Dan Fallon’s : “Blue Skies” for Ukraine mega launch
Over 14 million people have been displaced by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. With Russia’s recent aerial attacks targeting electricity and water infrastructure across the country, there has not been a more urgent time to support families who have been impacted by the war as people struggle to stay sheltered, warm and fed through winter.
Australian band-for-change, The Bluesberries, are honoured and humbled to launch a remarkable international project in December 2022 to support Australia for UNHCR and Ukrainian refugees.
Musician and BBC journalist Daniel Fallon has teamed up with globally renowned English composer/producer/keyboardist Paul Beard (James Blunt, Robbie Williams, Lily Allen, Art Garfunkel, Bryan Ferry, etc) and successful Australian entrepreneur/musician John McMurtrie AM to write and record Blue Skies – a powerful song to promote peace and show solidarity with the people of Ukraine while raising funds for refugees of the country displaced by the war.
In an extraordinary creative process, Sydney blues band, The Bluesberries – founded by Fallon, Beard and McMurtrie and featuring some of Australia’s finest musicians – has collaborated with the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, which draws on Ukraine’s most talented young classical musicians, aged from 12-22, from across the besieged country, to record soaring versions of the song in English and Ukrainian. Led by violinist and composer Illya Bondarenko – an emerging classical star in Europe – the 33-piece orchestra has recorded a symphonic arrangement of Blue Skies at a cathedral in Düsseldorf, Germany.
From writing sessions in Sydney to recording in the centre of Kyiv, the project has become a momentous joint collaboration between over 70 Australian and Ukrainian musicians who have contributed to recording the moving music and lyrics.
Blue Skies features outstanding Ukrainian opera singer Maryana Golovko, who contributed Ukrainian lyrics and her beautiful voice to versions of the song. The renowned Shchedryk, Kyiv Children’s Choir then recorded a special arrangement for Blue Skies by Ukrainian composer Roman Surzha and The Bluesberries’ Paul Beard. The ensemble then brought together 22 children’s voices to record the piece at a studio in Kyiv. (Like too many buildings in the Ukraine capital, the studio they recorded in had to be repaired from damage following Russian attacks earlier in the year). The final tracks of the EP were recorded by Bondarenko in Kyiv despite his home city being hit with cruise missiles and suicide drone attacks on a daily basis and rolling blackouts.