Katie Noonan is calling on all Queenslanders to make a noise and make it clear at the Queensland Music Festival.
Noonan, who was appointed the Artistic Director of the biennale festival last year, has revealed a program headlined by names like Kate Ceberano, Montaigne, Isaiah, Lior, Steve Kilbey, David Hobson, Elena Kats-Chernin, Manu Delago… and you.
Noonan plans to use the festival to demonstrate the power of music as a force for positive change, and is reaching out to people across Queensland — especially those who are isolated, either socially or geographically — to join in.
“I want the talented and passionate people of Queensland to be empowered to join the 2017 festival and help create performances that truly reflect the life of our diverse and vibrant state,” Noonan says.
Noonan believes the festival is unique, in that it involves community projects that run for years and sometimes decades.
“I learnt about the world, its politics and its people through music, and I passionately believe in its power to educate and inspire,” she says.
“Since QMF started 18 years ago, it has reached more than a million people through projects in 82 regions. In 2017 we will continue this amazing legacy and we encourage all Queenslanders to hear and be heard this July.
“If you can talk, you can sing.”
Queensland Premier and Minister for the Arts Annastacia Palaszczuk says the festival will bring over 100 performances (including seven world premieres) to 45 cities, towns and remote regions over the course of three weeks.
“Queensland Music Festival will also give a voice to those who want to unite against domestic violence, towns who face hardship, our remote Indigenous communities, women and young people struggling to get a break in the music industry, and make high quality live music accessible for our elderly in aged-care centres,” the Premier says.
The festival is headlined by You’re The Voice, a monumental music event first reported last month that will see Kate Ceberano, Isaiah and Katie Noonan join thousands of singers at South Bank Piazza (and at home via livestream) on Saturday 29 July to sing John Farnham’s ‘You’re The Voice’ and shine a light on Australia’s domestic violence crisis.
All Queenslanders, regardless of singing ability, are invited to take part in the sing-along; the ambitious project will also see the release of a recording of Farnham’s unofficial national anthem (featuring Noonan, Ceberano, Isaiah, Archie Roach, Troy Casser-Daley and Montaigne) as a Sony Foundation charity single.
The Power Within, the result of an 18-month project involving six towns in Central Queensland, will culminate in a world premiere musical spectacular in Moranbah, starring 200 people from the community, on Friday 28 and Saturday 29 July.
16 Lovers Lane, a special concert on Friday 14 July at QPAC, will pay homage to one of Australia’s greatest albums, featuring the Go-Betweens’ Lindy Morrison, Amanda Brown and John Willsteed, with Dan Kelly, Danny Widdicombe, Luke Daniel Peacock, and a guest line-up including Steve Kilbey (The Church), Mark Callaghan (GANGgajang), Ron S Peno (Died Pretty), Katie and Tyrone Noonan (george), Montaigne, Sam Cromack and Jen Boyce (Ball Park Music), Tim Nelson and Zoe Davis (Cub Sport), Sahara Beck, and Kirin J Callinan.
The Johnson, a new hotel in Spring Hill, will become a hotspot for 10 nights for Immersion – a series of boutique performances by QMF stars including Montaigne, Robbie Miller, and Deborah Conway with Willy Zygier, limited to just 20 audience members per event.
Joh for PM, a satirical musical romp created by playwright Stephen Carleton and composer Paul Hodge, will star Colin Lane (Lano and Woodley) at Brisbane Powerhouse from Friday 7 to Sunday 16 July.
Songs That Made Me, a project offering mentorships with artists including Deborah Conway, Clare Bowditch and Hannah Macklin for several emerging female singer-songwriters in Mount Isa, Mackay and Gladstone, will culminate in a special concert celebrating women in music at The Tivoli on Sunday 16 July.
Touring program On Song will give six regional and rural school kids a chance to learn from award-winning singer-songwriter Jack Carty. Two of the kids will be selected to perform with him in Brisbane as part of QPAC’s Green Jam program on Friday 28 July.
Silver Memories, a series of intimate concerts of classical and jazz music, will be performed by Queensland Conservatorium ensembles at aged-care centres in Brisbane, Toowoomba and the Sunshine Coast.
For those looking for something experimental, the festival will feature Aurality, an augmented reality audio project, and Super Conductor and The Big Game Orchestra, an interactive video game with a live orchestra playing sound and video effects.
There are plenty more shows where they came from, in a program that Noonan says will stir the emotions of the young, the old and everyone in between.
“You will laugh, cry, be wowed, informed and educated. You will be inspired, your eyes will be opened and your heart will be filled. You will have the opportunity to unite with your community and use your voice to make a difference,” Noonan says.
“This is a festival for all Queenslanders, so I urge you to hear and be heard.”
For more info, visit qmf.org.au.