Some past and present projects
The Sarah McDonald Situation
The Sarah McDonald Situation is a molten cocktail of jazz and triphop made to make your head nod and liquefy your senses.
Emerging from the ashes of White Minus Red, a long standing project that has previously graced many a festival stage ( The Falls Festival, Ostara, Renaissance, Folk Rhythm + Life, Sustainable Living Festival) and show around town ( NSC, Bar Open, The Evelyn, The Esplanande Hotel and many more ) and combining with the musical evolution that has taken place over the last few years of playing soul and jazz, is new incarnation The Sarah McDonald Situation.
These clips are taken from the bands' first steps as a fresh incarnation with the members of the quintet that Sarah has been playing sold out shows at jazz clubs and venues around town with- The Sarah McDonald Quintet.
The band features Kumar Shome-Guitar, Ben Hanlon- Double Bass, Ron Romero- Tenor Sax, Lewis Pierre-Humbert-Drums and Sarah McDonald-Voice, Flute and Pen.
The project is set to record and go next level.
Watch this space.
The Roger Young Collective:
Bond and Beyond
Bond and Beyond sets out to celebrate and reinterpret the music that has always been a defining feature of the James Bond series. It features the memorable tracks that accompanied the films of the psychedelic sixties through to the driving grooves and ballads of the present day. A sumptuous string section will be paired with the more contemporary energy of a rhythm section and vocalist.
Bond and Beyond will present wholly original musical arrangements showcasing some of Melbourne’s most talented classical and jazz musicians. Five string players from the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra will be joined by the talents of David Jones on drums, who is often described both here and abroad as one of the most innovative and musical drummers in the world.
Also joining will be Hue Blanes, who played at last year’s International Jazz Festival to great acclaim and the incredible jazz musicality of Sarah McDonald. The combination of a classical string quartet with a rhythm section opens up unique musical possibilities. Melbourne-based classical and jazz violinist Roger Young has created arrangements that seek to re-imagine this wonderful and eclectic music.
TUESDAY 15TH JULY 8PM, 2014 - Sold out
DEAKIN EDGE FED SQUARE MELBOURNE
Zajal- The Art of Poetic Duel
"Zajal- The Art of Poetic Duel" traces the thread of this form of improvised poetic duel from it's origins in the Middle East, the history and culture that it emerges from and simillar oral traditions from around the world through to it's resonance in contemporary art forms like battle rap, cypher, spoken word and poetry slams.
It reflects the universality of poetry and human expression, the depth of the cultural legacy that we share in, the transformative power of the word and the warmth, beauty and joy of life.
Featuring Palestinian zajjaalla Maria Abu Wasal and Australian zajaal Antoine Barsouna, Issam Melki, Charbel Beini, Nizar Ashjar, Palestinian academic and media activist Yousef Alreemawi, contemporary spoken word artists Ahmad Al-Rady, Zohab Zee Khan, Nour Abouzeid, Abdul Hammoud and Miles Merrill, hip hop artists Hugo Farrant (of Rap News- along with Giordano Nanni and team), Palestinian hip hop crew DAM, Morganics and Elf Tranzporter and the music of Filastine, MOnkey MArc, Elf Tranzporter, Metin Yilzac, Imad Rabeay, Amer Al-Saeedi and Rosco Heck.
Producer / Director- SARAH MCDONALD, Editor- TIM PARISH, Assistant Editors- JEEVIKA RAJAGOPAL and FLORENT TOURVIELLE, Filming / Production Crew- JEEVIKA RAJAGOPAL and FLORENT TOURVIELLE, Translation- YOUSEF ALREEMAWI, Subtitle Editor- JEEVIKA RAJAGOPAL, Scripting and Narration- SARAH MCDONALD and Sound Design- CY GORMAN.
This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, it's arts funding and advisory body.
The Anti Racism Action Band
A few projects from over the time spent as coordinator / creative director of Victorian Arabic Social Services' Anti Racism Action Band project which sought to bring young people from diverse backgrounds together and dissolve racism and engender wellbeing through participation in performing arts projects.
The City Speaks- making audible the stories that coexist in this radiant city, Melbourne.
On behalf of Victorian Arabic Social Service and funded with a City of Melbourne 2015 Arts Grant that I concieved of, applied for, designed and produced this project, The City Speaks- making audible the stories that coexist in this radiant city, Melbourne. In this project I brought together film maker Jeevika Rajagopal and six talented local spoken word artists to make a series of short clips which featured performances of specially wriiten pieces which explored different dimensions of being in Melbourne with conversations around the indigenous and colonial origins of Melbourne, the ways multiculturalism has enriched cosmopolital Melbourne, place, space and belonging, and Melbourne's rich cultural vibrancy and diverse artist practices. Each poet offered some insights into their creative process to inspire viewers to write their own short spoken word piece about their experience of living in Melbourne to send in as part of the project.
[ which are achived here: https://soundcloud.com/the-city-speaks ]
:About the project:
'The City Speaks- making audible the stories that coexist in this radiant city, Melbourne.'
This city is full of stories.
Layers upon layers of histories- from the ancient ancestors of the Kulin Nation to all that make up the vibrant city that we know today- Melbourne has been shaped by booms and busts, fortunes, misfortunes, global events and movements bringing waves of migration and cultural influences to our shores. All of the interlinking personal stories combine to make up the rich fabric of our society in the shared space that is The City of Melbourne.
