Monthly Newsletter #2 –
Merry Christmas fellow frats! and welcome to Newsletter No. 2! We have a lot of exciting news for you as we enter the New Year.
We have decided that in the interests of both band members and you, our loyal fans, the Newsletter will be bi-monthly. That way we will have more things of interest to say and we lower the risk of repeating news and boring you all!
That’s not to say nothing is happening… far from it!
- LATEST NEWS
- OLDER NEWS
350.ORG CAMPAIGN AND VIDEO RELEASE
Help spread a simple message via Planetary Overload – Loss and Hope (double CD package). It would mean a lot to us if you took a moment to add your name to our 350.org petition starting in the first week of January 2016 (exact date TBA)
That’s right – be our outspoken ambassadors “for change” – simply write a meaningful comment, testimonial, or New Year’s resolution after watching the brand new video release of the powerful anthem, Fall in Love with the World, recorded by United Progressive Fraternity. It’s all about caring for and loving the earth and ourselves, and the message goes out to all humanity through this video, which is the title song from UPF’s debut album one year ago.
Real change happens when everyday people like you and I come together and stand up for what we believe in. Together we can reach many people and help create change around this important issue, and gain thousands of supporters for this important cause.
Everyone who contributes a supportive message via the petition will have their name listed in a special section of the forthcoming album booklet for Planetary Overload – Loss and Hope, and the 50 best testimonials will be printed (due to space limitations).
In addition, supporters who provide their email will receive a unique music gift. It is yours to enjoy and keep, as appreciation for your participation in the project, and to provide a source of ongoing inspiration.
EXCITING NEW VIDEO FOR ‘FALL IN LOVE WITH THE WORLD’ – release date: first week of January 2016 (exact date TBA)
Truey recently had a brainstorm of making a special new video for ‘Fall in Love with the World’, as a testimony of sending comfort, support, hope, inspiration and love to the people of Paris and in every afflicted country where so many are confused, frightened, intimidated and victimized.
Special friends of UPF from around the world who share the message of uniting the world in hope, love, and responsible care of the earth were invited to join in the making of this video.
This is actually the anniversary of the release of UPF’s very first album with the beautiful anthem and title track, FILWTW. It’s really an audience singalong type of song, resonating harmony and hope from the multitudes who have sung it live with Truey. We anticipate this will be one of the many uses for the video, which puts faces to many of the supportive members and friends of the ‘UPFrat’.
Of course, the theme of loving the earth and each other is more crucial than ever and the message is even timelier today than even when first released. This song certainly deserves extended exposure.
The theme of the video is basically set by the beginning narration: “Whatever your beliefs about where we came from, or where we are going; we all live together here on earth. We must no longer take her for granted. … get outside and experience nature. …connect with the natural world… if only for a brief moment in time.”
See for yourself on 1 Jan 2016, as the new UPF video is launched in conjunction with the aforementioned 350.org awareness campaign. We look forward to reading and receiving your supportive comments for the message that is dearest to the hearts of the UPF fraternity & community.
UPF ran a successful lyrics writing contest for Planetary Overload which ended 15 Dec. 2015. Truey was very impressed with the themes and depth of expression evident in the submissions. We are proud and very excited to announce the first winner, Amber Schultz from Queensland, for her lyrics to the song ‘Toxic World’.
“I’m excited to be welcomed into the UPF family, grateful for the opportunity and honoured to be asked to contribute to the album and work with such talented people. I’m looking forward to following the development of the song also and hearing the final production. I’ve spent time listening to the music you’ve all produced and love it! The message you send to the world through music is fantastic. I know Mark and everyone involved will do it justice. Exciting times!”
The other lyrics winner will be announced in the New Year.
COMING UP IN 2016
The purpose of this communication is to update all of our fans on United Progressive Fraternity’s plans for 2016 and beyond. If you have ideas or would like to volunteer in any capacity for promotion, or helping UPF identify, connect, and network with environmentally oriented charities and/or sponsors, do contact [email protected]
PLANETARY OVERLOAD – LOSS AND HOPE
Work is well underway on ‘Planetary Overload – Loss and Hope’, dubbed as ‘the most communicated album ever made’, an ambitious undertaking that unites the Fraternity in the recording of a double CD package worth of material that will delve deeper into the environmental issues that we all face as a united world.
