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Show

SWO

The magnificent five are riding into town!

Armed with over 100 instruments, these brilliant musicians perform a fistful of Ennio Morricone classics from the movies that made Clint Eastwood a star.

The stunning soundtracks include The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, For A Few Dollars More and Once Upon a Time in The West.

This ingenious gang of comic maestros underscore these iconic compositions with hilarious sound effects... blowing on bottles, crushing cornflakes, ‘playing' coathangers, apples, squeaky toys, rubbergloves, bicycle pumps, nailclippers and many more - recreating every punch up, gunshot, and jangling spur that define the gun slinging west.

Audiences across the world have been amazed and enthralled by this international sensation. 

Not to be missed!



Useful links

www.youtube.com/sworchestra
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spaghetti_Western
www.enniomorricone.com
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sergio_Leone
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theremin

Tour

No tour dates currently scheduled.

CD & MUSIC

Live show CD available on iTunes HERE

The Music

The Maestro’s Music in the show.
All compositions by Ennio Morricone


Tracks

  • The Man With The Harmonica from the film Once Upon A Time In The West
  • The Good, The Bad And The Ugly from the film of the same name
  • A Gringo Like Me from the film Gunfight At Red Sands
  • Farewell To Cheyenne from the film Once Upon A Time In The West
  • Chi Mai from the film Maddalena
  • A Fistful Of Dollars from the film of the same name
  • Valkyries from the film My Name Is Nobody
  • For A Few Dollars More from the film of the same name
  • Ecstasy of Gold from the film The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
  • Two Mules For Sister Sara from the film of the same name
  • Death Rides A Horse from the film of the same name
  • The Chase from the film A Fistful of Dollars
  • 60 Seconds To What? from the film For A Few Dollars More
  • Duck You Sucker from the film A Fistful of Dynamite
  • Once Upon A Time In The West from the film of the same name
  • Marcetta from the film The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
  • A Professional Gun from the film The Mercenary

The Orchestra Play

Asthma Inhaler, Bass Recorder, Bassoon, Bells, Birdwings Sound Effect, Body Drop Sound Effect, Bouncy Ball Pump, Castanets, Chickens Sound Effect, Child Sized Boot, Claves, Coat Hangers (2), Concert Bass Drum, Concert Tom Toms, Cornflakes (Small Packet and Large Packet), Creaky Door Sound Effect, Deck Of Cards, Double Bass, Drum Kit, Dutch Clog & Tambourine Jingles, Egg Shakers, Electronic Sampler, Fake Glasses, Film Canister, Bird Whistle, Finger Cymbals (2), Footsteps Sound Effect, Frog Clicker, Harmonica (Working), Harmonica (Broken), Horseshoe, Jews Harps (6), Kat Midi Controller (2 Octaves), Kitchen Knife with Sharpening Steel, Latchbolt Sound Effect, Mandolin, Maracas (I Pair), Melodeon (2), Nail Clippers, Nail File, Ocarina, One Note Saxophone, Orchestral Whip, Packaging Tape (1 Roll), Pan Pipes, Piano, Plastic Bags (2), Policeman’s Whistle, Ratchet, Reel- To-Reel Tape Machine, Sticks And Twigs (Locally Sourced), String Can, Suspended Cymbals, Synthesizer, Tam Tam, Tasmanian Lottery Balls, Theremin, Timpani (3), Tin Whistle (5), Trumpet, Tuned Beer Bottles (11), Two Tone Whistle, Ukulele, Vibraphone Wind Machine, Wooden Cowbells.

 

SWO NEWS

SWO PERFORM AT THE BBC PROMS 2011

SWO PERFORM AT THE BBC PROMS 2011

Friday, 30 November, 2012

Clip from BBC Proms

SWO IMAGES


Orchestra

Boris Conley

The Gold Schmeller

Boris Conley

Favourite Spaghetti Western Film Once Upon A Time In The West

Favourite Spaghetti Western Actor Eli Wallach

Favourite Line '…everybody here has become very rich or else they are dead'.
from Fistful of Dollars, spoken by the bell-ringer to the Man With No Name as he enters town.

