Logan rocked under the rising moon

Thousands turned out for Logan's Queensland Music Festival at the weekend. Please credit photos to Justin Nicholas. Photo Contributed

Thousands turned out for Logan’s Queensland Music Festival 1-2 August 2015. Photo by Justin Nicholas.

The perfectly-timed full moon rose in the glorious clear winter skies, shining on a one-off, original production, described by audience members as “remarkable”, “astounding” and “epic”.   After months of intense work on the part of the creative and technical team, headed by Producer Tara Hobbs, Creative Director Sean Mee and Writer David Burton, the spectacular performing arts event UNDER THIS SKY, shown 31 July-2 August at Logan Brothers Rugby field, was an unqualified success.

The production celebrated the extraordinary community spirit of the City of Logan which we have called home for 8 years now.  Logan, between the Gold Coast to the south, Brisbane to the north and the Scenic Rim to the west, is a place that has been much-aligned by a press focussed on negative stereotypes, giving little attention to the broader and yet more intimate story of people from 205 different ethnic groups living together in harmony and the overflowing creativity and talent inherent here.

Spear-headed by Artistic Director James Morrison, the 90-minute show involved 600 performers ranging from opera-singers to rap-artists, hip-hop dancers to stunt go-kart drivers, plus 20-voiced All-Stars choir, 160-voiced Massed Community Choir, 80-voiced Children’s Choir, numerous solo singers, 70-piece orchestra under the baton of Shaun Dorney, a hot 5-piece band, a live DJ (DJ Bacon) mixing it up with Musical Director and MC Morganics.

Telling the story of a ‘Day In The Life Of Logan’, the play was cleverly staged by Sean Mee in an existing park beside the Logan Brothers Rugby grounds, especially landscaped by Logan City Council with terraced stages for the show.

Muriel, the opera-singing bag-lady (played by Clarice Wliliams), reveals her wings accompanied by her magical singing Sprites (Sophie Moman, Eva Bartlett, Kirra Lang & Angela Koranski)

Muriel, the opera-singing bag-lady (played by Clarice Wliliams), reveals her wings accompanied by her magical singing Sprites (Sophie Moman, Eva Bartlett, Kirra Lang & Angela Koranski). Photo by Paul Harris.

The all-original score traversed diverse musical styles from rap to soul to opera, while all the songs were generated by the creative community of Logan.  This was a Qld Music Festival ‘first’ for this type of community project, where normally the QMF commissions a composer to write all the music for the show.  In this case, Logan had the talent to create the musical assets from scratch.  No mean feat!

UNDER THIS SKY brought together our incredibly diverse community in a way that only the performing arts can and uplifted us all beyond the limits of the sky.  It was surely Logan at its most beautiful – we are so proud & honoured to have been part of Under This Sky.

#underthissky #logan2015 #cityoflogan #qldmusicfest

LINKS:

BLOG by Mia Cobbin featuring behind-the-scenes photos: http://qmf.org.au/under-this-sky-blog/  Under This Sky Blog by Mia Cobbin

BLOG by Joanna Funk: Behind-the-scenes insight into the UTS experience by the only melodica player in the orchestra!  Joanna Funk’s Blog

ARTICLE: The Age, 22 August 2015.  “Can a musical spectacular staged on a footy field bind a community riven by racial disharmony and disadvantage? Frank Robson visits Queensland’s Logan City to find out.”

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/good-weekend/logan-citys-exorcism-of-a-troubled-past-20150810-givhe3.html#ixzz3k4KvNxTj
Follow us: @theage on Twitter | theageAustralia on Facebook

ARTICLE: The Reporter, 6 August 2015 Record Crowds Turned Out to See Logan’s Story Hit The Stage

ARTICLE: SBS world news (sadly the video of the TV article is no longer online, only the readable version)

REVIEW: The Australian 3 August 2015 by Martin Buzacott.  The Australian – Logan Songs Lift Under This Sky

Mr Buzacott’s review is positive but not entirely accurate (we had 15,000 over the three nights) or sensible   (how could the songs be the highlight of the show if the vocal delivery of them didn’t meet its mark?  The singing & sound was, by ALL accounts from audience members, really top-quality!) but on the whole a very nice review.  And very good for Jay and his fellow band members to be mentioned by name.

My fave quote: …it was the songs…that really drove this engaging celebration of all that’s to be appreciated under the convenient almost-full moon of a Logan sky.  

