Home Grown Song Spotlight

Every two weeks the Home Grown Spotlight will shine the followspot on one of the Aussie originals available for purchase on the Home Grown website. Featuring fun interviews with writers and performers to give everyone some backstage insight into what it takes to create new Australian musical-theatre.

This week we feature…

Song: No One Will Bruise
Composer: Matthew Lee Robinson
Where to find it: http://www.homegrownaus.com/store/no-one-will-bruise

Question Time with Matthew Lee Robinson

1) Atlantis has had a wonderfully collaborative developmental journey thus far. Are there any moments that stick out in your memory from the initial workshops as being particularly momentous, or influential?

A whole team of gifted actors, both in the Aussie and U.S. industries and those at WAAPA, brought so much life to the material during the early development. Sitting on the couch staring at the yet-to-be-written-on 2013 WAAPA storyboard, which was sprawled across my living room wall was both happily terrifying and critical for the show moving forward. My (now fiancé) Scott Morris encouraged me to put it all up there to visualise the trajectory. That’s when the current three-act play structure started to emerge.

2) How has this song in particular changed since the first WAAPA workshop in 2012? and why?

This is actually the only song in ATLANTIS that melodically and lyrically hasn’t changed since the first draft. The only minor edits have been the optional top F Patrice Tipoki spectacularly devised in preparation for a Home Grown concert and the fact that since Draft 1, it’s now been assigned to a different character. In essence, the solo version is as it was when Rebecca Hetherington first sang it in her first year at WAAPA.

3) This song marks arguably the most pivotal moment in the whole show. It is specific to its circumstances, whilst at the same time evoking human themes that are very relevant today. Can you tell us about what drove and inspired you to write such a passionate song?

One of the first lessons I learnt from Stephen Schwartz was universality through specificity. I went straight to the part of me that has felt kept silent by agreeing with accepted social mores. What would I want to say at a gay rights rally? What would I want the NAACP in the U.S. to have as an anthem? The girl who sings this song has become a refugee by no fault of her own, and is condemned by those with no understanding of her past and her motives. I take it personally, because it’s happening right now.

If you’re keen to hear this song performed live, Matt will be featuring it – along with a collection of his other songs – at his upcoming New Voices concerts around Australia. The sheet music to No One Will Bruise can be found at www.homegrownaus.com, along with many more Australian songs from some of the country’s top writers. See you in two weeks!