Paul Kelly, Neil Finn, Martha Wainwright, Sarah Blasko and other music luminaries have come together to celebrate the Sydney Opera House in a stunning viral video that, as mentioned in Time Out yesterday, marries the iconic building to Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' 1990 classic The Ship Song.
Shot in secret over the past year with award-winning director Paul Goldman and music director Elliott Wheeler, the Ship Song Project filmed the stars in the various performance spaces and backstage areas, including loading bays, dressing rooms and backstage corridors.
Former Silverchair frontman Johns plays a grand piano in the forecourt, while Melbourne rockers the Temper Trap perform backstage as forklifts trundle around behind them. Veteran singer-songwriter Kev Carmody croons as Australian Ballet members dance in a rehearsal space.
The Ship Songs also features vocals from Angus and Julia Stone, Katie Noonan and opera singer Teddy Tahu Rhodes. In addition to the Australian Ballet, the Sydney Symphony, Opera Australia, Bangarra Dance Theatre, Bell Shakespeare Company and the Australian Chamber Orchestra join the singers in the video.
Sydney Opera House chief Richard Evans said the stature of the artists and companies who joined the project is testament to the House's role in Australian performing arts.
"We set out to create a tribute to the House's role in the global creative community – a love song to creativity, if you wish," he said.
While not a standard advertisement for the famous building, the people behind the project hope the video goes viral online. As of yesterday morning, the clip had garnered more than 57,000 views on YouTube
"It is my hope that The Ship Song will reach out to communities around the world with a promise to experience and witness the artists, performers and stages that together bring our great cultural landmark to life," Mr Evans said.
Goldman was an apt choice as director, having worked on music videos for Nick Cave as well as Kylie Minogue and Silverchair. He made the feature films Australian Rules and Suburban Mayhem, and recently directed the Ben Cousins documentary Such is Life.
A making-of documentary about The Ship Song Project, featuring interviews with the artists and narrated by actor Guy Pearce, will soon screen on Foxtel.