It helped that the house band – consisting of Sam, Sebastian & Lole Tuuga, Jay Turner, Liam Madden and DJ Bacon – was a gem, igniting the place when playing reggae and segueing seamlessly into everything from soul-funk to Pachelbel’s Canon and on to the Tennessee Waltz.”

 

MUNDY-TURNER’S ROLE:

Mundy-Turner’s began work on the project in January 2015.  This intensified during the last 4 months leading into the early August performance, seeing Cath take a break from running one of her regular choirs in order to accommodate the extra stress on her schedule.

Under This Sky's Children's Choir performing Cath Mundy's composition "Children of the Universe", conducted by Cath!

Under This Sky’s Children’s Choir with conductor Cath Mundy performing Cath’s own composition “Children of the Universe”.

Cath was contracted to work as Choral Conductor/Arranger.  This role saw Cath forming and conducting  the especially-auditioned 20-voice “All-Stars” house-choir who performed vocals throughout the show, several small vocal ensembles and directing the 180-voiced massed community choir (including 80 children) for the 3-song Finale.  Cath’s job included writing/overseeing the choral and vocal arrangements of the entire UTS vocal score.

 

 

 

Jay, ready for soundcheck on the "orchestral eyrie", a 4-metre high platform that held the Band, DJ Bacon, MC Morganics, the All-Stars choir and the 80-piece orchestra.

Jay, ready for soundcheck on the “orchestral eyrie”, a 4-metre high platform that held the Band, DJ Bacon, MC Morganics, the All-Stars choir and the 80-piece orchestra.

Jay worked as Assistant Choral Director as well as playing Electric Guitar, Mandolin and 6-string tenor ukulele in the UTS House-Band, alongside the purpose-built 80-piece community orchestra under the baton of Shaun Dorney.

Both Jay & Cath were busy as contributing composers/songwriters and members of the music-development team.

Jay’s song ‘Get There From Here’ (from our album ‘High Life’, with new lyrics written by Jay especially for the show) was the celebratory closing number of the event.

All-Stars vocal ensemble:  directed by Cath Mundy

All-Stars Vocal Ensemble, directed by Cath Mundy.  Thanks to Tracy Francis for the photo.  BACK ROW: Jade-Kelly McMahon, Alyssa Magarry, Larissa Claasen, Hannah Schloman, Jay-lee Senituli, Sarah Hill, Alla Yarosh, Jordan Pineda, Fred Lemalu, Sam Tyrell-Tuuga, Jeremy Tyrell-Tuuga. MID ROW (L-R): Alyssa Maughan, Kelly Houston, Lanita Tyrell-Tuuga, Tracy Francis, Angela Coppolaro, Cath Mundy, Row Blackshaw, Tiffany Gitsham, Brian Garnham. FRONT ROW (L-R): Tiarna Gibbons, Manu Fabila-Hicks

Cath’s choral piece ‘Children Of The Universe’ was performed by the All-Stars Vocal Ensemble, the 80-voice children’s choir, beat-boxer Morganics and the UTS House-Band.

Jay & Cath also collaborated to create, develop and arrange many other pieces in the show, including rock-epic ‘Waking Up This City’ and a new arrangement of the Australian National Anthem in the local indigenous Yugambeh language ‘Wandah! Jageegan Jagun (Rise up! Beautiful Country)’.   Cath played live keyboard to accompany young singers Tiarna Gibbons (12 yo) and Manu Fabila-Hicks (18yo) as they presented the Anthem in duet.

Cath’s mum worked tirelessly behind the scenes to support Jay & Cath in looking after their 8 year old son throughout the project.  Thank you so much Barbara – none of this would have been possible without you!!

The show was reviewed in The Australian arts section and also covered on SBS World news (Cath was prominent in her red top & white gloves dancing around in front of the choirs!) and there is a 2-part TV documentary about the show made by SBS, to be aired in November.

We were exhausted by the end of it but happily so – what a dream project!  To work locally with a creative team of international calibre on a new show so totally unique and relevant to who we are as a community.  UTS was an empowering experience never to be forgotten by all who participated.

2 Comments
John Rodriquez 02:44:37, 23/08/15

It was a pleasure to be part of this amazing event. The highlight for me as a choir member, was hearing the Yugambeh version of the Australian National Anthem. I actually like it better than the Australian Version. It is much more poetic and colourful.

Megan Siepen 10:17:28, 24/08/15

Thank you Cath for coming to Flagstone State School to share in our “Under This Sky” journey. This was a huge commitment for all involved, and we thank you and the QMF organisers for having allowed us the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful celebration of Logan.

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