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Magic Amidst the Chaos


Joshua Appleby

About This Project:

Improvised music is a spontaneous creation through interaction between musicians in real time. However, due to restrictions implicated through social distancing, music makers are taking it upon themselves to improvise.

The four tracks created as part of the project are the result of a creative experiment focused on the process of producing entirely improvised music in an isolated environment.

The rules were: No preconceived material. No direction. No preparation. All musicians recorded as they heard the music the first time. The process started with each musician concomitantly recording a spontaneous composition. Once the first layer was complete, the music was digitally passed along for the next musician to improvise upon.

Sax, drums, bass, guitar: Each track was passed along four times, in the same order, until all musicians had contributed to each composition. For compositions being produced at the same time, layer by layer.

As is the nature of the pandemic, there is bound to be some magic amidst the chaos.

The Project Outcome:

Josh Appleby – sax
Scott French – guitar
Liam Butler – double bass
Sam Mitchell – drums

Chaossciliation was created in the following order: sax, drums, bass, guitar.

7 Minutes of Anxiety was created in the following order: drums, bass, guitar, sax.

AllTheWhiteNotes was created in the following order: bass, guitar, sax, drums.

Not So Easy was created in the following order: guitar, sax, drums, bass.

Mixed by Scott French at Lovestreet Studios.
Album cover art by Emily Appleby

About the Artists:

Joshua Appleby
Joshua is a Gold Coast based saxophonist, educator, and composer, who has been active within the South East Queensland music community since the age of thirteen. Joshua leads his own project focused on improvisation and original composition. He performs regularly in everything from cozy, intimate venues to festivals of thousands, with numerous bands spanning Queensland as well as touring interstate, New Zealand, Europe, and Japan. In addition to his own ensemble, Joshua is a founding member of Brisbane based band Cheap Fakes, a long-standing member of roots act, Chocolate Strings, and works regularly as a session musician. Joshua has shared the stage with Australian icons such as Katie Noonan and Nicky Bomba (John Butler Trio & Melbourne Ska Orchestra) as well as supported a number of high profile musicians such as James Morrison, Nile Rodgers (USA), Charles Bradley (USA), The Rhythm Hunters (CA), Charles Walker (USA) and Cody ChesnuTT (USA).

Liam Butler
Liam is a bassist, composer and multi-instrumentalist that has been working in South East Queensland for the past several years. He is a founding member of the renowned jazz group “Cigany Weaver” and recently received a Highly Commended at the 2019 Queensland Music Awards for his composition ‘Janome’. After completing his Bachelor of Music (majoring in Jazz Bass) at the Queensland Conservatorium, Liam developed a reputation as a session musician, playing a wide variety of genres and styles on various instruments. He has toured nationally and internationally, playing at venues such as Woodford Folk Festival, Dark Mofo (TAS), Blue Mountains Festival (NSW) and Brisbane City Hall, and alongside notable artists such as Marcio Bahia (BRA), Caleb Colledge and Kym Ambrose. He is currently based on the southern Gold Coast.

Scott French
Scott of Lovestreet Studios has been a key figure in the Gold Coast music scene for over 10 years, recording, producing and mixing countless local bands in a variety of genres, including artists Beccy Cole and Cheap Fakes as well as playing in multiple bands (Cheap Fakes, A French Butler Called Smith, Felicity Lawless, Volcanic Lovers, Alisha Todd, Allensworth (US), Little Red Company + more).

Sam Mitchell
Sam has performed all over Australia. He is a graduate of the Queensland University of Technology’s Bachelor of Music program and is the Percussion Specialist at Wavell State High School. As a session player, Sam has toured a nationally and written music with Cheap Fakes, Michelle Xen and the Chris Poulsen Trio.


Magic amidst the Chaos has been supported by HOTA, Home of the Arts through HOTA’s Artist Fund: Rage against the V(irus).

Read about the other projects supported by the Artist Fund.

Image credit: Joshua Appleby (pictured).