V O Y A G E S - C U L T U R A L P R O J E C T S
Voyages is an exciting community performance event led by composer/performer Matthew Fagan. Voyages is an extensive development of Matthew Fagan's first Community music project 'The New Celtic Suite' commissioned by Arts Victoria in 1998 which involved Matthew's original orchestral compositions performed by the Orana Chamber Orchestra which appears on the recording Indigo Moon.
The first official performance of Voyages was on March 13, 2003 for the Shepparton Festival. This project included the Goulburn Valley Orchestra, with guest World Musicians Raju Sharma (percussion), Kevin Atkinson (indigenous didgeridoo) Matthew Fagan (composer/conductor and 10 string Spanish guitar). The project was a great success and Matthew has an ongoing professional relationship with Rob Robson who was the Manger of the Shepparton Arts Centre and is now the Manager of the West Gippsland Performing Arts Centre. Please see video to the right.
The success of this commission has led to Voyages being funded by Arts Victoria, Regional Arts Victoria and VicHealth and has led to further projects including:
1. “Voyages as a showcase tour for Regional Arts Victoria in
2004-2005, was performed in 8 regional and Metropolitan communities with over 1,000 musicians participating.
March 2004 Frankston Arts Centre
September 2004 Robinvale Performing Arts Centre
October 2004 Portland Arts Centres/ Heywood Hall
October 2004 Colac Performing Arts Centres
Nov/Dec 2004 Warburton Arts Centre
Swan Hill & Hamilton
2. “Voyages ” Twilight Concert, Federation Square, Australia Day
In 2004, Voyages was commissioned by the Victorian Government for a showcase concert at Federation Square for the Australia Day Concert, featuring over 300 musicians, dancers and acrobats performing to a capacity crowd of over 20,000 and broadcast on national media.
Matthew was commissioned as Music Director from 2004-2011 by the Victorian Government and PAN events
Matthew provided the name and concept of this project and footage of Matthew's previous Voyages projects initially helped secure funding for PAN Events. PAN events continued using the name Voyages when Matthew ceased being a Music Director until Matthew reclaimed it.
Since then there has been Voyages Metropolitan Projects for the
City of Port Phillip and City of Kingston in 2012.
26 September 2003 Knox Community Arts Centre
5 December 2004 Richmond Town Hall (Funded by City of Yarra)
Also in Kerang, Lilydale and Bayside
The project has now grown to a major festival event incorporating symphony orchestra, Aboriginal music and dance companies, world musician soloists and ensembles from India, Iran, Iraq, Africa and South Amercia and has grown to incorporate multimedia and Australian fine art and visual art to further inspire the music and dance performance.
Previous Voyages projects have included:
Artistic collaborations between community groups/members and members of the Voyages Group which consist of Australian leading world musicians from India, China, Iraq, Indigenous Australia, Oceania, Eastern Europe and Celtic Musicians.
Extensive workshops with communities, schools and artists over an 8 week lead up to the concert is of invaluable cultural sharing, communication and community development.
An extensive invitation is sent to artistic communities of eg. Schools, Arts Groups, Dance Groups, Spoken Work, Drama Groups and Interfaith communities. The Voyages Project can be tailored for each community.
The overall aims of the project are:
-To promote harmony, understanding and artistic growth between people and groups from different cultural, racial, religious or social backgrounds in the local community.
-Through the process of extensive workshops/rehearsals and performance, to provide and invaluable performance opportunity. Voyages will utilise the artistic skills of the local community music groups combined with the skills of the composer and the team of world musicians. This will create unique performance events for all members of their community to participate in, by actively performing, observing and/or attending workshops/performances.
-A special focus of the project is for the youth and younger emerging artists of the community to have the opportunity to liaise directly with the composer and visiting team of musicians. The composer particularly seeks talented youth members to compose special musical parts for them.
-Through the professional contacts of the composer, Voyages also seeks to establish links for these young musicians with other regional centres and also with tertiary education centres and professional recording studios in major cities (Melbourne and Sydney).
-Voyages is an extremely flexible project. The 'local music group' may be an ensemble of any style and any number of members; symphonic groups or concert bands, string ensemble, brass and percussion ensemble, etc. The musicians may come from school groups of local community music groups with performers of all ages. With communitys of smaller populations, combining with other local regions will be explored.
-The general level of musicianship is 7th Grade AMEB, however simpler parts and arrangements for other musicians are available too.
-All finer aspects are easily arranged and encouraged by the composer.
-Voyages also seeks to include other performing arts groups from each community including local choirs and local dance companies to be part of the creative process and performances.
-The composer actively encourages the involvement of local photographers and/or visual artists to have their art projected and creatively combined with the performance to emphasise the unique qualities of the community's environment, and issues that may be open for exploration.
-Creative input by schools and the community for songwiting, choreography, prose writing and artistic work is greatly encouraged.
-Each project, including the workshops, rehearsals and performance will be professionally documented by audio and visual technicians. Full professional copies will be presented to the community.
-The opportunity to bring the performance outcome from regional areas to Melbourne for further concerts can be explored at venues such as The Victorian Arts Centre and Federation Square.
-Media coverage by the ABC and other major media will be initiated .
-The composer strongly encourages continued contact after the first performance for further development.
-The initial projects have received funding of $AU 5,000 to 10,000. The composer invites all enquiries to discuss appropriate funding plans for all projects form small to large scale; a plan for all scales of projects is available.