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The Australian Music Vault Choir Project

 The Australian Music Vault Choir Project arranges Australian music for school and community choirs in order to get more people singing great music! Here is more information about the project. 

When you request an arrangement of a song, we will discuss with you whether you would like an audio backing track for your group to sing along to, or a notated Soprano / Alto / Baritone (or Soprano / Alto only) arrangement with a piano part, two treble lines, and a bass line. Or both!

 

 Request an arrangement by emailing: schools@artscentremelbourne.com.au

Please include your Name, School/Organisation and Arrangement Title

The songs arranged for the Australian Music Vault Choir Project are below. Click to view the arrangements and email to request.

Hunters and Collectors – Holy Grail (*NEW)

Crowded House – Don’t Dream it’s Over (*NEW)


Birds of Tokyo – Lanterns (*NEW)

Gordi – On My Side (*NEW)


Emily Wurramara – Black Boy (*NEW) Missy Higgins - Everyone’s Waiting (*NEW)

The Seekers - Keep a Dream in Your Pocket (*NEW)

Midnight Oil – Forgotten Years
Killing Heidi – Weir 

 Sia – Diamonds 

 

Archie Roach – Beautiful Child 
 Paul Kelly - Leaps and Bounds
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    More information about each song is available below. For Auslan translations of some songs, see here.

    SONG ARRANGEMENTS

     

    HOLY GRAIL – HUNTERS AND COLLECTORS

    An anthemic classic from Australian rock band Hunters and Collectors, Holy Grail was released in 1993 and was featured on their album Cut. The lyrics refer to the mythology of the holy grail – a cup or dish with the miraculous powers of happiness and eternal youth, but also reference the band’s epic journey towards success in the music industry.  Songwriter Mark Seymour drew inspiration from Jeanette Winterson’s novel The Passion which describes Napoleon’s invasion of Russia. “It’s a story about survival” Seymour says, “It’s a really powerful book and somehow I drew this analogy between the idea of this guy managing to survive this incredible ordeal and Hunters and Collectors making this excruciating record”.

     

    DON'T DREAM IT'S OVER - CROWDED HOUSE

    Australian/New Zealand band Crowded House rose to fame with their 1986 self-titled debut studio album. Don’t Dream it’s Over is the fourth single from that album and became the band’s biggest international hit, reaching chart success in North America, New Zealand and Europe. Songwriter Neil Finn wrote it at the piano, describing the process as one he didn’t think too much about . “It was just about on the one hand feeling kind of lost, and on the other hand sort of urging myself on”. Finn attributes the success of the song to a particular universality in the lyrics, noting that elements of the lyrics resonate with current issues.  “Particularly with Donald Trump talking about building walls, the line in the chorus "To build a wall between us/We know they won't win" seems almost ridiculously pertinent to modern times” Finn has said in a recent interview.

     

    LANTERNS - BIRDS OF TOKYO

    Birds of Tokyo formed in Perth in 2004, initially focussing on guitar based rock music. Lanterns is taken from their fourth album March Fires, released in 2012. Consciously revolutionising their sound for this album, the band added two new members and focussed on the interplay between keyboard and atmospheric guitar.  It was during a songwriting period in regional France that the demo for Lanterns was created. “The song is about forcing oneself to leave the nest, to find new challenges and to grow as individuals” bass player Ian Berney has said in an interview. “It was always about our own sense of community and reaching far and wide in the most positive way we could, with the most positive message we had at the time, and it really connected with people.”

     

    ON MY SIDE - GORDI

    Gordi is the moniker for Sydney based Australian folktronica singer/songwriter Sophie Payten, a name that originated as a family nickname given to her by her older brother. Growing up on a farm in rural Australia, she filled the space around her with music, continuing to write and release music whilst completing a medical degree. The single On My Side is taken from her album Reservoir released in 2017.

    The track deals with needing support, but not wanting to ask for it, “I wrote this song about wanting to tell someone that I needed them to ask me how I was, but for some reason, I couldn't do it” Payten says about the track. “I couldn't ask them to be there for me, I just wanted them to do it without my invitation.” The song poured out in 45 minutes and the finished track features guitar strums and raw, reflective lyrics.

