Dave Faulkner is surprised when people don't realise it's possible a songwriter would be interested in music of all shapes and forms. Why wouldn't a famous Australian rock musician have opera season tickets?
"I have an incredibly diverse record collection. And it keeps getting more diverse as I live longer," he said.
The Hoodoo Gurus frontman, who has tickets to Wagner's Ring cycle in Brisbane next month, said he was pinching himself when the opportunity came through to play the band's back catalogue with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra.
"Obviously, when the Hoodoo Gurus started, there was no intention of us getting out of a corner pub. That was literally our only thought," Faulkner said.
In March next year, the band will take to the stage as part of Symphony in the Park, with fresh arrangements for a 40-piece orchestra by composer Alex Turley.
Faulkner said people forget orchestras - "the most sophisticated instrument ever created, really" - are very powerful.
"You know, we've got a powerful rock band, but I think they'll give us a run for our money as well when they get going. So I'm looking forward to that," he said.
Faulkner said he was more excited by the chance for the orchestra to accompany some of the band's overlooked and obscure tracks.
"I just know they're going to be a surprise to people, because they'll be like a new song for some people. But they'll be in such an incredible form, you know. I think it'll be quite amazing," he said.
A string quartet drawn from the Canberra Symphony Orchestra performed a rendition of the Hoodoo Guru's My Girl at the Canberra Museum and Gallery on Thursday, to mark the announcement of the concert.
Arts Minister Tara Cheyne said the concert would mark the next chapter in the innovative history of Symphony in the Park, and said the ACT was grateful for the Hoodoo Gurus' enthusiasm for partnering with the city and its orchestra.
Turley said it was an exciting opportunity to rearrange songs from the much loved Australian band.
"It was an instant 'yes' from me," Turley said.
The composer said Faulkner had been collaborative to work with on the project, and collaborations of this kind were a way to encourage a wider audience to experience a live symphony orchestra.
"I think that's the best you could hope for in this kind of thing. The end product, which is this massive collaboration between a rock band and a symphony orchestra is something that everyone's had enough input into," he said.
"And I think that we've got a good working relationship to make that happen."
The free concert will take place at Commonwealth Park on March 10, 2024, part of Canberra's Enlighten Festival.
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