Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Sonnyboy Morgan - Westside Circus- INTERVIEWS

Once Was Lost....
A new physical theatre work set in a lost and found office is playing at Gasworks Park. Paul Andrew speaks with Musical Director Lee 'Sonnyboy' Morgan.

Musician Lee “Sonnyboy” Morgan has performed alongside a who’s who of celebrities including the likes of Midnight Oil, Yothu Yindi, Archie Roach and Ruby Hunter, Paul Kelly and Guy Sebastian, but right now he is “ecstatic” about joining up with a mob of young indigenous artists from around Victoria who are making circus with a difference.
Morgan  rehearsing now for an acro-action packed show about the comings and goings of an imaginary Lost and Found office and as Musical Director for the show he is responsible for a energetic band of young musicians from Songlines Aboriginal Music; his primary concern; to create the Circus’s uplifting musical “pulse".
“My role is mainly to facilitate a ground base for the indigenous youth from Songlines to express their musical ideas, to help them each to open up the creative flow that comes freely when the right support and the right guidance is in place. It was challenging at first but it’s all come together in the last few weeks, they’re an amazing crew.”
Lost & Found Artistic Director George Filev explains that alongside the musicians are the circus performers themselves; talented members from Westside’s own athletic youth troupe Behind the Wall and the visionary film students from the Collingwood Alternative School who have made a cinematic stage ‘backdrop’ about inner city living.
“Each of these students has  a varying range of skills expertise, are all aged between 14 and 25 years of age and come from diverse community and economic backgrounds, so it was vital to find a concept that could bring everyone together.  Westside is a ‘social circus’ after all. The main aim is to help young people build confidence and wellbeing , to create positive relationships to promote self-expression, teamwork and leadership skills, as much as valuing the acquisition of circus skills, film skills or the musical expertise that Lee is fostering.”
Morgan adds that it’s the pulsating original music they are recording that helps draw these performers together, that levels out the differences. He provides a highly animated story of the “funky and sweaty” rehearsal room over the past weeks, about the dancing and specific challenges Westside Circus faces, like getting students to show up for practice in the first place and getting them to conscientiously lose their mobile phones for the duration of rehearsals.

“The music mood varies," he reveals. ”We have created a landscape of sounds; some poignant and surprising, some mysterious, others mundane, calm, introspective quirky amusing. Much like life really.”  Morgan gets particularly emotional while recalling the spoken word collaborations devised for the show, “They are very pensive, immediate with a very melancholy edge to them. They’re beautiful.”
He continues to explain the Lost and Found Office theme, why its so vital.
“It works so well because is something that everyone can relate to, everyone has lost something valuable at some point in their lives. What inspired us was the ethos of holding near and dear to us the things that really matter in our lives; like family, friends and the people we love. Not just things that are material things like possessions. We may loose something we might think is important to us but at the end of the day if we have love and strong energies around us such as family and dear friends - our clan- then this is what truly matters.”
Lost & Found
Gasworks Art Park. Wednesday 8-12 December

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