Friday Nights at Italian Masterpieces – The Orbweavers

The Orbweavers

This week The Orbweavers will be performing in the Great Hall for Friday Nights at Italian Masterpieces. Here, we asked them a few questions about music and art. Book tickets now.

Describe your sound in 5 words or less?
Abandoned factories, waterways, dawn & dusk.

If your music was an artwork what would it look like?
Rick Amor, Empty Shop in Arcade, 1994

Who’s your favourite artist/artwork?
It is hard to name a favourite artwork, but one we both love is Collins St., 5p.m. by John Brack. We also love Fiona Hall, Margaret Preston, John Wolseley, Max Beckmann, Togyū Okumura, Tamara de Lempicka, and Koloman Moser. These artists have all had an impact on the work we produce musically and visually.

What’s your favourite gig you have played to date?
We once played for Brunswick East Primary Prep class, and that was one of the loveliest gigs
we have experienced. Between songs we talked about songwriting and finding inspiration in the local environment. Afterwards, the prep class wrote their own songs about the Merri Creek, insects and wildlife. Playing at Golden Plains music festival this year was also very fun, we were up at dawn ready to play the Sunday morning slot as everyone emerged from their tents and drank Bloody Marys in the sun.

What inspires/influences your music the most?
Local history, and walking around Melbourne inspires our music the most. We like finding out about the industrial history of Melbourne around waterways like the Merri and Moonee Ponds creeks, Maribyrnong and Yarra rivers. There are often interesting historic buildings near water courses, along with birdlife and unusual vistas. Walking pace is also good for songwriting and pondering ideas.

What song do you wish you wrote?
Marita: Deep Red Bells, by Neko Case
Stuart: Life on Mars, by David Bowie

What part of making music excites you the most?
Development of a song idea and recording at home are our favourite parts of making music.
Writing backing vocals and instrumentation, and then adding these elements as layers during the recording process is exciting, like building up layers in a painting.

What can a punter expect from your live show?
Stories, trumpets and tremolo guitar.

Tell us about the last song you wrote?
The last song we wrote is called ‘The Distant Call of Home’, it is the theme song for a
forthcoming drama documentary about World War I screening on ABC, called ‘The War That Changed Us’. We spent a lot of time reading, thinking and talking through ideas before the song came together. We sang versions of the melody as we walked our dog each evening, to see how it felt on its own, sung without instrumentation. We wrote all our lyric ideas on small pieces of paper and stuck them to the kitchen wall. Eventually, from this wall assembly, the narrative of the song took shape. We ended up with a lot of small pieces of paper sticky taped together. Sometimes it takes a long time for a song to be finished; turning ideas over and over in our minds and on walks until all the elements: melody, pace and lyrics find a place. Lyrics usually take the most time to finalise as was the case with this song. Once the song was finished, we wrote the lyrics out on a sheet of paper, as a final handwritten version. There is something calming and final about the process of handwriting. It is also interesting to find out what a song looks like as an arrangement of words, written on a page.

The collection of the Spanish royal family formed the basis of the Prado Museum collection. If you could develop a collection including any artists past or present, who would be your top three?
Fiona Hall, Lisa Radford and Kubota Fumikazu are three favourites we would love to collect.