Melbourne, this radiant city, is the stage for countless stories. Everyone has their unique experience and tales to tell and everyone who dwells here is linked with the long chain of histories that entwine here. The City Speaks project exists to make audible the stories of it’s inhabitants and their experience through place and space in Melbourne.
It is a celebration of life in this fine city and of cultural diversity, community and creativity.
It is underpinned by the belief that we are all richer for appreciating the humanity in all we share this space with- past, present and future- as well as the land on which we stand.
We invite you to share your story and create a short spoken word piece expressing your slice of life; your connection with and experience of being in Melbourne. It can take whichever form you choose stylistically or thematically- just make it an authentic expression of you.
Watch the 6 part video series featuring 6 Melbourne based poets and MC's performing their work, and talking about their views and process to help you get started.
Head to: www.thecityspeaks-melbourne.com for more info and to get involved.
This project has been supported by the 2015 City Of Melbourne Arts Grants
Sing it Sister!
Cultural Fusion Events
White Minus Red
White Minus Red = Sarah McDonald (voice, flute, guitar, laptop) plus Leigh Hegg (drums, laptop). The result of this equation is a liquid blend of lush, complex harmony, experimental electronic beats and production sensibility and soulful vocals flavoured with IDM, glitch, dreampop, shoegaze and psychadelic influences. Sometimes getting the dancefloor moving, sometimes creating introspective, ambient soundscapes, White Minus Red cover a wide range of ground in their sonic terrain and continue to expand and evolve their sound. White Minus Red have played at numerous venues and festivals around Melbourne, including The Falls, Folk, Rhythm and Life, Renaissance, The Sustainable Living Festival, The Perry Street Festival, and The Evelyn, Bar Open, Section 8, 303, The Builders Arms, Wesley Anne, The Ding Dong Lounge and Glitch
‘Symbiosis’ means living together for mutual benefit, a concept that inspires the bands music and overall artistic mission Symbiosis blend reggae with rock, gypsy with ska, hillbilly with hip hop. In a word ... Gyp-Hop n’ Reggae-Rock. Symbiosis is a melting pot of musical flavours - a five-piece Melbourne combo whose sounds range from uplifting, soulful reggae grooves to down-right foot-stomping party starters. ::Reviews:: “...Dubbified reggae, melting into a rockin' gypsy style with a cranking sea-shanty twist....” (Beat Magazine) "A Great act - top performance: had the crowd up and dancing from go to whoa…Energetic, absolute crowd pleasers…” (Jamie McKew, Festival Director, Port Fairy Folk Festival) “...the crowds response to their set was awesome, a huge success! ...they were unanimously voted the highlight of the Live’n Local Stage by the stage managers and staff...” (David Strong, Festival Director, St Kilda Festival) ::The last 12 months for Symbiosis has included headline gigs at The Prince of Wales, Northcote Social Club, The Espy, The Evelyn, Ruby’s Lounge, Beach Hotel, Hotel Great Northern Festivals, a rockingly raucous Port Fairy Folk Festival that had the kids storm the stage in excitement!, St Kilda Festival, Folk Rhythm and Life Festival, Sustainable Living Festival, Northcote High Vibes Festival, Melbourne Arts Festival Residencies at Melbourne’s famous NightCat and Sunnyside Up Sunset sessions in Sorrento Support gigs The Cat Empire, Bomba, Offcuts, Resin Dogs, Vasco Era, Blue King Brown, DobaCaracol Benefit gigs The Black GST, Sustainable Living Festival, Surfrider Foundation and SANE (Surfer’s Appreciating Natural Environment), Clean Ocean Foundation, Fairtrade Festival, Friends of the Earth Festival Tours up the East Coast of Australia, always towing the trusty painted-up low-rider tour caravan!…including Sydney (Transit Lounge @ The Metro), Newcastle (Newcastle Uni), Byron Bay (Beach Hotel, Hotel Great Northern), Brisbane (The Zoo) and the Sunshine Coast (Sol Bar), Nimbin Hotel and some hall parties in the hills, as well as Victoria’s snowfields and coastal towns Debut EP release Wishing Well recorded at Sing Sing South Studios with engineer-producer Andy Baldwin, released at Northcote Social Club and distributed through MGM. ::Airplay:: regular radio rotation on Melbourne’s PBS and RRR and also playtime on Triple J. ‘Live to air’ performances and interviews have included PBS FM’s ‘Big Mob’ program and our entire headline show broadcast ‘live’ from the Prince of Wales, RRR’s ‘Longrass Sessions’, and Byron Shire’s Bay FM. ::Compilation CDs:: PBS ‘Form 1 Planet’ Vol 3 world music compilation (Wishing Well ‘live’ – Last track); High Vibes Festival CD (The Lime Twist – Track 1); Folk Rhythm Life ‘Bilyana’ Festival CD. DVDs and other media ‘One Cup’, a documentary on Fairtrade coffee in East Timor; ‘Rollcall’ Vol 1, a nationally distributed BMX DVD/ZINE, Quiksilver Surf/Skate/Snow DVD’s (yet to be released). ::The next 12 months for Symbiosis. Symbiosis tunes will leave you with a grin, singing on in your bones well after the music’s over…
Agency Dub Collective
I have had a long association with the gents from Agency Dub Collective and been on tour, shared houses, meals, played in bands with them and have much respect for their character and politics.
Here are a couple of tracks that I guested in on their albums: S.O.S. and Insurgency
In 2005 I was vocalist and flautist in Tempus, a collaborative project between a professor of archaeologist and a group of musicians making music to accompany his exploration to find a cave in Brittany, France.