Daily Archives: September 26, 2017


Guy Manning

Guy Manning(Songwriting, vocals, acoustic guitar)

“Music is the great communicator and unlike modern technologies like e-mail, social network threads etc., it implicitly carries a great deal of emotion within its message…you do not need emoticons here!

When I was first talking to Mark about the formation of UPF, it was important to us both that as well as to entertain (ourselves and you too hopefully), that we tried to educate or at least spark debate on some of the things we feel passionately about.

Ecological change and its consequence has formed a solid backbone of all my recorded output since 1999 starting with “The Last Psalm” on the debut “Tall Stories for Small Children” through “Domicile” [The Cure], “Ragged Curtains” [The Ragged Curtain],”One Small Step… (Parts I-VIII) [One Small Step], “Dr Jonathan Anser” [Anser’s Tree] “The Southern Waves” [Margaret’s Children], “Autumn Song” [The Root, the Leaf & the Bone]” and more…

Lyrics have always been extremely important to me and the whole package comprises of Music + Words + Artwork – With UPF we aim to provide excellence in all these areas.

So let’s get the word out there, start the talk and walk the walk”

Guy formed his first band when he was still at school, bringing together members of the school orchestra and other more ‘basic’ musicians to play complex 20 minute epics! Sometime (much) later, Guy was the founding member of two Leeds (UK) based bands in the 1980s, “Let’s Eat!” and “Bailey’s Return”. He was also recruited in 1987 to be the keyboards player in art-rock band “Through the Looking Glass”. This band split up a year later and a more pop based offshoot, “KingGlass”, emerged and continued on for a further year (the other half of the original band got “Through the Loo” for their name).

Manning and local keyboardist/vocalist Andy Tillison joined forces in an early unsigned band called “Gold Frankincense & Disk Drive”. The band’s final line-up included a guest spot from “Van Der Graaf Generator” organ player, Hugh Banton.

Tillison and Manning recorded the album “No More Travelling Chess” at this time, which consisted of a set of covers of material by Peter Hammill plus a couple of original pieces. This album was first released as a mail order cassette item (before an augmented and remastered version was eventually released by Cyclops Records in 2001 under the band name of “Parallel or 90 Degrees”).

Tillison and Manning then formally formed the band, “Parallel or 90 Degrees” with Sam Baine also on keyboards, but Guy was soon to leave to work abroad.

Guy has gone on to write, record and release his own albums, the first five were on the Cyclops label and then three more, “A Matter Of Life & Death (The Journal of Abel Mann)”, “One Small Step…” and “Anser’s Tree”, for United States label, ProgRock Records.

The ProgRock Records album covers were all created by noted graphic arts designer, Ed Unitsky. Manning’s ninth release, “Songs From The Bilston House” (2007), was released on the Festival Music (F2) label as were the follow ups, the appropriately named “Number Ten” (2009), “Charlestown” (2012) and 2011’s “Margaret’s Children (which also featured a reprised/updated Ed Unitsky cover).

Andy Tillison has guested on several of the earlier releases, whilst other guests have included Martin Orford (IQ), Ian ‘Walter’ Fairbairn (Hedgehog Pie & Jack the Lad), Steve Dundon (Mick Abrahams Band & Molly Bloom), Angela Gordon (Mostly Autumn), Marek Arnold (Toxic Smile & Seven Steps to the Green Door), Leon Camfield (Tinyfish), Phideaux, Chloe Herrington (Knifeworld, Chrome Hoof) and John Young (Lifesigns, Asia)

THE TANGENT

Whilst all this was happening, plans for a solo album by Andy Tillison transformed into the first release by “THE TANGENT”; the album was called “The Music That Died Alone” (2003). This initial ‘Tangent’ line-up included Guy Manning, Sam Baine plus Roine Stolt, Jonas Reingold and Zoltan Csorsz (from The Flower Kings) and David Jackson (from Van der Graaf Generator). Other subsequent ‘Tangent’ members have included Theo Travis, Jaime Salazar, Krister Jonsson, Jakko M. Jakszyk, Jonathan Barrett, Paul Burgess, Dan Mash, Tony Latham, Luke Machin, the entire “Beardfish” band and Michael Gilbourne.

