Tag Archives : col1


Raf Azaria

Raf Azaria 1(Piano, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Violin, Mandolin, Accordian)

A man who speaks the language of music! He not only plays but has mastered instruments including Piano, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Violin, Mandolin and the Accordian. His ability and music intellegence is like none other!

Raf holds a Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Adelaide. He is a highly experienced musician and has over 30 years of teaching and playing music.

orianthiSome Highlights of his Career include:

– Teaching Orianthi who went on to play for the one and only Michael Jackson
– Taught at numerous schools, colleges and Tafe SA
– Recorded full length original CD in Sydney entitled ‘State of Reality’
– Winning 1st prize in Battle of the Bands in 2001 with his song ‘Do You Believe In Him’
– Qantas Corporate show
–  Hyatt Regency, Stamford Grand Glenelg, Hotel Adelaide, Arkaba
– Special Guest appearance for Adelaide 36ers
– Opening for the New Parliament House Camberra with the German Choir
– Numerous festivals, pubs and clubs interstate and overseas.
– Performed extensively with numerous bands. Tours around Melbourne and Sydney including The Felix Bar St Kilda and Kardomah Club in Sydneys Kings Cross
– Corner Hotel in Richmond
– Numerous wedding appearances
– Has played for Bowen Family Funerals
– Produced music for a film documentary soundtrack
– Produced music for local Adelaide musicians
– Produced music for commercial jingles.
– A Session Muso with airplay on Nova 91.9


Igor Khoroshev

Igor Khoroshev(Mixing and engineering)

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(Manager, UPF)

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”.


Nick Mastro

Nick Mastro 1

(Guitars, vocals)

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,

“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.”

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)

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.

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

 


Matthew Atherton

Matt Atherton(Keys, acoustic guitar, vocals)

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

(Vocals, artistic direction, songwriter, co-production)

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 is 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.

Unlike Unitopia though, UPF will always invite special guests aboard for albums. This open door policy will allow Mark to use producers and musicians as the music dictates whilst also allowing each and every musician involved a chance to put their own individual stamp on the music.

“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 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.