Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Key Of Sea

The Key Of Sea, Volume 1, has been a favourite album of mine since it's release a couple of years ago - for the songs, but also because of the amazing collaborations and messages. The concept album is a collection of songs where an Aussie band or artist has been paired with a refugee or migrant music talent to write and play a track. The result is magical.

The second Volume has been released just this year, and when an opportunity to go to the live show came along I grabbed at the chance to see some of these collaborations live on stage.  Carly and I took our seats in the New Hamer Hall, ready for the music on Friday night.

Brain Nankervis was the MC for the night, to fill the space between the stage set ups, which was probably unneeded really. His personality was too big for these bits, and did detract from the music.

The first act was Tim Rogers, with Polyxeni, with Greek musical influences, which was a strong and commanding start to the night. They played a handful of songs they had worked on together, with Tim on vocals.

Next for the night was Sophia Brous with Awazi, who also played a collection of songs, with Brous standing out on impressive vocals. The collaboration was a great fit, the large band behind her.

The Tiger And Me with Afghani Murtaza Jafari was the next collaboration and were very impressive together, and individually. The Melbourne band could indeed be one to watch out for.

Chet Faker hobbled out next, after the MC bit, after The Royal Swazi Spa had taken their positions. Chet was on crutches, with his lower left leg in a cast, but he managed to maneuver himself onto the stool in the middle of the stage.  This bearded lad was the musical stand out for me on the night, and again the collaboration was mesmorising.

A play on the shameful Aussie turn of phrase 'Go Back To Where You Come From', the energetic boys from Jinja Safari gave us things to think about, whilst playing with Kinfe Geshu. Joined on stage by a choir of Sudanese children, this final act was really amazing.  The Silence Of The Gun brings the African sounds and beats of both musical acts together, and was so powerful.

I think it's such a shame we were prevented from taking photos on the night, because some of the scenes of the mix of cultures, musicians and instrumentation, was magical. These coming together of these pairings was the very image of what the Key Of Sea project is all about - our refugee and migrant population here in Australia is rich with talent and skills, if only we appreciate them, and take the time to let them be part of our "lucky country". This night showed that it didn't matter where people were from, music is a powerful cultural glue.

All proceeds of the albums sales go to support the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, who continue to work towards the very integration that these musical collaborations illustrate. 

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