parts they like and reimagine it.

"That's a really cool process and I think I've learnt a lot from listening to all the remixes that the people have done.

"It's kind of breathed new life into the tracks which is awesome."

While the original album was released seven months ago, the normal routines of that process were interrupted due to COVID-19 pandemic.

As such Gordi fell back on her medical degree, balancing work as a doctor to assist with under-staffed local hospitals in Melbourne, performing a debut, globally broadcast show to an empty Sydney Opera House and launching her very own VR immersive album experience titled Buried City.

"I felt very lucky I had that medical degree that I could use and feel useful," she said.

"Because all the normal stuff I would be doing to promote and album was taken away.

"I wasn't on tour and once the album came out it was just a matter of seeing how it went, so I felt like getting into hospitals I could put my skills to use.

"It was a pretty hectic time in the hospitals with the feeling of worry from staff about transmission and taking the virus home with them but it was a really inspiring thing to be part of as well."

She said those experiences had made her realize the good fortune she has in going on tour.

"It has made me really grateful to be able to play to real people," she said.

"I think, like everyone, we just had to make the best of it, so getting to play to an empty Opera House was pretty weird, but it was also a pretty cool experience and is something I would not have done if not for the pandemic.

"Creating a virtual reality world like we did to bring parts of the album to life or to bring some sort of live show into people's homes, was also something we wouldn't have thought about if not for the pandemic.

"I think like everyone we were just trying to make lemonade."

The COVID-19 pandemic has also changed Gordi's view on releasing an album.

"In creating something like that virtual reality world, it reinforced the importance of the world around an album," she said.

"I'm a big believer in that the album isn't just the 10 to 12 tracks on the physical copy, but there is some sort of world around the creation of the record.

"I guess because I wasn't being flogged on tour, I had a lot more time to think about that and to think about what kind of special ways we could bring that to life. So I hope those thoughts I carry into the future."

The tour will be Gordi's second return to live audiences following a successful show on January 23, as part of Mushroom's Sounds Better Togetherconcert series with Missy Higgins and Tones and I.

"In five days they sold around 3000 to 4000 tickets, so getting up on a big stage and playing to actual faces rather than a phone screen was really cool," she siad.

"It reminded everyone there of why we love it so much, I got to get up and sing with Missy which was awesome, she's been a real hero of mine for a long time and is a legend.

"So it was pretty cool to get up and sing one of her classic songs with her.

"With everyone that was there, I think it could have been anyone up on stage and people would have been stoked to be there, so it was a bonus it was such a great line up.

"But I really felt that sense from the crowd, that people were just stoked to be out and about again and having that shared experience of seeing live music, which I think is irreplaceable."

She said it was pleasing to be back in the region performing.

"It's going to be great, it's funny to think about playing at the Cowra Civic Centre because the last time I went there I was probably 11 performing at the Cowra Eisteddfod," she said.

"So it will be really nice to go home and perform to some familiar faces.

"I do really think bringing live music to regional and rural areas is really important, I think everyone should get out to the bush, I firmly believe that.

"I think in terms of the (album's) remixes they have all used the stems of this track that we made out in this cottage on my parent's farm.

"So it's interesting to think that someone in LA or Europe has taken these stems and tracks, made in a little cottage in Canowindra, and then remixed them and put their own spin on them.

"So there's a little bit of Canowindra sprinkled around the globe."

Gordi said the Cowra Civic Centre would be a great spot to perform, and while this trip probably wouldn't result in a new album, she could draw some more inspiration from the area.

"I think another album is a little way off, but I'm definitely excited to come back," she said.

"I'll stay with my folks for a few days in Canowindra, bring the band there, it's definitely a spot of inspiration for me.

"I don't know if we'll have a whole lot of time for sightseeing but I'll take in the atmosphere for sure.

"Every time I go home I tend to start writing new music so I'm sure that will happen when I head back.

"As a music fan I always prefer to see gigs in small venues rather than bigger ones, so I think hopefully it will all come together and be a nice intimate experience for those who come along."

Gordi will be performing at the Cowra Civic Centre on February 13. Tickets are on sale now from www.gordimusic.com