Fly My Pretties
Today, astute reader, we shall lament the apparent loss of the Big Production. That auspicious (and all too rare these days) occasion where a group sees fit to showcase more than just a mere gig. Where the group in question puts on a show, a production, something more than just people on a stage playing music; an all ‘round extravaganza, the likes of which don’t often makes appearances in this fast-paced world of ours where instant gratification is an ethos and the watchword is Now.
Of course, one need look no further back than Pink Floyd to get an idea of where we’re coming from here – these cats were all about the big picture; the music, the lights, the visuals, the stage props, all closely interwoven to present something in a variety of different forms, a feast for all the senses. Another example, a more recent one and one perhaps not so ostentatious, is North Coast group The Windy Hills, who soundtrack, live, surf films put together by renowned filmmaker (and Hills’ guitarist) Andrew Kidman. Not as far out as the Floyd, but a combination of elements aiming to give the audience something other than just the run-of-the-mill fodder so prevalent in today’s age.
Who knows why the Big Production doesn’t make as many appearances as perhaps it used to. You would imagine the cost would be prohibitive, and perhaps people are just lazy these days, short attention spans and all that. Whatever the reasons, fair reader, we lament the loss of it, because seeing something like that really draws you in, gives you a sense of what the group are looking to convey through something other than their music; it makes you feel they care, and that’s a fine thing indeed. Enter, Fly My Pretties, a collective out of New Zealand who have made it their mission thus far (since their inception in 2003) to think, act, play and perform outside the box that has for so long constricted and constrained so many artists. For this collective is all about the Big Production, make no mistake about it.
“Well, it’s just what we do,” shrugs co-founder of Fly My Pretties, Mikee Tucker, who also heads up Loop, an NZ media group who tag themselves as “a multi-level medium for new ways of thinking in music and motion graphics”, the group behind FMP. “What Loop really prides itself in doing is next level production and giving more for your dollar than just a band standing on a stage with a good light show. For us, it’s just taking that appreciation of the music to the next level.”
Let us, handsome reader, take in the big picture: Fly My Pretties is a collective consisting (in their present guise) of 16 musicians, plus another 16-odd VJs, lighting, sound and graphic designers. They’re heading to Australia for the first time this week, just for the one show, but it’s a show that will stand out – the first act, according to Tucker, consists of live visuals playing in time with the music, based around the interpretations of visual artist, Haley King. “Basically, when we put a new show together, the 16 cast members who write songs are asked to put two or three songs into a pool and we turn that into the new album, which is essentially the first set,” he explains.
“And so each new song in that first set, Hayley will interpret into a beautiful piece of art which is based on what the song’s about, what the artist is about,” he continues. “So there’s an exhibition in the foyer [of those pieces]… and then a team of boys basically deconstruct and reconstruct and mess with that until it integrates into the song. It won’t just be the painting appearing or the painting sitting there, there’s some pretty unique and creative ways that that’s happening.”
Samuel J. Fell