Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tangier inspires - from beyond the grave

The late Billy Thorpe

Back in on the 28th of February, 2007, a friend of ours died. Billy Thorpe, was a legend in the Australian rock music scene and his death marked the end of what was an extraordinary career. But not quite. Now, three years after his death he is releasing a new album. Ibn Warraq reports:

This week music lovers were given a preview of new single by the late Australian rock star, Billy Thorpe. Along with the track came the news that an entire new album will be released on October 22. The album is entitled Tangier.

The genesis of the album and the seven years of work that Thorpe put into it can be traced back to the year 2000. It was then that Billy decided to take his wife, Lynn, for a trip to Morocco to celebrate her 50th birthday. The inspiration he gained from the Morocco trip has been turned into what some are describing as "the final defining statement in an extraordinary musical career".

The album also features the legendary Australian actor, Jack Thompson. Jack, a longtime friend of Thorpe, was to have been a guest of The View from Fez, earlier this year, but work on Thorpe's album meant he had to postpone his visit to Fez. Jack contributes to the album with narration. According to Jack, “Billy was inspired in Tangier. Billy really discovered something musically in Morocco, but it was more than that. It was a whole opening up of Billy in a way, beyond his trajectory as a rock and roller, from very early in his life, into something that incorporates rock into an orchestral form.”

“Billy had told me about his connection in Morocco, how he’d been working on ideas for long time. I felt so much a part of what he was doing and I understood it and it was an honour for me to do that.” - Mick Fleetwood.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the 10 new tracks, all written by Thorpe, have been realised with the help of some of great musical names including Ian Moss, Brian Cadd, Connie Mitchell, Vanessa Amorosi, Melinda Schneider, Egypt’s Tawadros brothers, Venezuelan-born flautist Pedro Eustache, Sydney violinist Richard Tognetti and the great Mick Fleetwood.

Noah Taylor in the video

Having viewed the epic video clip for the title track, we can report that it was shot on in Morocco and features Australian actor Noah Taylor.

“I got a call out of the blue from Jack Thompson” said Taylor.

“The request was simple in a Jack sort of way. He asked if I would be up for appearing in a music video to be shot in Morocco the following week.

“It was his friend’s Billy Thorpe’s final masterpiece. I jumped… and 10 days later I was in Morocco with director Josh Logue (Empire Of The Sun) having the time of my life and experiencing magic on so many levels. It was such a surreal experience”

All up, Tangier brings together dozens of musicians from different cultures, orchestras, choirs and other worldly sounds into a genuinely modern Thorpe sound. Centre stage in this musical maelstrom is the unmistakable voice and spirit of the irrepressible Thorpe. The images of Morocco in the video clip are ... well, different!

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