Guy announced his formal departure from the “The Tangent” in May 2010. In all, Guy played on five studio and one live album with The Tangent (although he reprised this with a cameo role for 2013’s “Le Sacre Du Travail”)

OTHER STUFF

Manning and Tillison also had time to team up as fictional Italian band, ”La Voce Del Vento”, to provide two long pieces for the Colossus Project Discs (The Spaghetti Epics #1 and #2)
Manning also provided an unreleased track for KINECTIONS, the US ProgDay festival support album.
Manning’s “The Root, the Leaf & the Bone” was released to critical acclaim in October 2013, appearing in some ‘Top 10 album of the year’ polls.

MANNING – THE BAND(s)

In recent years, Guy has fronted his own band exclusively performing his music. The band has performed at ROSFEST in 2010, the Cambridge Rock Festival (twice), Summers’ End Festival (twice). The Manning band performs in two varieties, ELEKTRIK (the full symphonic rock band) and AKOUSTIK (a cut down more simple and ‘unplugged’ version). The AKOUSTIK band performs material from the AKOUSTIK albums releases (2013). In Jan 2014, Guy announced that MANNING (the band) would retire to allow him to carry on working with other people and to concentrate on other project writing and solo albums in the pipeline.

UNITED PROGRESSIVE FRATERNITY

Guy was subsequently asked to join the new band fronted by Mark ‘Truey’ Trueack – the United Progressive Fraternity. He helped developed and record material for the debut album “Fall In Love With The World”.

DAMANEK

Following the UPF Promotional Tour in 2014, Guy settled down to write material for the next UPF album. Truey however was working in partnership with Steve Unruh at this time and had assembled an Australian based UPF band and the pieces presented for consideration at that time were felt to be not quite what was needed.

So, Guy decided to continue developing his new material for an new Project alongside his UPF friends Marek Arnold and Dan Mash (the UPF European arm!). Sean (Timms) was also asked to join the ensemble and the quartet, now named DAMANEK, started to record the eight pieces selected for the debut album “On Track”. DAMANEK performed most the new material live at Summer’s End 2016 with the quartet augmented by Luke Machin on guitar and Henry Rogers on Drums. The band went down a storm!!!

“On Track” was finally released in May 2017 on the Giant Electric Pea label and has garnered fantastic reviews across the board (see www.damanek.com) for details. Guy is currently writing the Damanek follow up album and also some new pieces for UPF’s second album in collaboration with Truey!


Steve Unruh

Steve Unruh

(Violin, guitars, flute, vocals, producer, songwriter, co-production)

Bands: Resistor, The Samurai of Prog, Marco Bernard’s Decamerson I, II, III, Voices of Babylon.

Steve says that he is proficient at: Drumkit, Percussion, Violin, Guitar, Mandolin, and getting pretty decent at Flute, Voice and Bass (now that’s an understatement!)

Favorite Albums

Progressive Rock:

  • Yes – Close to the Edge (This is officially my favorite album of all time in any genre.)
  • Yes – Tales from Topographic Oceans
  • Yes – Symphonic Live (Amsterdam, DVD)
  • The Flower Kings – Stardust We Are
  • The Flower Kings – Unfold the Future
  • Dream Theater – Scenes from a Memory
  • Dream Theater – “Score” (Live in New York, DVD)
  • Phideaux – Doomsday Afternoon
  • Porcupine Tree – Fear of a Blank Planet
  • Rush – A Farewell To Kings
  • Rush – Permanent Waves
  • King Crimson – Red
  • Gentle Giant – The Power And The Glory

Jazz:

  • John Coltrane – Giant Steps
  • John Coltrane – Crescent
  • John Coltrane – A Love Supreme
  • Dave Brubeck Quartet – Time Out
  • Glen Velez – Rhytmicolor ExoticaRock,

Pop:

  • U2 – The Joshua Tree
  • U2 – Achtung Baby
  • U2 – All That You Can’t Leave Behind
  • Indigo Girls – Indigo Girls
  • Indigo Girls – Despite Our Differences

New Age:

  • Bob Kindler – Tiger’s Paw

Igor Khoroshev

Igor Khoroshev(Keyboards, Special Arrangements)

Igor Khoroshev was born in Moscow, Russia. He took piano lessons from age four and later learned other instruments including the trombone, French horn, guitar and drums. He obtained a diploma in music.