WHY I LOVE THIS SHOW

"When we play the Morricone themes we imagine that we are in the world of the movies. Sometimes I look around on stage and see only four other performers and wonder how we make such a huge sound. I love playing the pipe organ solo from “For A Few Dollars More” where the audience can feel the basso profundo tones vibrating their seats”

BIOGRAPHY

After studies at the Canberra School of Music and the Victorian College of the Arts, Boris forged a career as a composer, musician and performer in theatre. His early experience in these roles included musical director of The Flying Fruit Fly Circus and the co-composition of the highly acclaimed music theatre piece Cho Cho San, an adaptation of the Madame Butterfly story.

He has composed the music for numerous visual theatre shows including The Reading Boy, Viva la Vida Frida and The Paperbag Princess for Handspan Theatre. For the Melbourne Theatre Company he played piano for Knuckledusters - The Gems of Edith Sitwell, and was the musician for Gulliver's Travels. Boris also composed Aqua, a dance piece for the Australian Ballet, and The Witch of Endor, a short opera for OzOpera.

As a performer he appeared on Frontline (ABC TV) and more recently in Chamber Made Opera's production of Phobia and in The Spaghetti Western Orchestra and The Session.


David Hewitt

The Lieteller

David Hewitt

We are delighted that Daivd is rejoing the Orchestra for the Sydney season

BIOGRAPHY

David trained as a percussionist in Australia, Japan and the USA. Along with SWO, David¹s recent focus has been as a composer, music director and educator in remote and regional Australian communities. This has included projects with the Old Van Theatre Company, Musica Viva Australia and Four Winds Festival. He was previously a member of Synergy Percussion, and a founding member of the Sydney based Japanese drumming group, Taikoz. He has worked with the likes of Chamber Made Opera, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Bell Shakespeare Company, National Institute for Circus Arts, Sydney Dance Company and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

 


Graeme Leak

The Bankteller

Graeme Leak

Favourite Spaghetti Western Film I can't name a favourite...I really can't!

Favourite Spaghetti Western Actor and Line Rod Steiger lives in my memory the longest, especially when he says to his young son during a coach robbery
‘How many times have I told you – no shooting unless Papa pulls the trigger!’ (from A Fistful of Dynamite)

WHY I LOVE THE SHOW

"The show is full of wonderful moments for me and it’s hard to play favourites but performing the theme from Once Upon a Time in the West on Theremin is right up there. I imagine that I’m a ridiculously high soprano (I play the theme an octave or sometimes two higher than humanly possible) filling the auditorium with a beautiful alien voice. In general, I love the way we’ve managed as an ensemble over the years to bring what are usually considered non-musical performance elements (noises, sound effects, odd instruments, character gestures and movements, grunting even) together to make musical sense. The way Morricone combined the music of the soul with the music of the everyday in such a powerful way in the Spaghetti Western scores is still my primary inspiration".

BIOGRAPHY

Graeme Leak is a performer and composer with a background in percussion and drumming. He studied in Sydney and in 1985 he lived and studied in New York. His activities range from composing to contemporary music performance to self-devised solo shows to workshop leading to conducting to instrument making. In 2001 he led over 500 bell ringers in a massed performance for the closing of the Melbourne International Arts Festival. In 2003 he completed an outback project for the Queensland Music Festival where he designed, built and led the locals in playing a Musical Fence (now a popular tourist attraction). In 2005 he wrote and directed The Incredible Hulls, a work for a floating 'orchestra' of up to 100 boats and in 2006 he wrote and directed the closing Finale for a 'superstar' World Percussion Spectacular at the Commonwealth Games. His latest work Ringing the Changes for aerial swing-pole performers is currently toured by Melbourne company Strange Fruit.


Shannon Birchall

The Youngfeller

Shannon Birchall

We are delighted that Shannon is joining the Orchestra for the Autumn Tour 2009

Favourite Spaghetti Western Film Once Upon A Time in the West

Favourite Character Cheyenne (Jason Robards)

Favourite Lines

Yeah go on, play harmonica. Play so you can't bullshit. Only watch those false notes.

and You know Jill, you remind me of my mother: she was the biggest whore in Alameda and the finest woman that ever lived. Whoever my father was, for an hour or for a month, he must have been a happy man.

