Bulletin #14
© September 1999

It never fails! We put out an issue of Spellbound, and then there's more news to report! Here is a press release from Iva's management, which will serve to clear up some of the questions raised by the mention of a "global project" in Volume IV Issue III of Spellbound:

For fifteen years Iva Davies, whose name has been synonymous with the group Icehouse, has also been pursuing a distinct solo career. Icehouse, driven and creatively inspired by Davies, is widely recognised as one of Australia's pre-eminent exponents of enduring popular music. The group has sold in excess of 3.5 million records and has achieved Top 5 success in France, Germany, the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. At the heart of the group's success were a string of highly successful albums including Primitive Man, Measure for Measure and Man of Colours, as well as international hit singles such as "Hey Little Girl," "No Promises," "Crazy," and "Electric Blue."

While Icehouse have toured the world and enjoyed huge commercial success, Iva Davies, the group's leader, singer-songwriter and guitarist, has also developed a successful solo career. It has not been a case of moving between two careers but rather a case of a level of creative energy and imagination which could not be contained within a group. Davies musical tastes have always been eclectic and his influences are so rich and diverse that, at various times, he has been inspired by people as diverse as Frank Sinatra, Claude Debussy and Iggy Pop.

His radically different solo projects have including the award winning soundtrack to the debut Russell Mulcahy film, Razorback, and his inspired, and hugely successful, collaborations with Graeme Murphy's Sydney Dance Company for the contemporary dance works Boxes and Berlin. At other times Davies has co-written and performed with the Yellow Magic Orchestra's drummer Yukihiro Takahashi; played oboe on Jamaican reggae legend Junior Delgado's latest album; and been actively involved in the production of a number of recordings by young Australian groups.

Davies is a talented musician who constantly pushes his own creative limits by searching for new and challenging projects. Confronted with turning "Great Southern Land," his seminal song about the nature of Australia, into a 40 minute composition he developed the idea of drawing together composers and musicians from all over the world to produce a complex collaborative work. The idea was to turn "Great Southern Land" into a piece of music which, in the minutes before midnight when the clock turns over from 1999 to 2000 will be performed on the northern forecourt of Sydney's Opera House. It will be broadcast around Australia on the Millennium Eve and then will become part of Australia's contribution to the vast international Millennium Eve celebration which will be broadcast live worldwide.

Using a rewritten and expanded version of "Great Southern Land" as the composition's centrepiece, Davies has called upon a number of musician-composers to develop the larger work The Ghost Of Time. Richard Tognetti, virtuoso violinist and Director of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, has collaborated extensively on the piece. Award winning Australian composer Christopher Gordon has written additional material inspired by the long, "endless horizon" opening to the original song. The Japanese avant techno unit Rom=Pari are also contributing as is ex-Icehouse turned Pink Floyd bass player Guy Pratt and a group of Taiko drummers.

The composition will be performed on Millennium Eve by a musical "group" comprising the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Richard Tognetti on electric violin, Guy Pratt on electric bass, Rom=Pari, a group of Taiko drummers and Iva Davies on vocals and electric guitar. It will also be released on CD in the weeks prior to the end of the year.

The Ghost Of Time gives notice that Iva Davies is moving into a new phase in his career. Early in the new millennium he will release a new single and album which are the result of a series of extraordinary creative collaborations in cities as far flung as Tokyo, Manchester, Swindon, Sydney and London. The album is being completed in London at the moment.

The Millennium heralds the emergence of Iva Davies as a major solo talent who, as his work matures and as his musical palette expands, is looking beyond the neat landscape of popular music and finding new worlds of greater complexity, subtlety and innovation which he is eager to explore and conquer.

A sound sample of the new work will be available on the official Icehouse website on 1 October 1999.