Announced on Wednesday June 6 by Creative Victoria, Melbourne musician ORCHA is one of 50 artists who have been awarded funding for a diverse range of projects that will take Victorian music to new audiences at home and abroad and support musicians and industry workers to build their careers and business networks. Read the full announcement here.
The Victorian Government’s $22.2 million Music Works initiative was launched in 2015 with a range of programs to strengthen the state’s music industry at all levels. To date, Music Works grant programs have supported more than 1,000 new local and international touring opportunities and 1,700 music projects – ranging from album recordings, to professional development activities – 50 business and creative mentorships and soundproofing projects at more than 60 venues. In 2018, ORCHA will undertake a recording project to create and setup distribution of his debut album in early 2019.
Since independently releasing his debut single ‘Crescent feat. Liahona’ in April 2017 and Bodybound (EP) the following month, ORCHA has been steadily creating a path of his own. The project’s beginnings came as a test. Influenced by North American artists Andrew Bird, Rhye and Nicholas Jaar, Matthew Sheers, aka ORCHA, was determined to emulate the sounds of their music using only his violin. Working with local producers, songwriters and performers the results detailed a personal journey travelling through periods of light and dark, familiar and otherworldly.
Caught somewhere adrift between worlds of neoclassical composition and downbeat electronica, Melbourne’s violinist beatsmith ORCHA has created a universe of unique sounds made entirely by the violin, nestled together with his luminescent vocal style, rich beats and a moody ambience.
On receiving this funding, ORCHA said,
“I’ve been working hard on creating music that is honest and reflective of my experience in this life. There have always been highs and lows, times when I’ve been frustrated and times when I’ve felt elated, but I always try and focus on what Im doing in the present to achieve what I want in the future. Ever since I started ORCHA I’ve been excited about recording my music, creating snapshots of ideas that I have found interesting at the time; always looking to create more and record the music I hear in my head. I’m so excited to create an album of new songs, as I know through music I’ll be able to express something that words alone cannot. Music is a language older and deeper than we know how to comprehend and I am grateful to be able to contribute to that in a small way. Thank you Creative Victoria for seeing something in me! Im very excited.”
Taking it to the live stage as a two-piece drumming/violin outfit, in 2018 ORCHA began a bespoke concert series titled ‘Submersive’ featuring local musicians, lighting and visual artists in a curated experience, highlighting the artistic aspects of his project to create an experience unlike other headline shows. Since 2016, ORCHA has been performing regularly at local Melbourne venues such as at The Toff, Gasometer Hotel, Workers Club and The Curtin opening for local acts Hemm, Fierce Mild, Cousin Tony’s Brand New Firebird, WVRBVBY, and Zol Balint.
This new music project will see ORCHA release new music in the second half of 2018 with a full album release dropping in early 2019.