BIOGRAPHY

Shannon picked up the bass at age 15 after playing violin for eight years. Training as an orchestral musician while playing jazz and studying at the Victorian College of the Arts, he began working with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Later he toured Europe, North America and Russia with traditional-jazz influenced punk-band The Hoodangers and to Scandinavia with The Band Who Knew Too Much. He has sometimes sizzled with the Austro-Cuban septet Sally Ford and the Pachuco Playboys, occasionally cooked mariachi-style violin in tex-mex band Texicali Rose, and readily boiled bass in The John Butler Trio. Theatre appearances include the Melbourne Theatre Company’s 2002 production of True West and Urinetown in 2004, as well as Chamber Made Opera's production of Phobia in 2006. Shannon presently steams with Deborah Conway and Willy Zigier, as well as the modern piano trio Daquqi.


Patrick Cronin

The Storyteller

Patrick Cronin

Favourite Spaghetti Western Film For A Few Dollars More

Favourite Spaghetti Western Actor Franco Nero as Django

Favourite Line 'Hey Amigo, you know you’ve got a face beautiful enough to be worth 2,000 dollars?'

WHY I SHOW THE SHOW

"For me, the Spaghetti Western Orchestra is a fantastic performance vehicle. It is a challenging show that draws on everything I’ve learnt in my twin backgrounds in music and comedy. But what gives me the greatest satisfaction is working with the guys as an ensemble. Five of us creating this layered soundscape of music, sound effects and text demands a discipline and sensitivity towards the whole performance that tempers my natural tendency toward unbridled and selfish upstaging - the SWO is good for my moral fibre. Then there is the music itself. Performing Morricone’s scores is a rich and rewarding musical experience - heroic western themes, delicate slow passages, crazed bar room honky tonk. The music is beautifully composed and a joy to play, and how else do I get to whistle for a living?”

BIOGRAPHY

Patrick has worked in theatre, comedy and music theatre with a variety of companies and performance ensembles including Melbourne Theatre Company, Chamber Made Opera, Melbourne Workers Theatre, The Cabbage Brothers and The Men Who Knew Too Much. His musical interests have taken him from 30's swing to salsa to polka to film music with such bands as Texicali Rose, Sally Ford & the Pachuco Playboys, Melbourne Ska Orchestra, The Happy Polka Boys, Melbourne Massed Gospel Choir and Spaghetti Western Orchestra.

As a freelance creative producer and consultant for festivals and events, Patrick has worked for numerous organisations including the Melbourne International Arts Festival, the Melbourne Writers Festival, the Victorian Arts Centre, the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Victoria's Centenary of Federation, Arts Victoria and Cirque du Soleil.


Creative Team

Director & Designer: Denis Blais

Denis Blais

Denis was born in Gatineau, Quebec and raised in Canada.

He studied journalism, set design and editing at Algonquin College, Ottawa Ontario Canada and Communications and at Ottawa University. Denis worked as a club DJ for over 20 years in Detroit, Ottawa, Bonn, Cologne and Berlin.

Denis was the co-founder of the Belgo Restaurants in London, UK. He manages concert pianist James Rhodes.

The Spaghetti Western Orchestra show is his directorial debut. In the spring of 2007 he worked with SWO in Melbourne - where he stage designed / co-choreographed / and co-designed the lighting for the show.

DIRECTOR'S NOTES

No soundtracks have ever helped so much a series of film deliver and define its genre as much as the EM scores for Leone’s Spaghetti Westerns. The musical imagery was completely woven into the visual psyche of the viewer.

These reflections brought me to the concept: what if musical scores were to come to life. Not in visual adaptations; but in surreal live performance. A reincarnation of pauses, grunts, notes and gestures.

