“There is something musical about the way Gerald Murnane writes about Australian landscape, it’s an interesting place to compose music from,” Peter Knight says.
A cohort of inspired, inspiring women took to the stage, one by one sending out a War Cry, singing songs of Nina Simone and Abbey Lincoln and Sharon Jones – along with their own originals, all songs that describe what it means to struggle, to fight back, to do your bit to create social change, one note at a time, one verse at a time.
“I love sitting in the middle of Darryn and Kim when they talk about musical experiences theyve shared from times before I was born, soaking everything up like a sponge, to the point that it feels like I was there too!”
“We’ve made a conscious decision to compose freely in this band, not feeling restricted by genre, just bringing whatever we feel like to the table. You can hear influences of Jazz, 20th Century Classical music, North India Classical music, South American music. With the instrumentation of the music and the mixed influences, you could very much describe it as a contemporary jazz band.”
“I’m interested in all sorts of music and looking for brothers and sisters outside the jazz area to work with, using the suite as a connecting force,” says Steve Sedergreen. “We are not going to reproduce the Far East Suite but we’re certainly going to play in the spirit of the Far East Suite.”
“For this project I felt like it wouldn’t be fulfilling for the audience or musicians if we just attempted to play Bjork’s music the way she has produced it, especially for a jazz festival! There has to be something fresh, intriguing, experimental or risky involved for it to make sense to me. I guess this is what we will strive towards presenting some amazing music that we all know and love with a new perspective and sound and room for everyone involved to get their individual voices across.”
“While we are both very different players, I think we both are similar in the fact the we like to approach improvisation with honesty and aim to be ourselves at all times. We are also both drawn to the same kind of repertoire and inspired by similar artists.”
“Festivals are great opportunities to create different kind of experiences,” Chelsea Wilson explains. “A lot of jazz venues in town do not have the stages or infrastructure to be able to do something like that, so were very fortunate to have Chapel Off Chapel as a festival hub this year; it has lots of space for the bands to explore.”
“The Singh & Blanes duet is more about romanticism and flashbacks to a more romantic time, while my own solo work is about my intricate thoughts and emotions; it’s all about me being by myself, in solitude. It’s a bit more personal and reflects my individual take on the world. Then my jazz project is about my compositional ability and my fluency on the piano”.
Those who saw the Shaolin Afronauts last year shouldn’t expect the sequel to be just a repeat of the original. “We didn’t want to repeat anything that we had used; we wanted this to be a completely new experience for the listener”, says Ross McHenry. “This time, we’ve actually written a lot more new material; we’re working towards a new album so it was a bit of an opportunity to ‘try some new material”.