Umbrella turns up the temperature

At Play Cultural Heart People of Adelaide

Smack bang in the middle of winter, Adelaide heats up with a two-week open-access festival that showers the city in live music performances of varying styles and beats per minute. Umbrella Winter City Sounds will hit town from 12 - 28 July, shining the spotlight firmly on Adelaide’s homegrown pool of grass roots musicians.

As part of the City of Adelaide’s commitment to supporting a thriving local music industry and cementing our designation as a UNESCO City of Music, Council is a proud partner of Umbrella. This year, our support has helped bring a set of curated music events to the program, with performances and events at a host of city venues – including a few less conventional spaces.

“The City of Adelaide and Umbrella share the same philosophy: give the local creatives the tools and they will build it,” said Steve Pitkin, Umbrella’s Programmer. “This is the case with our curated program which ranges from street parties to venue tours, all born of original ideas pitched to us by local event organisers, promoters, bookers, venues and budding artists.”

If you’re fascinated by how music is made, The Producer Series (15 – 18 July, 12:00 noon – 2:00 pm) is a free week-long Umbrella event in the city’s retail heart being presented by Music SA and the School of Audio Engineering (SAE Institute).

“We’re building a ‘bedroom studio’ in the middle of Rundle Mall, surrounding it with clear Perspex and filling it with some of Adelaide’s most well-known producers. Anyone can watch, plus the SAE Institute is providing headphones so you can listen to what’s happening inside. It’s a true behind-the-scenes look into how music is created.”
Steve Pitkin, Umbrella programmer

Luke Million in Rundle Mall
photo-icon Morgan Sette

Adelaide synth sensation, Luke Million, in Rundle Mall.

“Luke’s obsession with vintage synths, drum machines and 80s keytars, will provide some extremely entertaining recording and song-writing sessions,” said Steve.

Luke does most of his producing in his city-fringe studio. There the environment’s closed off from the outside world and everything, from the acoustics of the room to the lighting, is controlled. So how does he feel about taking his creative process to the street?

“I was instantly drawn to the idea as it merged something that’s so intrinsic to my life yet in an environment I would never usually find myself in. I saw this as an opportunity to push myself out of my comfort zone and share what can often be a very solitary process. I hope when people stop and tune in, I can take away some of the mystery of how music is produced and inspire them to have a go themselves.”
Luke Million, Adelaide musician

Creating music can certainly seem a magical process for those of us who wonder: how do you start; where do you go from there; when do you know it’s all done? Seeing Luke at work might provide some answers for those looking on and even spark an idea or two for the man behind the keys.

Luke Million at the keys
photo-icon Morgan Sette

Luke Million at the keys in his city-fringe studio.

“Inspiration is often derived from experiences so I’m looking forward to seeing where this environment takes me,” said Luke. “I’ll be drawing inspiration from the surrounds including the natural light, the sights and sounds of the city, and the people stopping by.”

Discover more about the curated events in this year's Umbrella program, and everything else the festival has in store,

Article by

Skye Murtagh

Skye Murtagh

Skye is Adelaide Living's main driving force. She is passionate about sharing stories from all walks of life. When she's not busy weaving beautiful words together, she's singing a line or two from her favourite song.