     

    BLACK BOY – EMILY WURRAMARA

    Emily Wurramara grew up in a community on Groote Eylandt – an island in the Gulf of Carpenteria. Growing up she loved listening to her uncles sing, but realised that women in her community rarely sang in public. Wanting to inspire members of her community, especially young indigenous women, Emily sings in English and Anindilyakwa. Black Boy is taken from the album Milyakburra, released in 2018. On explaining her song choice Wurramara says “I feel as if I’m speaking to my little brother when I sing this song. Reminding him that in this society you have to stand strong and be proud of who you are and where you come from.”

    The song was originally written and performed by South Australian Indigenous band Coloured Stone in 1985.  “The idea came from listening to racism, names and tauts” songwriter Bunna Lawrie said in an interview “I saw it in front of my eyes and started writing this song.”  He says the song has had a powerful impact “I know it changed a lot of young people’s lives – made them want to stand up and do something.”

     

    EVERYONE'S WAITING - MISSY HIGGINS

    Missy Higgins grew up in Melbourne and Geelong. She experienced success early in life after her sister entered her song All for Believing in Triple J’s Unearthed competition when she was a teenager. The song won and she was signed to a major record label soon after, gaining national recognition with the Number One song Scar in 2004.

    Everyone’s Waiting is taken from Missy’s third album The Ol Razzle Dazzle released in 2012 following a break from music. “The song deals with a real inner conflict I went through regarding music” Missy says. “The feeling of a sea of faceless people waiting for me to produce something, people peering over my shoulder saying “what’s next, what’s next?”. But also probably more than anything it was also myself because I have really high expectations of myself.”

     

    KEEP A DREAM IN YOUR POCKET - THE SEEKERS

    The Seekers came together in Melbourne in 1962 and were the first Australian pop group to achieve chart success in the UK and the US. Original members Judith Durham, Athol Guy, Keith Potger and Bruce Woodley released six albums and were named joint Australians of the year in 1967 before disbanding in 1968.

    In October 1988 The Seekers reformed and recorded the album Live On with singer Julie Anthony as Judith Durham was unavailable. The album included Keep a Dream in Your Pocket which was written by Bruce Woodley. When Durham returned to The Seekers in 1992 for the group’s 25 Year Silver Jubilee the song became the main theme and single alongside unofficial anthem I am Australian, another one of Woodley’s compositions.

     

    WEIR - KILLING HEIDI

    Killing Heidi are Ella and Jesse Hooper, a sibling duo originally from Violet Town, Victoria. They began releasing music twenty years ago after their song Kettle was unearthed by Triple J. The duo soon formed a larger band with a rhythm section that came to include Warren Jenkin on bass and Adam Pedretti on drums. They recorded their debut album Reflector in Melbourne with Paul Kosky in a studio owned by Crowded House. The album was released in 2000 debuting at #1 on the ARIA charts where it stayed for seven weeks, eventually going platinum four times.

    Weir was one of their most successful songs, coming in at #2 in Triple J’s Hottest 100 in 1999. It has been referred to as a “teen anthem” and in the words of songwriter Ella Hooper signifies “friendship, youth, hopefulness, shared dreams, secrets and the unknown”. It was written, recorded and released when she was a teenager and the weir she sings about – a reservoir supplying water to Violet Town – is a place where Hooper spent many afternoons with her best friends. Commenting on its long term success Hooper has said that “maybe Weir holds its own because it was true to a 15-year-old's voice, uncomplicated and naive in a good way.” It combines sweeping melodies with simple lyrics to create a song that reflects on relationships and the passage of time.

     

    FORGOTTEN YEARS – MIDNIGHT OIL

    Legendary Australian rock band Midnight Oil formed in the 1970s to begin a career that would span over four decades. Uncompromising and deeply rooted in social issues, the band rose to international fame over the course of sixteen albums.

    Their ninth album Blue Sky Mining was released in 1990. Fiercely political, the album was a voice against global environmental degradation as much as it was an exploration of the Australian voice.

