Formed in 2018, Selfless Orchestra was a collaborative emergence of musicians from the creative community of Perth, Australia, born with the manifesto of creating spaces in which hope and despair co-exist, where audiences can be educated and inspired about issues of social and environmental justice through poetical musical performance.
Influenced by Post-Rock acts that fuse classical and contemporary styles, founding members Steven Alyian (Injured Ninja, Usurper of Modern Medicine, Doublethink Prism), Ray Grenfell (Last Quokka), Madeline Antoine and Jerome Turle (The Weapon Is Sound) quickly recruited musicians and artists to the ensemble, which combined live video projections with the music in a lineup that would evolve with every performance, donating proceeds of their gigs towards community causes.
Challenging conventions of traditional music in immersive shows that break the fourth wall, their first performance is called ‘Great Barrier,’ a composition designed to educate and empower audiences to become part of a movement to help protect Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. The first song from this performance ‘Eden is Lost’ was released in April 2019, followed by a full season of Performances at Perth’s Fringe Festival in 2020.
The full studio album of ‘Great Barrier,’ released on Perth imprint Stock Records takes the listener on a comprehensive journey that weaves orchestral strings, huge distorted guitars, haunting flutes, experimental percussion, whale song and more into a rich sonic tapestry. Featuring a vast array of musicians including members of the Perth Symphony Orchestra and legendary Perth Metal act Karnivool.
Expressing the beauty of the reef with the epic opening opus ‘Time is a Flower,’ the album delves into humanities complex relationship with this natural treasure through the drone and dirge of ‘False Bodies,’ sings the lament of the dying corals through the piano led ballad ‘Bleached,’ screams in fury and desperation at senseless governments and resource industries with ‘Beyond All Illusion’ and turns the despair into a glimmer of hope and resurrection with the uplifting ‘Eden is Lost.’
This seamless and expansive album is a powerful culmination of an array of talented musicians of a vast array of disciplines forming to become greater than their whole, recorded live in single studio takes with no editing, the raw and powerful performance of Selfless Orchestra’s Great Barrier is a uncompromising statement, a love letter to a natural wonder and a call to action to stand strong and protect that which is precious to us.
Selfless Orchestra Great Barrier is available Friday October 23rd on Stock Records
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