In the early 1990s, he moved to the USA, settling in Boston, where he worked with Benjamin Orr of The Cars among others. Khoroshev met Carl Jacobson of the Cakewalk software house. Jacobson employed Khoroshev, who composed music for Cakewalk’s Pro Audio 9, and he also introduced Khoroshev to Yes’s Jon Anderson.

Khoroshev released a solo album Piano Works in 1999. He appeared on the Emerson, Lake & Palmer tribute album Encores, Legends and Paradox. In March 2000, he and Jon Anderson worked on an album called True You, True Me. The album was estimated to be released in November of that year, with a tour as a duet in early 2001. This did not, however, come to fruition and the collaboration project was shelved.

Since leaving Yes, Khoroshev worked on film soundtracks, including “Good Night Valentino” and “The Pearl”, and in a production role, often working with Mike Plotnikoff (e.g. With Shivering Hearts We Wait, 2011)


Octavia Brown

Octavia May 2017(Touring/PR Manager)

“In February 2017, I turned 50 and by Victorian standards that basically means I am now in extra time. If I want to make a difference I don’t actually have that much time left. But don’t think that means I want to make a mark, no, my future will be dedicated to the exact opposite, that of not leaving a mark. Unfortunately I start out with a severe handicap – my mere existence has already been a bigger burden on the planet than it should have been. I have added to the damage done to the atmosphere, plastic I have bought has without doubt found its way into our oceans, my carbon footprint can probably be seen from space, yes, I have already left my mark.”

All of our actions and choices have an effect on the world around us. UPF reaches out through music to spread a sense of awareness and ultimately of hope that it isn’t too late to turn the tide. I’ll be honest, when I was first asked to become part of the UPF team I didn’t initially realise the full extent of the impact it was about to have on my way of thinking and living. I know it won’t fail to affect other people in the same positive way.”

Octavia is one of the 80 or so volunteers who every year put together Italy’s biggest progressive rock event, the 2Days Prog + 1 Festival held every September in Veruno, Piedmont. She became a familiar face and name on the Italian Prog scene in 2014 when she was asked to step in at the very last minute as the festival’s co-presenter where, for the benefit of the non-Italian speaking members of the audience, she introduced the bands in English alongside her Italian speaking counterpart .

It was here that the seeds were sown for what was to become a lasting friendship with Swedish band, Änglagård and a working relationship with Italian band, Barock Project with whom, amongst other things, she collaborated as language consultant on their latest album, ‘Detachment’.  The following year she was invited back to become the Festival’s sole presenter, introducing the bands in both Italian and English. It was at the 2015 edition of the festival that she met and subsequently ‘adopted’  Italian band Syncage, recently signed to Bad Elephant Music, with whom she works constantly as advisor and PR.

In 2016 she launched the festival’s official Facebook page and actively began promoting the festival and all participating bands on social media. “Being the festival’s presenter was a great privilege but it never felt quite right to just turn up on the day and walk on stage, so spreading the word and making sure the world knew what we were doing became an everyday challenge. It’s  great to be part of the organization process, there’s an amazing team behind this Festival and I’m so incredibly proud to be a part of it”.

Earlier this year she began another working relationship with Italian band, Syndone, again thanks to her Festival work.
“The best thing about festivals is the people you meet, both musicians and members of the public. It’s quite an incredible community we operate in. It was at another festival, this year’s edition of RoSFest to be precise, that I met Mark Trueack.

We immediately hit it off as we discussed music, life and other things over a beverage purporting to be coffee in the hotel we were both staying at. Sometimes you just know when you’re on the same page as someone. Having said that I was still surprised when he invited me to become a part of the UPF project  but hey, when you get asked to be part of something this exciting who am I to say no? I did hesitate for a moment but only a moment, on the whole I’m pretty impulsive so if it feels right, I tend to do it first and think about it second! I’m really looking forward to seeing where this will take us”.


