A powerful musical journey, Astrolabe is inspired by French navigator La Pérouse’s voyage to Australia on the ship Astrolabe in 1788. La Pérouse arrived in Botany Bay only six days after the First Fleet and vanished just weeks after leaving Australian shores. Cody says, “I found the voyage resonated with my own voyage to France and later back to Australia. I was challenged to grow as a musician and explore my identity and dreams. Both our stories share themes of old world versus new, the unknown, the meetings of different cultures, and of loss, death and disappearance. And ultimately, of hope and continuation.”
Cody’s work draws upon jazz, classical and world music to take audiences on a vibrant and exciting musical odyssey. It delves into differently imagined times, cultures and places to convey the emotions he felt after reading the ship journal. It starts with a medieval influenced dance in 5, moves through upbeat jazz to a brass and wind chorale inspired by the stone figures of Easter Island. After a very still ballad and a north Japanese inspired temple piece, the music travels through a quirky dance in 7 with a hint of violence, a soulful lament for Père Receveur who died in Australia, the impending disaster and finally a waltz for hope.
“Enthralling tribute to French explorer…startlingly effective music” – Sydney Morning Herald
“Beautifully meditative…sublime…wonderful…a thrilling musical voyage” – Loudmouth Magazine
“One of the hottest tickets of Autumn” – Spectrum
“A first-rate jazz album…beautifully arranged… the must-have category” – John Fenton, Jazz Local 32
The album was beautifully recorded at Studios 301 in Sydney in December 2019, with sparkling mastering by Michael Lynch, original artwork by Maya Cody, and design by Tim Kliendienst. This beautiful limited edition contains a booklet with the story, photos, and superb original engravings and quotes from the ship’s journal.
Musicians: Chris Cody composition and piano, Tom Avgenicos trumpet, Paul Cutlan saxophone, clarinets and flute, James Greening trombone, didgeridoo, conch, Susie Bishop, violin, Emily-Rose Sarkova accordion, Lloyd Swanton, bass, Fabien Hevia drums, percussion, ship bell.
Tracks: 1. Mundus Vetus (Old World) 6:12. 2. Departure 6:33 3. Stone Figures 8:34 4. Becalmed 7:33 5. Oku-Yeso 8:08 6. Pacifique 7:15 7. Père Receveur 5:53 8. Vanikoro 7:24 9. Espérance 8:25. Total time: 66:00