Issued Tuesday, 7 February 2006
AUSTRALIAN ART ORCHESTRA WITH RUBY HUNTER AND ARCHIE ROACH
The finest, most moving work the Australian Art Orchestra has undertaken.
Sydney Morning Herald
A thought-provoking, deeply moving and ultimately celebratory exploration of home, spirit and the nature of identity.
Ruby’s Story is a unique collaboration between Ruby Hunter, her partner in music and life, Archie Roach, and acclaimed musician Paul Grabowsky. The much loved and respected Ruby and Archie, both children of the Stolen Generation, perform with some of Australia’s leading improvising jazz musicians – members of the Australian Art Orchestra.
Originally commissioned by Sydney Opera House, Ruby’s Story returns to the Playhouse from 16 May after a sold-out premiere season at Message Sticks 2004 and acclaimed performances across Australia and the world.
This intensely rich musical experience, featuring songs and stories that recount Hunter’s birth by the side of a billabong near the banks of the Murray River, was described by the Sydney Morning Herald as “an uplifting affirmation of the human spirit”. Ruby’s Story charts Hunter’s search for identity, the discovery of hope through love and her return to the river with Archie to build a new life and mend the wounds of the past.
Ruby Hunter is a Ngarrindjerri/Kukatha/Pitjantjatjara woman from South Australia. With Archie Roach, she has become an inspirational performer in the Australian music industry. Archie is a poet, storyteller and singer/songwriter internationally renowned for his poignant and passionate songs and performances. The story of how Ruby and Archie met in a Salvation Army drop-in centre in Adelaide is legendary. In fact, the great suffering both Ruby and Archie have had to overcome to survive has become part of their incredible reputation and is portrayed with immense feeling through the songs of Ruby’s Story.
The Australian Art Orchestra, led in these performances by Alister Spence, is well-known for exploring the interactions possible between notated and improvised music as well as a commitment to cross cultural musical collaborations. Ruby’s Story, which is the orchestra’s first collaboration with Australian Indigenous musicians, was awarded the Deadly Vibes Indigenous Arts Award for Best Concert Score 2004. Paul Grabowsky’s arrangements of Ruby and Archie’s songs take their lead from the country music and gospel traditions that have inspired them and from his own jazz and classical influences.
Ruby’s Story is a very special musical experience full of humour, sorrow, fun and love, which will stay in the hearts of audiences long after they have left the theatre.
Program Details: Ruby’s Story
Venue: The Playhouse
Dates: 16-21 May, 2006
Times: Tues-Sat 8pm, Sun 5pm
Wed 17 May 12.30pm & 8pm
Artists Talk: Sunday 21 May (post show)