Grigoryan Brothers have a 15-date tour of east-coast Australia April-May 2021.
From a largely stationary past year, guitar bosses the Grigoryan Brothers will soon travel the east coast of Australia for a run live shows of their movie soundtrack 'A Boy Called Sailboat'.
Leonard Grigoryan is at home in Sydney for the time being, as he has been for most of last year; though he and brother Slav have just played shows in Victoria and Adelaide.
"We've been touring together for almost 20 years now, and [2020 was] the first time that we really have taken a break, so it's definitely strange."
With state lines between them, the pair also managed to complete an album during 2020.
Full of gratitude, Leonard explains: "We were commissioned to write some music for the National Museum of Australia, and the timing worked out that we spent most of last year writing music."
That album, 'This Is Us: A Musical Reflection of Australia', is currently the #1 ARIA Classical Album for the third week running (as of 5 April). "Luckily it all worked out really well."
Although it might sound like the perfect COVID project, the album had actually been initiated a few years earlier by the National Museum of Australia. "There was no concrete idea as to what they wanted us to do, it was quite free."
The brothers were shown some of the 300,000 objects by curators, and regaled with the tales of said antiquities over a few visits.
One tale in particular stood out from the pack. "For me, one of the most powerful objects was the Tasmanian Tiger," Leonard says.
"It wasn't on display at the time, it was sort of hidden away in the bowels of the museum. We were taken down this rabbit warren – they've got these labs – and all of a sudden there was this thing and it looks so alive.
"It's just sort of suspended in this liquid," Leonard continues. "It's very strange to be looking at something that looks so alive but hasn't been around for such a long time."
The pair composed pieces inspired by 18 of the Museum’s objects, including Sir Donald Bradman's first bat and a buoy from the Tampa – the stuff movies are made of. "We felt like we were a bit like Indiana Jones, looking through all these historical artefacts."
Their previous project, and subject of the upcoming shows – the soundtrack for the 'A Boy Called Sailboat' – began when producer Andrew Curry approached them ten years ago, but still feels like a relatively new project.
"We have been involved with films before, but usually just as musicians performing, never actually writing music. [It's a] pretty amazing experience in terms of how long everything takes."
Written/ directed by Australian Cameron Nugent and starring J.K. Simmons, 'A Boy Called Sailboat' is a heartwarming, dusty story about a boy and his ukulele.
The soundtrack is very South American: all classical nylon strings, on their handmade (and carbon-offset) Redgate guitars. "[Jim Redgate] makes incredible guitars," Leonard says.
"I think if I had all the money in the world, I'd still want to play his instruments."
Future plans for the brothers include Handel keyboard suites their father has arranged for two guitars, and tunes with Spanish flavours – something they've never really played together professionally.
Expect to see a few albums dropping in quick succession, as well as Leonard's second baby in June, accompanied with a little time off.
Grigoryan Brothers 2021 Tour Dates
Thu 15 Apr - MONA (Hobart) Fri 16 Apr - The Paragon Theatre (Queenstown) Sat 17 Apr - Star Theatre (Launceston) Mon 19 Apr - Burnie Arts & Function Centre Tue 20 Apr - Stanley Town Hall (TAS) Sat 24 Apr - Adelaide Festival Centre Tue 27 Apr - Jetty Memorial Theatre (Coffs Harbour) Wed 28 Apr - CHEC (Coffs Harbour) Thu 29 Apr - Byron Theatre (Byron Bay) Fri 30 Apr - The Regent (Northern Rivers) Sat 1 May - HOTA (Gold Coast) Sun 2 May - RPAC (Brisbane) Tue 13 May - Lizotte's Newcastle Fri 14 May - Manning Entertainment Centre (Taree) Sat 15 May - Chapel Theatre (Tamworth)