Days and nights filled with music
As our lives become busier and stress levels rise, the benefits of participating in activities that create a more positive psychology are being widely promoted.
Singing, playing music or enjoying music have always been high on the list of these activities.
From a positive psychology perspective there are many different explanations for the effectiveness of singing and music in improving physical and psychological wellbeing.
“I felt uncontrollably joyous!”
“I could not stop my lips from turning upwards and smiling during the session.”
“It made me feel so happy and alive and as a group we felt so much closer.”
These quotes express just some of the benefits of music and singing but very simply, you can’t go wrong doing something that just makes you feel good.
The Adelaide Fringe program provides countless opportunities to sing your heart out and enjoy a plethora of musical talent.
The SWT team has had the absolute privilege of experiencing the pure joy of a wide variety of musical shows and our reviews that we will be putting up over the next week include:
Fusion Pops Orchestra
First cab off the rank for us was the Fusion Pops Orchestra – a symphonic pops orchestra and choir, that plays a selection of beautifully arranged popular music.
Founder Daniel Ciurleo’s vision in 2012 was to arrange and orchestrate popular music for orchestra and choir, making orchestral arrangements accessible to everyone. After three successful seasons, in 2014 Daniel passed the baton to work on further musical passions but we spoke to the President of FPO, Stacey Brown, about the extraordinary talent behind and in front of these fun performances.
Music and singing has always been described as good for the soul – how have you experienced this to be true?
I think this is the main reason this group has managed to continue. We rely completely on our members simply loving to sing and play music. There are no monetary rewards, from our players to the committee, everyone does it for the love. I know for myself that sometimes I don’t really feel like getting out of the house and going to rehearsal after being at work all day but 15 minutes in, I have completely forgotten about any troubles for the day and feel connected to the music and fellow singers/musicians.
Music has great power – how do you find this to be true?
When we get it right and all of those gorgeous harmonies come together you can actually feel a buzz that I can’t really describe. But it makes you happy. It feeds your soul. I think there’s something primal about it. People have been singing and playing instruments for thousands of years, in times of joy and grief. Music can make happy times happier, it can make your feel the times of sorrow even harder but I think that helps us to heal.
What inspires the members of FPO to perform together as they do?
I think most of us are excited to be doing something different. There isn’t anyone else in Adelaide doing what we do. When I first responded to an ad on Gumtree for the choir I expected to turn up to the rehearsal and it would be full of nannas. To my surprise it wasn’t. The age range was 15-45. This is what is really nice. Young people breathing life into orchestral arrangements.
Music so defines stages in our life – how has that been true for you?
For me personally, music has played a huge part in my life. I went to a tiny primary school in the country where the principal was a mad recorder fan and our school was well known for our high standard of recorder. Sounds funny I know but it really set the stage for understanding the fundamentals of music that lead to a great passion for it. At 12 I started singing lessons. Luckily singing came naturally to me. Throughout all of high school I did solo performances at school and outside of school for various local events (in the Barossa). Then I left school, had to “grow up” and music/singing went by the wayside. I did bits and pieces, sang at wedding ceremonies etc. Then a couple of years ago I decided it was time to really get back into it. I had a look on Gumtree and there was an ad for Fusion Pops Orchestra. The group hadn’t had a performance yet. From there I got involved in the committee and have been heavily involved in both the performance side of things and in the background.
As a group of talented SA musicians, how have you come together?
People have come from all over the place really. The choir is mostly from Gumtree and the orchestra is really from the tight knit Adelaide amateur orchestra scene. A lot of the players cross over from various other orchestras but there they play classical music and not pop & rock so it’s a chance to do something completely different. We are always looking for new members though! Especially for the choir. We’d love to have a beautiful big choir and a few more guys too. They’re a lot harder to come by though.
What inspires you when you chose particular songs or pieces of music?
We look for songs that people know and love and can just hear that with an orchestral arrangement it could be something really spine tingling. There are also lots of songs that in their original recording have some nice harmonies but most people don’t really notice it. With the choir those harmonies become a whole different level and when we get it right, it gives you an amazing buzz.
Any other comments you would like to add about the power or passion of music and singing?
I hope you felt it being at the concert but there is just something about an orchestra that you can’t really get into words. The way we prepared for this concert is that the choir rehearses every week, then in the 6 weeks before the concert, the orchestra joins us. It’s a bit different for choir and orchestra, they can come in at this late stage and it’s okay. I remember our first rehearsal with the orchestra for this concert, as soon as they started playing one of the songs the choir had been rehearsing for months, I thought to myself “Yes, this is why we are doing this”, it’s just so special when those violins swell up behind you during a crescendo and the cellos bring a beautiful depth. It brings me instant happiness. The choir were all smiling while singing their hearts out.