Matt Goodluck

Floyd2017_13394-copy(Voiceover, Background Vocals)

“It’s a real honour to be asked to contribute to UPF. It’s great to see Australia making such a strong mark on the progressive music scene and it’s a real pleasure to be a part of that. Furthermore, this is a musical collective with an important environmental message that will hopefully make everyone think about the responsibility we all have to look after this planet we call home.”

Matt’s mother says she remembers Matt coming down the hallway singing the song “Movie Star” by one hit wonder Harpo, when he was just a toddler – a sign of things to come perhaps? He was always drawn to music as a child and a love of Kiss and the animated music video for Roger Glover and Ronnie James Dio’s hit “Love Is All” both left a huge impression on him.”

As a youngster, Matt always had a transistor radio in his room along with a small record collection, which he treasured. “I was an only child until the age of ten and music was a great companion for me, something that entertained me and fully captured my imagination” said Matt. At the age of twelve, he began to discover bands like Van Halen and Rush and instantly fell in love with heavy metal and prog rock. “It was around this time that many of my friends were learning an instrument and while I showed an interest in learning the guitar, it just never really stuck for me” says Matt.

By 18, Matt decided to take some vocal lessons from a local teacher. It was then that he discovered a natural ability to sing but his lack of confidence meant the only person who ever heard him was his teacher! Matt spent much of his 20’s living in the UK and Europe working in the music industry with some of the biggest names in prog rock. However aside from a guest vocal spot on a friend’s album (“Uneasy Listening” by Dirtbox [1999]), he rarely pursued his interests in singing.

Upon returning to Australia in late 2001, Matt finally joined his first band – a Beatles tribute called ‘Glass Onion’. Matt explained, “A friend of mine was starting a Beatles cover band and encouraged me to come down and have a jam with them. He said you’ve always wanted to sing, if you don’t have a go now you never will. I figured as it was with people I knew, I had nothing to worry about. It didn’t take long before I realised I could sing the songs well and from there the confidence thing just grew”.

Matt performed locally around the Adelaide music scene for a few years both with ‘Glass Onion’ and then later with ‘Toast’, another group of friends playing classic rock covers by bands like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Whitesnake. Then in 2014, Matt answered an online ad from a Pink Floyd tribute band seeking a lead vocalist. His audition was a success and since then, Matt has been performing in theatres around the country with Echoes of Pink Floyd – Australia’s premier Pink Floyd tribute show. A combination of his experience and passion for Pink Floyd, made him the perfect vocalist to re-create the stylings of both Roger Waters and David Gilmour.

After reconnecting with his old band mates from ‘Toast’ who introduced him to vocalist Mark Trueack, Matt was honoured to be asked to take part in United Progressive Fraternity. “It’s exciting!” said Matt, “I’ve not really had the opportunity to be a part of an original band before so I really appreciate being asked to contribute to the new UPF album. It’s so great to see Australia really developing quite a respectable prog scene and to be a part of that in some way is a dream for me”.


Nick Mastro

Nick Mastro 1

(Guitars, Vocals)

“My greatest love is that of original music, particularly with a strong message, and with UPF nothing is more important than saving our planet, and the music is the vehicle delivering this message.”

Nick has been involved in music in some shape or form for what seems forever; playing in numerous cover, tribute and corporate bands.

He is currently with popular corporate band ‘AudioBox’.

Nick says;

‘In Progressive Rock anything (almost) goes, so when you love lots of musical styles it’s a buzz to be involved.’

 


Mark Franco

Mark Franco 1

(Bass, vocals)

“I’m looking forward to creating new music with such a strong and meaningful message behind it. I can’t wait!”.

Mark Franco started listening to bands such as Slade and Sweet and T. Rex at a very young age, but was fascinated by Deep Purple when he heard them for the first time at just six years old. After exploring the world of hard rock and heavy metal music, Mark found himself worshipping Rainbow’s Richie Blackmore and hoping to one day become a guitarist in a rock band just like his hero.

Mark became more influenced by the music his older brother and friends were listening to as he grew into his teenage years. Soon, he discovered the music of progressive rock band, YES and by the time he was 16 years old his entire world had changed musically. He no longer wanted to play the guitar but found a strong passion in becoming a bassist like Chris Squire from YES. From then onwards Mark continued to discover legendary and influential bands such as King Crimson, Gentle Giant, E.L.P, Jethro Tull, Genesis, Return to Forever and being a bass player of course, Rush, just to name a few. By the time he was in his twenties he then discovered and was captivated by the fretless playing of Jaco Pastorius and Bunny Brunel.

