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 the first project 'The New Celtic Suite' commissioned by Arts Victoria in 1998. The project has now grown to a major festival event incorporating symphony orchestra, Aboriginal music and dnace companies, world musician soloists and ensembles from India, Iran, Iraq, Africa and South Amercia. Voyages is now growing to incorporate multimedia and Australian fine art and visual art to further inspire the music and dance performance.


Voyages has been funder by Arts Victoria, Regional Arts Victoria and VicHealth. In 2005, Voyages was performed in Colac, Portland, Robinvale, Warburton, Frankston and the City of Yarra with over 1,000 musicians participating.


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.


Voyages has been an annual feature of Australia Day celebrations at Federation Square Melbourne since 2004, funded annually by the Government of Victoria. Matthew is currently studying a Masters Degree in Community Cultural Development at the University of Melbourne.


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 (and dance and choir where appropriate) 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 now seeks to expand to include other fine arts representatives important to each community. This includes local choirs and local dance companies to be part of the creative process and performances.


The composer will actively encourage 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 to exploring.


Creative input by schoosl and the community for songwiting, choreography, prose writing and artistic work is greatly encouraged.


The first official performance of Voyages was on March 13 2003 for the Shepparton Festival. This project included the Goulburn Valley Orchestra, Raju Sharma (percussion), Matthew Fagan (composer/conductor and 10-String Spanish Guitar) and Kevin Atkinson (indigenous didgeridoo).


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 group to Melbourne for further concerts can be explored at venues such as The Victorians Arts Centre, The National Gallery of Victoria and Federation Square.


Media coverage by the ABC (Sunday Arts TV and National Radio) and other major media will be ongoing.


The composer strongly encourages continued contact after the first performanc 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.



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