Diva at Dusk – sings Andrew Lloyd Webber and other favourites
Reviewed by Robyn Edwards
Ms Snape delighted the intimate gathering with Andrew Lloyd Webber classics, along with songs from Shirley Bassey, Roy Orbison, Puccini and the Wizard of Oz.
While there was no small amount of competition from the sulphur crested cockatoos and black cockatoos screeching in the trees above and kookaburras laughing in the distance, the musical renditions truly shone through. Even the pair of western grey kangaroos that visited seemed happy with the performance.
During the breaks we were entertained and educated by host Sean Delaney, talking about the biodiversity conservation they manage through the restoration of the Candle Bark Forest surrounding their charming winery.
Diva at Dusk was an evening with wine, woman and song, byo picnic. If you miss out this time she will be back at Sinclair’s Gully over the Easter break. If you find yourself up Norton Summit way make sure you enjoy this mix of art and nature.
All ages will appreciate the singing and fauna at this beautiful venue.
Fusion Pops Orchestra
Reviewed by Alex Fry
A highly entertaining and interactive cabaret style performance, the full orchestra and choir perform songs you know and love but in a way you’ve never heard before.
Rock and pop classics from renowned artists including Robbie Williams, Coldplay, Lorde and Crowded House were given a musical twist that will leave you tingling.
While their Adelaide Fringe season was one day only, Fusion Pops Orchestra & Choir is well worth a listen any time of the year.
FPO puts on an entertaining performance for all ages, with both young families and older generations enjoying the evening.
Puddles Pity Party
Reviewed by David Chapman
When a seven-foot giant clown stomps onto stage, you are not really sure what to expect! But “Puddles” keeps you captivated through the entire show.
He drags you into his lonesome and longing tale with his fantastic and powerful voice, the right mix and mash of songs, and the subtle level of audience participation – all without speaking one word.
There are more laughs than anything but, if you can embrace the moment, I am sure you will also experience the welling up of a tear or two.
When Puddles nails “Hallelujah” with desperation and melancholy, you cant help but feel a real connection with him.
Through this and the other songs, you can’t help but bond with Puddles, so much so that the audience queued up after the show – for hugs!
Unless clowns render you paralysed with fear (and you never know, Puddles may sway you), this show is for you.
Sunglasses at Night
Review by Ruby Edmonds
Picture the 80s. You’re probably thinking of bright tight leggings and pigtails, dramatic outfits with a touch of taffeta and wacky pop songs with lyrics that don’t make sense.
Well that’s what I picture when people describe the 80s to me. I’m a 90s baby, so the 80s were no friend of mine.
There is a saying that goes “if you remember the 60s you weren’t really there”.
Perhaps the opposite can be said for the 80s. Because those who lived it remember it with vivid passion and those who didn’t struggle to understand its relevance.
Sunglasses at Night: The 80s Apocalypse Sing Along Cabaret, approaches the decade with a satirical, musical humour that has the audience out of their seats, dancing and singing along.
The host, Geraldine Quinn, brought the 80s to life. Her voice was 80s, her hair was 80s, her dress was 80s and her moves were oh so dramatic 80s… Fun, funky and at times outright mad, parodying the performances of the day.
If you were from the era you will love this show… and even if you weren’t, head along anyway and you might just wish you lived through the 80s too.
Reviewed by Ellie Cooper
Experience the incredible power of the human voice with The Magnets.
Hailing from the UK, the six member a cappella group return to the Adelaide Fringe for their fourth year, this time with a repertoire of Top 40 Hits.
Performing impossible feats with nothing but their vocal chords, they switch seamlessly between Mumford & Sons, Pharrell Williams and Justin Timberlake –crowd pleasers if the rousing applause is anything to go by.
While The Magnets add something special to every song, it’s difficult to go past their unique twist on ballads like Ariana Grande’s 99 Problems.
Mark Ronson’s Uptown Funk should have been a crowd stopper but, with only half the group performing, it didn’t reach the expected heights.
The show is worth seeing for the unbelievable solos of beatboxer Andy Frost alone, who manages to make the sounds of a 10 piece band and a jukebox combined.
Consummate performers, the six men effortlessly combine melodies with comedy, providing an evening of true entertainment.
Dressed in dad jeans with their charming choreography, in a blokey man-band kind of way, they are the sort of down to earth artists who chat with the crowd after the show.
It’s the perfect Fringe event if you love music, or even for those looking for a touch of wonderful without the weird and whacky element of the festival.
The whole crowd was getting into the show but, from a quick scan of the audience, ladies in the 47 year-old age group were grooving the most.