314 "Not Now, Not Ever!"

Two blogs about music / art in one day ... so much talent in Australia!

"Not Now, Not Ever!"

from The Guardian


... is a sung version of Julia Gillard's anti-misogyny speech to now-PM Tony Abbott, composed by Rob Davidson, performed by The Australian Voices, directed by Gordon Hamilton, filmed by Miki Clarke, engineered by Geoff McGahan and produced by Scott Griffin … I mention all these people because the effort is so bloody amazing. This is the most astonishing, blindingly brilliant, off-beat, pertinent piece of music I have ever encountered ... including anything I’ve heard from Philip Glass or Karl Heinz Stockhausen. If you identified with Ms Gillard’s sentiments in her speech, listen to, indeed devour this production ...

Note: turn your volume up, but be patient, the sound-track takes a few moments to come on ... 


Another note: Make sure you get to the very end of the video, after the titles have rolled,

there is a screen with a bunch of links to more content ... don't miss out on the

Tony Jones Lateline interview with Paul Keating, nor on Mad as Hell with 

Shaun Micallef & Leigh Sales on 7:30 dumping on Tony Abbott ... Gold!

The Guardian article by Helen Davidson

Julia Gillard’s famous speech during which she proclaimed she “would not be lectured about sexism and misogyny” by Tony Abbott has been turned into a song by an Australian composer and an award-winning choir.

The former prime minister’s question time attack on the alleged misogyny of Abbott, who was then the opposition leader, was quickly shared across the planet.

Brisbane composer and University of Queensland lecturer Rob Davidson had previously experimented with the creation of music from speech with a project centred around a one-second grab of Kevin Rudd’s apology to the stolen generation.

For Not Now, Not Ever, Davidson was approached by Gordon Hamilton, the artistic director of the award-winning choral group the Australian Voices, to do something new after the success of We Apologise.


This is awesome. Listen to it ... wrap your brain around it

“He mentioned the misogyny speech and how he found it to be a really powerful moment,” Hamilton told Guardian Australia.

“We thought that was a terrific idea and would make a really nice companion piece to the apology.”

Hamilton, and Brisbane-based singers Christine Mairs and Dhanika Rubasinghe, all told Guardian Australia they were struck by the musicality of Gillard’s speech.

“It’s very powerful,” Hamilton said. “I was really surprised by her power and her way with words … it was a moment where a person was very emotional as well as articulate.”

Mairs has been part of Australian Voices on and off since 2001. She said she was not very political, but had watched the speech.

“I just felt very sorry for her. I’ve always liked her and felt like she wanted to do the right thing, but when I heard that speech I though: oh the emotion is kicking in now,” Mairs said.

“Any kind of extreme emotional speech or topic just creates a reaction.”

Rubasinghe hadn’t seen the speech until it was brought to the Australian Voices group.

“For a start it was funny,” Rubasinghe said.

“It also really got to you. You’ve seen speeches about equality before, but this was specifically almost attacking one man and it gave it that much more strength and had that much more passion.”

As a tenor, Rubasinghe followed the notes of Gillard’s voice while the rest of the choir harmonised around it.

“I couldn’t have imagined it happening, because speech is so unmusical,” he said.

The group performed Not Now, Not Ever at the opening of the Anywhere Theatre festival and said it received a hugely positive response from the crowd.

Next, they will take it through Queensland pubs as part of a choir challenge. The group aren’t worried about how their take on Gillard’s speech will fare in front of audiences, and are still wondering if Gillard herself has seen it. A lot of people have tweeted it to her.

“I hope she sees it and I hope she enjoys it and takes it in the spirit intended,” Hamilton said.

“To take an important moment in Australian history and make it art.”