Choir sings the words of Kevin Rudd's historic "sorry" speech in an experimental new work.
In Tra$h Ma$h they sang quotations from Lady Gaga and Usher hits; in Toy Story 3 = Awesome they set Facebook status updates to music. But for their latest videoed performance, Brisbane-based choir Australian Voices has looked beyond pop culture to engage with more serious issues.
Under the direction of Gordon Hamilton, the group collaborated with composer Rob Davidson to create an electro-acoustic work based on former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's historic "sorry" speech.
In his 2008 address to the nation Rudd said, "We apologise especially for the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, their communities and their country."
Davidson focused on two simple words – "we apologise" – as the basis of his electroacoustic piece. First, he slowed the audio of Rudd's recorded speech to a 250th of its original speed. Then the choir "use our voices to imitate this slow version then speed up the recording 250 times to see if we can hear Kevin Rudd's voice re-emerge. The result surprised us all!
"Davidson used 250 times, which is pretty much the same ratio as the amount of time white people have been in Australia compared to indigenous peoples."
We Apologise will be released on The Australian Voices' forthcoming new album.
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