Fantasy Orchestra leader and guiding light, Jesse D Vernon, writes:
As committed-for-life fans of Ursula Le Guin, my wife Kate and I decided to start running appreciation days when we discovered some amazing music, composed by Todd Barton, to accompany one of her books, Always Coming Home. Published in 1985, about a cultural group of humans—the Kesh—who “might be going to have lived a long, long time from now in Northern California.” (p. i) Part novel, part textbook, part anthropologist’s record, Always Coming Home describes the life and culture of the Kesh people.
Todd Barton wrote a selection of folk songs and music which the Kesh might have been going to sing and they make wonderful listening and a great subject for a singing workshop and performance.
What: We’re busking by the Aladdin Sane Wallace on the 24th August!
When: Friday 24th August , 6pm
Where: Wapping Wharf, Bristol
The Wapping Wharf area forms part of the Gromit Unleashed 2 trail , which consists of dozens of sculptures from Aardman’s famous Wallace and Gromit series dotted around the city in aid of the Grand Appeal.
Artist Carys Ink’s Bowie-themed Space Oddi-tea Wallace sculpture is located at Wapping Wharf until September 2 and is the inspiration behind both of the Bowie music fundraiser.
Bristol’s very own Fantasy Orchestra will be performing a selection of Bowie’s early songs on August 24, in keeping with the Wallace sculpture’s Aladdin Sane lightning bolt.
Here is a taste of what to expect – the orchestra’s rendition of Life on Mars from our recent Valley Fest appearance:
The performance will take place at 6pm on August 24 next to the sculpture, in front of Portside Gallery and Brothers We Stand.
We celebrated the World’s Most Famous Unknown People at the Cube on 2 April, with a set including music by Connie Converse, Judee Sill and – in person – Andy Skellam and (below) Rita Lynch:
we popped along the M4 for a set at the Ivy House in Nunhead on 23 April;
we donned appropriate cossies for an Apes Alliance benefit at the University of Bristol on 28 April;
and we played two sets at the Big Love Festival in Hay-on-Wye on 30 April/1 May.
We then split ourselves in two on the weekend of 7 May: while most of our number played at the Park Row Sustrans Festival in Bristol, several of us hopped on Eurostar to join our friends in the Paris Fantasy Orchestra’s for their Bowie Party.
We beguiled the long dark evenings with a few gigs and polished up some new material, which we unveiled at Bristol I Beseech You, our contribution to the Fringe events supported by the BBC6 Music Festival in Bristol.
Having besought Bristol, we celebrated Bowie on 5 March at a show hosted by Backwell Festival — a fond and full-throated tribute delivered with support from The Ambling Band and Invisible Circus. Joining us were old FO friends and guest singers Chris Apthomas (also keyboards) and Jimmy Goodrich:
Whilst the national spotlight is once again shine Bristolwards with the BBC 6Music Festival taking place here, The Fantasy Orchestra have decided to join in and celebrate the magnificence that is Bristol’s homegrown music. We present a set of original tunes by Bristol-based artists such as Rachael Dadd, Andy Skellam, The Precious Mings, Paul Bradley, Rira Lynch, Rozi Plain, Jamie Harrison, This Is The Kit and more!
Expect the exotic; psychedelic loveliness; rousing choral noise; some choice costumes – and possibly a musical saw
Be sure not to miss that gorgeousness that is our opening act…
Yama Warashi; a Fishponds based supergroup led by Yoshino Shagihara who blend a fusion of traditional Japanese melody and harmony, new age and old age sounds, mixed with a rotating smorgasbord of local talent.
£7 in advance from bristol ticket shop (£10 on the door)
L’inénarrable Fantasy Orchestra–au complet, avec chorale et section cordes–vous invite à une fabuleuse soirée David Bowie en Technicolor –attention les yeux les amis ! (et les oreilles… 😉 )
Une scène ouverte précèdera le concert, venez chanter votre Bowie song préférée !
Come and check out the Fantasy Orchestra doing their bowie set with a full set of strings, horns, and singers. Doin’ it like David never did it before, all the lushest arrangements in full effect with some wonderful talents on guest vocals