"I believe that art has a responsibility to comment on the orders of the day and to promote discourse and intelligent discussion about issues that are important to us as a people and as a society."
On Saturday 29 Jul at 5pm, whether you're in the shower, driving home, at the dinner table, in the park, at a pub - wherever! - if you happen to raise your voice and sing John Farnham's iconic song You're The Voice, you will be joining thousands of others in support of victims of domestic violence.
Queensland Music Festival Artistic Director and Australian singer/songwriter Katie Noonan explains that the socially inclusive event - taking place at the South Bank Piazza as part of the Queensland Music Festival - will involve a 2,000-strong choir lead by Noonan and other special guests, and will be live streamed for people around the country to join in.
"I believe that art has a responsibility to comment on the orders of the day and to promote discourse and intelligent discussion about issues that are important to us as a people and as a society," she says. "I've been truly educated about important issues through music - I found out who Truganini was because of Rob Hirst and Peter Garrett and Midnight Oil; I found out about the civil rights moment in the '60s because of Nina Simone and Gil Scott-Heron."
"There is one issue that effects every single person in this state, and every single person in this country, and that is the domestic and family violence that we are in the midst of at the moment… Usually silence is observed as a sign of gravitas and dignity for this discussion, but I thought 'Let's use the power of music, and rather than be quiet let's make beautiful noise together.' I started thinking about You're The Voice which is our unofficial national anthem, and when you start looking at that song through the filter of the DV crisis it's incredibly apt.
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"I think a lot of us feel that this crisis is too big to know where to start, whereas this project is just designed to say: 'You are the voice, and you can use your voice, and you have the power to sing out for change, to sing out for education, to sing out for a safe space, and make people take notice of these women's lives that are being taken, that we give a voice to those who have been silenced.
Dr Jonathon Welch, founding Artistic Director of Choir Of Hard Knocks and School Of Hard Knocks, has joined the program as Choral Director, who will lead the singing on the day. "You just go to the website and the versions of the songs are there," Noonan explains. "We've done them in various ways, professional choirs, semi-professional choirs, high and low and then unison for really beginner choirs, and if you don't read music it's all been recorded so you can learn it by ear... and then on the day all those versions together work."
Noonan hopes that "serious legislative change" will come from the event "which we need to help and support the families. I'm hoping that laws will be passed that will change peoples lives, I'm hoping that politicians will listen and that it will inform their legislative process... I noticed that the federal government was very quick to undertake serious legislative change and spend a lot of money re-wording a 'king-hit' to a 'coward punch'. But if you look at the stats of the victims of that particular violence and look at the stats of victims of DV, they are extraordinarily different and far more women are dying every year, every week, every day!"