    In Forgotten Years front man Peter Garett calls on people to know their national and collective history; the “seasons of war and peace” and the tension that lies beneath Australia’s history. The song is a rousing anthem to remember unacknowledged battles and gather strength in remembering.

     

    LEAPS AND BOUNDS – PAUL KELLY

    Paul Kelly is an Australian icon, having recorded over 21 studio albums as well as several film soundtracks across his long spanning career. He was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 1997 for his contribution to Australian music. Still, Kelly has said "Song writing is mysterious to me. I still feel like a total beginner." His songs, however, capture Australian life with a clear eye and attention to detail that has led to his lyrics being published as works of art all of their own.

    Leaps and Bounds was released as a single in 1987. Music writer Toby Cresswell writes about the song: "The grand themes of Paul Kelly's work are all there – Melbourne, football, transcendence and memory”. The song is a snap shot of Melbourne, the landmarks, the way memory captures a moment in time and space.

     

    DIAMONDS – SIA (SUNG BY RIHANNA)

    Adelaide born Sia Furler is a singer-songwriter, record producer and music video director. She began performing and recording in Australia before relocating to the US in 2005. She has since risen to international fame through her distinctive vocals and pop sensibilities.

    In addition to releasing eight studio albums of her own she is also the writer behind many pop gems sung by other artists. Diamonds was written for Barbadian singer Rihanna and released on her album Unapologetic in 2012. The song offered a contrast from Rihanna’s other songs, often focussed on difficult and challenging relationships. It is an uplifting anthem about the positive nature of love and choosing happiness.

     

    BEAUTIFUL CHILD – ARCHIE ROACH

    Archie Roach is a landmark Australian musician providing a powerful voice for Indigenous Australians. He was born at Framlingham Aboriginal Mission and was taken from his family at the age of three. He started playing music whilst in foster care and continued writing songs and playing throughout a turbulent period of life on the streets. His first album Charcoal Lane was released in 1990, winning him an ARIA award and international acclaim as well as a Human Rights Achievement Award, the first time this award had been given to a songwriter.

    Beautiful Child is taken from the album Creation released in 2013. It was written after rioting in Brewarrina, NSW following an Indigenous man’s death in custody. Roach says "I remember they were talking to his mother on TV. She had a photograph of him [Lloyd Boney] and she was saying, he wasn't a bad boy. Look, he was a beautiful child." The song is a heartfelt tribute acknowledging the tragedy of indigenous deaths in custody.

     

    Media Gallery

    Please send us any photos or videos you take of your singing group rehearsing or performing these arrangements. We would love to put them up on our website! Remember to hold the camera steady and film or take your photo in landscape mode. You can request an image release form at schools@artscentremelbourne.com.au

    The Jones Juniors singing the AMV Choir arrangement of Weir by Killing Heidi.

    BELL PRIMARY SCHOOL SENIOR VOCAL ENSEMBLE DIAMONDS BY SIA

    FAQs

    Q) There isn't a choir at my school, can I still request an arrangement?

    A) Absolutely! Perhaps you could start with the backing track and all the students singing the melody. You don’t even have to sing for long, starting off the morning with a song for just 5 minutes can be a real joy.

    Q) I've never conducted a choir before, how do I do this?

    A) No problem! Have a listen to the song first, then slowly get the students to sing along. Eventually you can switch to the backing track and the students will take over, you don’t even need to do anything! Perhaps you can help them with things like when to sing softly and loudly, or when a new section is coming up. Or give them a reminder of the lyrics if they forget. Or just sing along with them!

    Q) How many copies can I print of the choir parts?

    A) There is a limit overall to how many copies we can print of these arrangements. Bearing this in mind please keep copies to only the strict number necessary, and let us know how many you have made.

    Q) Will there be a performance involving these songs, getting a group of school choirs together?

    A) We definitely hope to do this in the future. Stay tuned!

    Q) How many songs will there be in total?

    A) There are 12 songs at present, and we will add to these each year. Keep in touch!

    Q) Can I suggest songs to be arranged?

    A) Absolutely! Email us on schools@artscentremelbourne.com.au. Please bear in mind there are quite a few considerations when choosing the songs.

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