Fresh from performing in premieres of In Dreams: David Lynch Revisited and Frank Zappa’s legendary 200 Motels for the Barbican and Southbank Centres, London, Brous returned to Australia to devise this new commission exploring the melodies and multi-layered meaning of lullabies, drawn from migrant families in Bankstown. With special guests Leo Abrahams (Brian Eno, Grace Jones) and multi-instrumentalist David Coulter (Yoko Ono, Kronos Quartet).
Within the first ten minutes of my residency for Lullaby Movement, I was in tears. I sat at a table with Berri Apens, former Latvian ballet dancer, poet and writer who told me through her own tears of the German lullaby she had once sung to rouse her beloved Aunt days before she passed away. It had provided an indefinable comfort with a lilting melody that took her Aunt back to her childhood.
This first experience told me that this project would not be quite like any other. It was already a wellspring of collective unconscious where the stories, backgrounds and geography might differ, but where love and security were constants.
Over ten days, I was able to momentarily step into the intimate lullaby rituals of families from all over the world. It was an honour to learn from so many generous people giving their time and stories of devotion.
– SOPHIA BROUS
Download the lyrics to Lullaby Movement here.
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SOPHIA BROUS is a multi-award winning musician from Polish Austrian decent. Equal-part dramatic auteur and genre-defying chanteuse, Sophia possesses a bold vision for pop music. The vocalist and composer weaves a unique mesmerizing sound from a palette of influences including classic pop orchestra, exotica, jazz and avante-garde. She has collaborated wuth a vast number of musicians including Mick Harvey, Julia Holter, Belle and Sebastian, Kirin J Callinan, Paul Kelly, Kimbra and Paul Grabowsky. Recent projects include premiere performances in productions for the Barbican and Southbank Centre, London, an ongoing collaboration with Mick Harvey for his classic cult Serge Gainsbourg ode, “Intoxicated Man”, a world premiere commission for the Museum of Old and New Art’s Dark Mofo Festival for 30 voice choir featuring US artist Julia Holter, and her celebrated filmic pop project Brous.
DAVID COULTER has worked throughout the world as a musician, artist, teacher/ lecturer and curator, and as Musical and Artistic director of large-scale musical and theatrical events. He has composed for dance, theatre, cinema, television and radio. A specialist in unusual instruments, including Jew’s harp, didgeridoo and Stroh violin he is also widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost musical saw players. He served as associate music director and multi-instrumentalist in the opera The Black Rider, with Tom Waits and Robert Wilson, and also alongside Damon Albarn (Gorillaz) for two years on the opera Monkey: Journey to the West. He toured for several years in the mid-to-late-80s as a member of Test Dept and The Band Of Holy Joy; spent early-to-mid-90s playing violin, mandolin and guitar with The Pogues and since 2003 has been recording and touring internationally with artists as diverse as Jarvis Cocker; Damon Albarn; Yoko Ono; Marianne Faithfull; The Handsome Family; Richard Hawley; Marc Ribot; Steve Nieve; Tim Robbins; The Good, The Bad and The Queen, Patrick Wolf and Radiohead’s drummer, Philip Selway. He played the didgeridoo at the invitation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on a number of official occasions and also in concert with the Kronos Quartet.
LEO ABRAHAMS is an English musician, composer, and producer. He has collaborated with a multitude of professional musicians, including Brian Eno, Imogen Heap, Jarvis Cocker, Carl Barât, and Paul Simon. After attending the Royal Academy of Music in England, he started his musical career by touring as lead guitarist with Imogen Heap. Starting in 2005 he has released five solo albums, largely in an ambient style involving complex arrangements and a use of guitar-generated textures. He has also co-written or arranged a variety of film soundtracks, including Peter Jackson’s 2009 release The Lovely Bones and Steve McQueen’s Hunger.
Lullaby is one of nine works in BANKSTOWN:LIVE, part of Sydney Festival 2015.