Mark went onto playing in an original progressive rock band ‘Arcane’ featuring Mark Trueack in the mid 80’s with his older brother and going on to various cover and original bands over the years; notably being a member in the instrumental band ‘Sound’ along with Joe Toscano and Matthew Atherton, who he has now joined up with again in the band UPF.

 


Matthew Atherton

Matt Atherton(Keys, acoustic guitar, vocals)

“In what may seem like a bleak outlook for humanity and the planet, glimmers of hope have been found.  They are in music, whether writing or performing, or both. Mark (Truey) has long held positive visions for the future and it’s a part of his character I’ve always admired. It’s humbling for me to contribute to this uplifting project with its global, ‘all-star’ cast.”

Matthew Atherton is an organist and composer, and is presently teaching at Pembroke School. He received tuition in organ from Christa Rumsey and Dr. David Swale, and in composition and arranging from Tristram Cary. Atherton was the first Organ Scholar at St Peters Cathedral, Adelaide, in 1988, and was organist at St Francis Xaviers Cathedral from 1989 – 2010.

His professional career has featured many solo and ensemble performances, including engagements with the Adelaide Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, most of Adelaide’s major choirs, along with many performances for the Adelaide Town Hall’s annual organ recital series. He has also performed on numerous cathedral organs around the United Kingdom, Paris, and in Uppsala Cathedral, Sweden.  As an organist, he maintains a keen interest in 20th Century and contemporary repertoire, in particular the work of Jehan Alain. 

In 1998 he was a participant in workshops at the Calgary International Organ Festival (Canada) with the acclaimed Dr. Marie-Claire Alain (with whom he was also granted a private interview to speak about her brother Jehan).  Atherton has also participated in masterclasses and similar events (locally and overseas), with distinguished organists including Dame Gillian Weir, Daniel Roth, and Thomas Trotter.  In 2011, Atherton was a guest of the Jehan Alain Association in Romainmôtier, Switzerland, performing on the restored Albert Alain organ.

As composer, Atherton has written in numerous genres for video documentaries, solo organ works, electronic works, vocal, choral, theatre works, orchestral works, and small ensemble pieces. The Graduate Singers and Lumina Vocal Ensemble have premiered a number of his choral works, including the substantial “Requiem To The Unknown”, “In Riddles Disappearing”, “Around Us” and “Crossing Parallels”. In 1999, one of Adelaide’s foremost trios, the Cameo Trio, premiered his compositions “From Life” and the following year, “La Vie est Belle?” Atherton is currently working on an independent film score.

Atherton is a student of Buddhism and member of the Buddha House FPMT community in Adelaide.

In maintaining his sincere affection for Progressive Rock, Jazz, Electronic and Ambient music, Atherton has enjoyed a parallel occupation as a keyboard player in various original and cover bands throughout the years. From the 1990s, he was involved in Genesis Touch (Adelaide’s only Genesis tribute band, with Mark Trueack), Sound (with Mark Franco and Joe Toscano), Glass Onion (a Beatles cover band with Matt Goodluck and Mark Franco), and The William Campbell Conspiracy (also with Mark Franco).


Mark Truey Trueack

Truey (2017)(Vocals, Artistic Direction, Songwriter, Co-Production)

“UPF – Why the United Progressive Fraternity? My original concept for this group was to make this a Universal project, allowing not only the members to come and go as they please, but also inviting the listener to share ideas on what they would like to hear, in other words making UPF the people’s group. It may sound a little odd, but when I read messages on various comment boards, it is apparent that people love to share their points of view; in some cases feedback can be very constructive and help in making the music and the message much more important.

There are bands all over the world who like to express their concerns and worries with what is happening to our world; for example social injustice and the environment we live in. Some have been very successful (i.e. Peter Gabriel, U2, Sting, just to name a few) so how can a project like this be any different? In my eyes, I see that if people are willing to share their inner thoughts and have enough courage to accept different ideas and expand on them we can make a difference. Our planet is not happy in so many ways, our climate is constantly changing, religious intolerance leads to conflict, bloodshed, and outright war in an already unstable social system, and our countries misunderstand each other, leading to mistrust and risk of further instability.

