Hardships pale in face of musical union
Crime, cultural clashes and plenty of negative publicity have plagued the Queensland city of Logan, which lies just 30 minutes outside of Brisbane.
So when the Queensland Music Festival chose Logan to put on a show written and performed by local talent — and film it — artistic director James Morrison was sure they were about to enter Struggle Street territory.
“We expected the story would be at least in part about the hardships, the struggles, how difficult it is to live in a community with so many cultural groups in it,” he says.
“We kept trying to tell that story but it just wasn’t there. Yes, they’ve had strife, but the people of Logan wanted to say, ‘Yes, we’ve had problems and have come from all over the place, but this is our home and we love it’.”
There are over 200 languages spoken in the city, which is home to just over 287,000 people. And there are more cultural groups located within Logan than New York.
So it’s unsurprising that cultural division has long been a problem in the community. But Morrison found that it was music that would prove their common factor and help build new bonds.
“There’s plenty of music in Logan, there always has been, but they’re all separate,” he explains.
“There’s the Tongan music festival, the Rwandan music festival and so on. But what The Logan Project did was forge new collaborations and connections. It’s a great legacy.”
The documentary, which shows the process of putting the show together from auditions until final applause was a labour of love for Morrison. It bookends his four-year tenure with the Queensland Music Festival and he was determined to “go out with a bang”.
They hit plenty of hurdles along the way — not least trying to find a stage that could accommodate 800 performers — but Morrison says he’s thrilled with the final result. “It’s something to be inspired by.”
THE LOGAN PROJECT, SBS, TUESDAY, 8.30PM