FRIENDLY PROJECT: Uki Refugee Group members (from left) Bryan McLelland, Matt Ottley and Tina Wilson meet to promote the production A Devilish Tale - The History of Harmony.
FRIENDLY PROJECT: Uki Refugee Group members (from left) Bryan McLelland, Matt Ottley and Tina Wilson meet to promote the production A Devilish Tale - The History of Harmony. Yvonne Gardiner

Meet refugees and then you'll understand says group

SUPPORTING refugees is a focus for many people in the Northern Rivers.

Uki Refugee Project works with other groups in Lismore, Pottsville and Federal to better the lives of refugees.

Bryan McLelland, a Uki group member, says one way to do this is to host more friendship visits or homestays.

"The best way for people to understand the refugee situation is to meet refugees," he said.

"We've been having the friendship visits since 2014 and they're working beautifully.

"I think it's given the people who've come a broader sense of Australia."

Refugees from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq and Sri Lanka have been welcomed at friendship visits to Uki.

Bryan said the Uki Refugee Project concept was established about five years ago.

"We were all concerned about the way the government was treating refugees," he said.

"It took about 12 months before we actually began to do things."

Advocacy is part of the Uki group's activities, together with raising money for school needs and legal costs.

Each year, project members Tina Wilson and Matt Ottley organise a musical event, and this month (July) they will present A Devilish Tale - The History of Harmony.

"It follows the development of musical harmony through the ages, from Ancient Greece through to contemporary music, focusing on a time in the 12th century when the so-called 'Devil's chord' changed the face of music," writer and producer Matt said.

The "Augmented 4th", known as the "chord of evil", was banned in Renaissance church music.

In those days composing music was very much an act of praising God - the music should therefore be beautiful and moving.

The Augmented 4th, or Tritonus, which spans three whole steps in the scale, is one of the most dissonant musical intervals around. It was considered unpleasant and ugly, and was named "diabolus in musica" - the devil in music. 

Matt says the Murwillumbah production of A Devilish Tale has three acts, the first featuring Perth keyboard player Alf Demasi as a slightly mad and irreverent Benedictine monk.

"The Murwillumbah Philharmonic Choir will also make appearances. There'll be lots of visuals, music and humorous moments," Matt said.

The next friendship visit planned by the Uki Refugee Project will take place September 22 to 24, and potential hosts are invited to register an interest by emailing uki.refugee.project@gmail.com.

 

A Devilish Tale - The History of Harmony is a 50-minute stage performance followed by a magical musical improvisation.

Saturday, July 22, from 6pm for a light meal, with performance 7-9pm.

The Regent Cinema, Murwillumbah

$25 per ticket (including the meal), book with www.trybooking.com


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