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P

arliamentary speeches are not everyone’s

idea of entertainment but musician and

composer Robert Davidson aims to

change that perception. Davidson, founder

of Brisbane-based musical group Topology,

has been listening very closely to key speeches

by Australia’s most high profile pollies and

finding the melody between the lines, and that

will be the basis of one of the most intriguing

performances of the Queensland Music Festival

which kicks off on 17 July.

Davidson’s fascination with the melody in

speech began while he was a boy in school

and making tapes of his own voice, but as an

experienced musician and composer he turned

his attention to our Prime Ministers.

He first started experimenting with Gough

Whitlam’s historical ‘Well May We Say’ speech

and last year worked with award-winning

choir the Australian Voices to create a musical

rendition of Julia Gillard’s ‘Misogyny’ speech

which has attracted more than 200,000 views

on You Tube. It not only brought world-wide

news attention, Queensland Music Festival came

calling. “I thought then that I’d like to do a

whole lot of Prime Ministers,” says Davidson.

So he has listened very carefully to speeches

by Hughes, Menzies, Curtin, Chifley, Fraser,

Hawke, Keating, Howard, Rudd and Abbott

(and many others) and collaborated once again

with the Australian Voices and their director

Gordon Hamilton to create ‘Unrepresentative

Swill’, a unique musical adaptation of the

speeches that have defined our political history

– from Menzies’ Declaration of the Second

World War to Rudd’s ‘We Apologise’ to the

Stolen Generation. The performance will be

an innovative mix of speech recordings, live

song and instrumentation, with narration by

comedian and TV presenter Adam Spencer.

The show’s title may suggest otherwise but

it’s not a parody – well, not all of it anyway.

“Politicians get lampooned a great deal; it’s

not a bad thing to try to celebrate what they

say. We’re trying to get inside what it’s like

to be the speaker themselves and reflect

their personality and their emotions,” says

Davidson. Indeed, Davidson reveals that

stay tuned

There’s music

everywhere, from

Mt Isa Symphony

Orchestra making

its debut for the

Queensland Music

Festival to Jimmy

Barnes at Jupiters

on the Gold Coast

and much more in

between...

Anything Goes

Opera Australia and musical theatre

impresario John Frost have joined forces

to bring a new production of Cole Porter’s

Anything Goes

to the stage. Caroline

O’Connor and Todd McKenney star in this

madcap musical comedy with some classic

songs. From 28 July at Lyric Theatre, QPAC.

Tickets from $79.90 plus fees. Bookings, call

136 246 or see

www.qpac.com.au

Noosa Jazz Festival

Emma Pask and Darren Percival headline

but keen-eyed jazz fans also will be looking

out for the likes of hot keyboard talent

Clayton Doley (

above

) who has just released

his new album. As well as stage performances

there are special lunch events and river

cruises. From 3-6 September, Festival Village,

Lions Park, Noosa Heads. Day tickets from

$30. See

www.noosajazz.com.au

30

| BNE July/August 2015

Melody in unexpected places

From politicians’ speeches to piano in the streets there’s plenty to engage

the imagination at Queensland Music Festival

WHAT’S ON