From the tender age of three-and-a-half, Lara Goodridge embraced her first violin and embarked on a lifelong musical journey that has seamlessly traversed classical, jazz, cabaret, and beyond. With an unwavering love for music kindled since her earliest days, Goodridge’s path has unfolded into an enchanting narrative that interweaves the realms of sound and emotion.
Having traversed the corridors of the Conservatorium system, Goodridge briefly stepped away from music, only to realize that life’s vibrancy was incomplete without its harmonious tapestry. Serendipity stepped in when she crossed paths with Greta Gertler, an encounter sparked amidst the setting of a Jewish wedding. Shortly thereafter, she was introduced to Peter Hollo, the visionary behind the band string quartet known as FourPlay, co-founded with his brother Tim. A journey spanning 28 years, FourPlay stands resolute, a testament to their unwavering artistic camaraderie.
Recalling her entry into FourPlay, Goodridge reflected, “I had encountered Peter in a band named Peccadillo, fronted by our mutual friend Greta Gertler. He mentioned that their violinist was departing to pursue a classical career and inquired if I would be interested in joining. They were scheduled to perform on the UNSW lawn, and I attended their show. Beyond the covers, they had ingeniously composed a collection of original pieces. Witnessing this display of creativity and excitement, I was unequivocally captivated.”
FourPlay is an ensemble comprised of two violists, a violinist, and a cellist. Their evolution was spurred by the trailblazing Kronos Quartet, who reimagined Jimmy Hendrix’s “Purple Haze,” inspiring FourPlay to similarly imbue beloved rock hits with their own distinct interpretations. From Metallica to the Beastie Boys, Depeche Mode to Led Zeppelin, Jeff Buckley to the late Sinead O’Connor, the quartet imbued these classics with a newfound essence.
Over time, the quartet’s journey pivoted from covers towards crafting their own compositions, fostering an enchanting aura onstage. Goodridge expounded, “Given our profound appreciation for diverse genres, FourPlay’s resonance is imbued with multifaceted flavors. Our live performances pulsate with immense energy. The synergy among us evokes a form of enchantment; an emotion palpable to our audience. I am bestowed with the opportunity to sing impassioned anthems, harmonized by my bandmates, thereby generating a sweeping resonance. Within our music, we embed both elation and gravitas, inviting our audiences into a world brimming with meaning. It truly becomes a holistic experience for our listeners.”
Their original creations catalyzed collaborations with award-winning UK author Neil Gaiman. A decade ago, FourPlay’s manager, Jordan Verzar, pitched an innovative concept to the Sydney Opera House, uniting graphic novelists, illustrators, and musicians for unprecedented collaborations. Gaiman was beckoned to Australia, and FourPlay provided the live score to his novella “The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains.” An enduring partnership blossomed, yielding a symphony of words and music, imbued with Gaiman’s trademark wit and wisdom.
The quartet’s recent vinyl release, “A Taste Of…,” emerged as a continuation of their album “Signs of Life,” acting as a nostalgic reintroduction. Goodridge illuminated the allure of vinyl, attributing its resurgent popularity to its enduring charm.