This album will focus on the problems we are already beginning to encounter on a troubled planet and expected to face with increasing severity in the near future, and taking immediate positive action to mitigate those effects to ensure humanity’s survival.
Planetary Overload is expected to culminate in a series of exciting global musical events which will raise further awareness about the plight of our planet and what we can all do to help. 16 songs for CD1 ‘Loss’ and CD2 ‘Hope’ have already been identified. Significant progress has been made regarding development of lyrics, arrangements, vocalists, and musicians allocated for each track.
Among the plans for 2016 include a mini-tour of the USA (not confirmed but planned). We also anticipate the launch of an Indiegogo style crowdfunding campaign to assist in funding album expenses and getting UPF on the road in 2017 to tour off the back of the new album in Europe and the States. The crowdfunding event will be a significant way to reach the fans, raise awareness, and distribute band merchandise and limited release items as donation rewards.
SPONSORS AND CHARITIES
We continue to build a network of sponsors and charities with the assistance of our country representatives. We are very proud to be supported by one of the world’s leading climate scientists, Dr. James E. Hansen, who is recording narration for one of the songs and has authorised the use of his image and a specially written endorsement (included below in this newsletter).
Ambitious plans are underway for ongoing promotion of Planetary Overload while the album is under production via regular newsletters, release of videos clips depicting the composers and musicians describing the meaning of their songs, and a new section of the UPF website dedicated to news, media, biographies of the new artists working on the album, and highlights of their reasons for contributing to the message of the Fraternity.
Planetary Overload will feature a number of special international guests, among them including vocalists, songwriters, musicians, and arrangers. These guests will be spotlighted at regular intervals as their particular song arrangements and recordings are completed and documented for sharing with our fans. Each of the special guests will have their own bio page and photo, so you can learn more about their wonderful talents and accomplishments. We look forward to bringing you these amazing collaborations as the album is being recorded, to keep you ‘in the loop’ with this fantastic undertaking.
MESSAGE FROM STEVE HACKETT
Our good friend Steve Hackett recently sent along an important and particularly heartwarming message for UPF fans:
The idea of Loss and Hope is vital as a driving force behind this CD. Whilst there is so much carnage and violence in today’s world, awareness is growing at a fast rate and indeed Hope is reflected by all our sentiments and actions. Music can lead the way, with a message of love over hatred and the need to care for both the planet and all its inhabitants.
I am proud to be a part of this project.
IN OLDER NEWS…
TRUEY’S TRIP TO THE USA
While in the States (Oct 2015) Mark & Cheryl stayed with Steve Unruh and his family. Mark & Steve formed a deep musical bond and did a great deal of work together for various projects including Voices of Babylon, UPF’s own up and coming album, Planetary Overload and what Steve described as a Samurai of Prog epic!
Mark also met up with Los Angeles singer/songwriter Joanna St. Claire and they will be working on a duet in the very near future. He also dropped in to see Russian keyboard player (ex-Yes) Igor Khoroshev who now lives in the States, to discuss a collaboration for Planetary Overload.
Before Mark left for the states, he and Matt met at the studio to lay down the vocals for ‘Mercenaries’ for the Decameron III album. ‘Mercenaries’ is now finished and is off to the Mastering booth. “I’d call it a real rocker, with tantalising elements of Jethro Tull, Kansas, and Pink Floyd like you’ve never heard them before! The hook is enormous, stuck in my head for days” – Ted Ollikkala
DAVE HOPGOOD & NEW BASS PLAYER TONY SHOUMACH
UPF would like to announce that our new Australian-based bass player for tour and writing is Tony Shoumack. Tony and Dave are both working on arrangements for the Peter Gabriel shows and new music for UPF.