In the days of Silent Movies the musical scores were played live. The actors on the screen looked somewhat ghostly and over exposed in their white make up and black eyeliner features. The musical narrative was imperative to the atmosphere of the film. There was a certain magic in that. So I thought physical theatre/comedy. Big Shadows. That’s what the sounds look and feel like. But what about the great facial expressions? If we were to go into large concert halls and theatres, how were we to be able to pick up those smirks and grimaces? I remembered the Robert Wilson panto/operetta’s performances, I had gone to see, such as Black Rider and Woycezk, seated in row Y or X. I could see almost every detail because of one thing: the make up. Then I went back to look at old silent movies and felt that I had found, in part, the solution. I felt it completely unnecessary to have projected film to assist the concerts. We are always spoon fed everything today and too often we leave a show feeling lazy and unsurprised by the explicitness of the whole experience. It’s the old problem of adaptation. How many times do they turn a book into a film only for the reader to be severely disappointed. It falls simply on the fact that we IMAGINED it differently when we read it. Yes we created our very own visual landscape. So it should be with The Spaghetti Western Orchestra concert.

We must drive the imagination and stir the souls of past memories. Let the audience dream and try to remember when they first saw the films: where they were, what scene was this in, what it felt like.

We will have visual effects but they will not be used as cerebral imagery fillers. They will take the shape of large colour fields and figurative shadows.

The stage set is a blank page: white cyclorama and white stage floor. The story is told as you perform it. It absorbs the performance and casts long exaggerated shadows like the grunts and squeaks you emit. You leave a very large visual footprint through the music and atmosphere you create. The three large orange acrylic discs look like giant gel-like cymbals. They push the constant elegiac tryptonic themes Leone was so obsessed with: innocence, death and revenge. Think of the TRILOGY: Fistful of Dollars, A Few Dollars More and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

So it is with this train of thought that we position an invisible story line. The word invisible conjures shadows and spirits. The musicians are five ghosts/spirits that were left in the visual graveyard coming back to spook or should I say enchant us into a state of time regained/borrowed and buried. Enter: STORYTELLER, BANKTELLER, LIETELLER, GOLDSCHMELLER AND YOUNGFELLER.


Lighting Designer: Keith Tucker


Producers

Producer: Glynis Hall


See www.ghmp.co.uk for more information on GLYNIS HENDERSON PRODUCTIONS LTD
 


PRESS

Latest Press Quotes

Extroaordinary... an endearing, impressive show.
The Guardian, UK ****

Take the magnificent music of Ennio Morricone, add five multi-talented, unashamedly theatrical Australians with impeccable comedy timing and let them loose on 100 instruments and you have some idea of Spaghetti Western Orchestra.A joyous celebration.
London Evening Standard, UK ****

"Widly inventive and funny"
The Daily Telegraph ****

CONTACT

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For all enquiries please contact

Glynis Henderson Productions
69 Charlotte Street
London W1T 4PJ
tel: +44 (0) 207 580 9644

Email: info@ghmp.co.uk
www.ghmp.co.uk


Glynis Henderson Productions
Worldwide Management

Glynis Henderson Productions Ltd produces, general manages and represents a variety of theatre, music and dance productions. The company specialises in introducing unique and exciting new work to an international audience . It has proudly presented a broad range of productions over the years, and throughout the world. www.ghmp.co.uk


The Spaghetti Western Orchestra gratefully acknowledges the support of Arts Victoria and the Australia Council for the Arts

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Sign-up for the SWO Mailing List




 

For all enquiries please contact

Glynis Henderson Productions
69 Charlotte Street
London W1T 4PJ
tel: +44 (0) 207 580 9644

Email: info@ghmp.co.uk
www.ghmp.co.uk


Glynis Henderson Productions
Worldwide Management

Glynis Henderson Productions Ltd produces, general manages and represents a variety of theatre, music and dance productions. The company specialises in introducing unique and exciting new work to an international audience . It has proudly presented a broad range of productions over the years, and throughout the world. www.ghmp.co.uk


The Spaghetti Western Orchestra gratefully acknowledges the support of Arts Victoria and the Australia Council for the Arts