As the world and civilisation evolve, conflict appears more and more inevitable and our environment harder to live in as climate change takes its toll. If projects like ours can make a difference and if we can involve our friends and other lovers of music then we will have a better world..

Fall in love in the World, let the world fall in Love”

Having a unique voice, rich in character and tone has helped singer/songwriter Mark Truey Trueack to realise a life-long dream of a career in the music industry. From the mid 80’s to early 90’s, Mark worked on the other side of the industry gaining valuable insight & knowledge as a record company executive for EMI Music.

Also at that time, he pursued his passion for performing by re-creating a Genesis tribute show, ‘The Genesis Touch’. Highly regarded nationally, the group consistently played to packed houses.

While living in Sydney, Mark began his song-writing career with local producer, Matt Coxhead, penning two fine songs, ‘Time For Change’ and ‘This Life’. Returning to Adelaide in 1996, Mark was introduced to Sean Timms by a mutual friend, who noticed the similarities in their musical tastes and personality. After a night on the town & a few beers, the two began a song writing partnership that continues to this day.

Since the formation of Unitopia, Mark has also had several other opportunities to perform, most notably the John Lennon memorial concert on the anniversary of his death in late 2005. Although still working as an executive, Mark always hoped to one day make music his full time occupation as it was already his full time passion.

He is married to his wife of 36 years Cheryl, and they have two talented daughters, Holly (who has a cameo appearance on Justify) and Brittany. A keen surfer, Mark’s love of the sea is exemplified in the songs ‘Fate’ , ‘Inside The Power’, ‘Water’ and ‘Fall in Love with the World’.

As co-founder of Unitopia, Mark was integral part of the process, not only as a world class vocalist, innovative songwriter, creative co-producer and morale booster, but as a relentless driving force behind everything that Unitopia has achieved thus far. The passion he injects into his music is endless (as is his sense of humour!) and his knowledge of the music industry and record companies in particular has given Unitopia a wealth of knowledge from which to draw, making the journey forward an exciting one.

As the end of Unitopia became a reality in early January 2014, Mark had been working on a side project called “The HOPE” back in 2011 with Stephen Layton who was living in a remote area deep in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales, in order to discuss some potential song ideas. Stephen’s undoubted song arrangement talents in combination of with Mark’s creative vision gelled perfectly.

Stephen had been working on a couple of projects with former Yes lead vocalist and composer, Jon Anderson (“Survival and other Stories” and the sequel to Jon’s classic “Olias of Sunhillow”) and he soon realised that perhaps there could be a real opportunity to bring the two voices of Jon and Mark together. Stephen contacted Jon Anderson and asked him if he would be interested in working on this project. The piece that was selected to test this exciting collaborative prospect was called “Water”.

The underlying musical content of United Progressive Fraternity ( UPF) is not that dissimilar to that of Unitopia however the sound is much edgier. Having several producers and songwriters within the core group certainly gives the listener a banquet of textures and moods.

“Fall in Love with World” was the first UPF release in 2014, containing over 60min of music that takes the listener on journey of self-discovery. The album was officially launched at the UK’s Summers End Festival in Autumn 2014. For the second album, a songwriting contest was sponsored by the band, and two albums worth of material were written, and are in the process of being arranged for the second UPF release, Planetary Overload (PO). It was decided to present PO in two parts: LOSS, and HOPE. By May 2017 the arrangements for Part 1: LOSS are nearly completed and being sent to the various musicians that are guesting on the album.

The other project Truey has been working on is ‘The Romantic’ with Frenchman Chris Lebled and Steve Unruh. They have already experimented with songs from the Unitopia and UPF catalogue with great results, and songs like This Time, The Great Reward and Fall in Love with the World have totally new soundscapes and presentation. Two new songs, New Beginnings, and Avalon of Love are also being written. The First Kiss will follow. A total of 12 songs will make up this album.

Mark has also worked contributed his vocal talents most recently to songs performed by The Samurai of Prog (Ghost Written) and Oliver Rüsing (The Impossible), among others.