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December 4, 2022

A musical reflection 

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This Is Us is a personal declaration from Slava and Leonard Grigoryan, that this music is a new direction for them.

Acclaimed guitarists Slava and Leonard Grigoryan have created a suite of music inspired by objects personally selected from the National Museum of Australia’s vast collection tracing Australia’s diverse and complex history; This Is Us: A Musical Reflection of Australia.

The evocative nature of each of the 18 compositions is heightened by the projection of a high-definition 3D video of the relevant object. The effect this has on the listener/ observer is powerful.

Incorporating all their influences, from classical to jazz and contemporary music, performed on a variety of guitars (electric, eight-string tenor ukulele, 12-string and classical guitar), audiences will see and hear the Grigoryan Brothers like never before.

This Is Us is also a personal declaration from Slava and Leonard, that this music, composed during lockdown with each living in different states, is a new direction for them. While they have included original compositions within programs in the past, this is the first time they will be performing an entire program of original works.

The objects and music take us from the deep past of early Indigenous Australians to the making of contemporary Australian society.

Eighteen individual musical compositions relate the brothers’ response to, and feeling for, their personal selection of objects from the 250,000 in the Museum’s collection.

Each composition focuses on a particular object: among them a 65,000-year-old ochre of the Madjebebe rock shelter; a convict’s love token relating the experience of transportation; the stream anchor from Matthew Flinders’ HMS Investigator, a preserved wet specimen of a whole skinned thylacine; a Kimberley spear point fashioned by Aboriginal people from glass; a cricket bat of the famed Sir Donald Bradman; and the prototype Holden motorcar that began the car manufacturing industry in Australia.

The brothers’ selection tries to represent some of our First Nations’ history as well as colonisation, migration, innovation and stories of love and loss, and they say ‘We were deeply moved by all of them’.

This Is Us: A Musical Reflection of Australia. 

Friday 25 November, 7.30pm at the Byron Theatre

Tickets: byroncentre.com.au

Also at The Star Court Theatre, Lismore – Saturday 26 November at 7.30pm and The Regent, Murwillumbah, Sunday 27 November at 3pm.

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