Polar Bear Swim

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about

In October 2011, Arbori took a 12-piece band and four dancers into the Kinross Mackie Chapel at Sydney University's St Andrews College and recorded a live, four-track EP. The debut track, "In the Places You Fold" (feat. The Falls, Stu Larsen and ILUKA), was released in November 2012.

"In the Places You Fold is absolutely beautiful."
Emma Swift, In the Pines, FBI Radio

The second track off the EP, "Polar Bear Swim", and its accompanying dance film were released at FBi Social's Folk Informal on May 8. The film is a ten-minute exploration of nature and deity. Arbori worked for over eight months with the band and audio engineer fine-tuning arrangements and writing new material. The track has already been compared to “the finer moments of Wilco, Sufjan Stevens and Broken Social Scene” (The Ripe) and noted for its conviction “his general concern for the greater good, makes this song very alluring and resonating”. The content of both the lyrics and movement is focussed on the detriment of humanity on the environment and the response that deity might be giving to that.

Spending well over 40 hours with several dancers choreographing the movement that would narrate the film. We endeavoured to make movement that could be captured uniquely and intimately on film and still convey the intended meaning.

“Wowza. you are LOVELY. the songs. the movement. just lovely. and strange. and lovely. 'Polar Bear Swim' is exquisite.”
Erica Sobol, Dancer Choreographer USA

It's been an incredibly demanding task creating and consolidating such an audacious recording and film project. It was one of the most creatively demanding weekends of my life and the latest chapter I am eager to share with you all.

lyrics

POLAR BEAR SWIM

Polar Bear swim
Or you'll be drowning
Amazon run
Or they're gonna cut you down to size

Ozone get your gas mask on
'Cos they're gonna smoke you out
Mines and quarries shut your doors
'Cos they're gonna take all your goods

credits

released May 1, 2013
AUDIO ENGINEER
Felix Abrahams

WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY
Steven Barnard

PRODUCED BY
Felix Abrahams
Steven Barnard

ARRANGED AND PERFORMED BY
James Hutchinson - piano, vibraphone
Paul Brown - organ, piano, horns
Josh Boneffin - electric guitar
Tim Bradley - drums
Steven Barnard - vocals, acoustic guitar

ADDITIONAL MUSICIANS
Curtis Smith - Bass
Stu Larsen - Background Vocals

HORNS
Michael Deacon - Bari sax
Theo Bonny - Alto sax
Billy Ward - Tenor sax
Cindy Cims - French horn
Brendan Champion - Trombone
Donna Daley - Trombone

CHOREOGRAPHY
Steven Barnard (director) - performer
Neale Whittacker - performer
Aimee Regan - performer
Jessica Franke -performer
Brady Kitchingham

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about

arbori Sydney, Australia

Arbori is music and dance, in equal measures nostalgic and innovative. Raised on Fred Astaire, Frank Sinatra, Neil Young and Paul Simon, these men were model entertainers, romancers, vagabonds and his gatekeepers to jazz, folk and dance. Naturally Arbori’s jazz-folk inspired melodies and R&B influenced beats are like just like drinking tea with your Nanna who is wearing a snap back and a hoodie. ... more

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