Barry has been busy too working on a number of original pieces that he & Mark are still developing as well as continuing drafting of Peter Gabriel material. He says he is moving from his folk-rock based style to a more progressive rock feel with much encouragement from Mark who he says is making him think outside the square! He also did a bit of camera-work for the promo for Mark’s part in the Voices of Babylon project.
GUY MANNING, MAREK ARNOLD, & DAN MASH
Guy, Marek and Dan continue with their project ‘DAMANEK’ Project Update: Marek has also recently released his new album from Seven Steps to the Green Door – ‘Fetish’, whilst Dan is kept very busy working in several bands at once!
WELCOME TO THE FRAT
Several new faces have joined us, each bringing a special talent to the musical force of the fraternity. In addition to new bassist Tony Shoumack, we have…
“One of the new songs Steve and I created is called “Down but not Out” which has elements of Peter Gabriel meets Led Zeppelin, talking about the chemistry that Steve and I have made in such a short space of time” – Truey
Bands: Resistor, The Samurai of Prog, Marco Bernard’s Decameron 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!)
We are extremely honoured and pleased to announce that Dr. James E. Hansen, one of the world’s foremost climate scientists, has endorsed the message of United Progressive Fraternity.
“United Progressive Fraternity brings a much needed message to the people of the world, as stated in my book ‘Storms of My Grandchildren’. I stand wholeheartedly by their commitment to raise the awareness of as many people as possible to take corrective action and innovate fastidious planning to mitigate the runaway effects of Climate change.” – Dr. James E. Hansen
Dr. Hansen will be an honorary contributing member to the music and lyrics of Planetary Overload – Loss and Hope. At least one song will feature Dr. Hansen’s spoken messages, based on the theme of his 2010 book ‘Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity’.
Background: Dr. Hansen, former top climate scientist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and currently Director of Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions program -The Earth Institute at Columbia University, presented testimony before congress in 1988 that brought the issue of global warming to the attention of the world and continues as an leading activist, researcher, and advocate for climate warming intervention worldwide. Dr Hansen also served as science adviser to Al Gore on the 2006 documentary ‘An Inconvenient Truth’.
TWO NEW VIDEOS FEATURING MARK TRUEACK
Track 7 from the album SECRETS OF DISGUISE by The Samurai of Prog. ‘Traveler’ is one of the early compositions by the Italian prog rockers of Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM).
The Samurai of Prog are:
– Marco Bernard – Bass
– Kimmo Pörsti (Mist Season) – Drums, Percussion
– Steve Unruh (Resistor, solo) – Vocals, Guitars, Violin, Flute
One of the greatest and least played Unitopia tracks is the epic 20 minute ‘Day 6 Tale 9′ from Decameron II. We wrote and recorded this with special guest Steve Unruh (Samurai of Prog – violins, flute) for the very amazing 4 CD set put together by Marco Bernard, based on the 100 tales written by Giovanni Boccaccio between 1350-1353. The album artwork is by our very good friend Ed Unitsky.
INSIDE-OUT MEDIA PARENT COMPANY ACQUIRED BY SONY
A global leader in rock, prog rock, heavy metal, alternative, post punk and hardcore, Century, led by founder Robert Kampf, is home to artists such as Lacuna Coil, Arch Enemy, Queensryche, Kansas, Flower Kings, Transatlantic, Devin Townsend, Unitopia, United Progressive Fraternity, Steve Hackett, and Stitched Up Heart.
The deal enhances Sony Music’s presence in the independent rock, prog and metal market, and provides Century Media with unified global distribution and greater resources to maximize promotion and marketing of Century artists across physical and digital channels worldwide. The expanded relationship builds upon Sony Music’s existing successful distribution relationship with Century Media through RED. Sony Music will distribute releases from Century’s labels – including InsideOut.
AND FINALLY – SEASON’S GREETINGS FROM UPF AND ED UNITSKY!
“The best gift in life will never be found under a Christmas tree; the gifts of Friends, Family, Children, Peace – and the one you love is the most important treasure of all.”
The United Progressive Fraternity (UPF) wishes all of its friends and listeners a Merry Christmas and safe and Happy New Year…
Truey and all of his elves
SEE YOU SOON IN 2016!