Notes from the Hard Road

Following on from the success of Seven Songs to Leave Behind in 2010, Daybreak Films again worked with the Melbourne International Arts Festival on the 2011 closing night concert held at the Myer Music Bowl. The concert, Notes from the Hard Road and Beyond featured international artists such as Mavis Staples, Joss Stone, Emmanuel Jal, Rickie-Lee Jones, along with Australian artists Paul Dempsey, Shellie Morris, Shane Howard, Archie Roach, Emma Donovan, Lou Bennett and others.

The concert was described as "an inspiring canon of songs from civil rights, anti-war and women's suffrage to environmentalism, feminism and the abolition movement in a glorious and daring celebration of the music of protest, rebellion, love and hope. Weaving together music by Billie Holiday, Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, Leonard Cohen, Pete Seeger and Green Day, to name just a few, notes from the hard road and beyond is a unique and joyous testament to the indomitable nature of the human spirit, expressed through music."

For the concert, we created an hour of lyrical and potent film sequences woven from found footage, archival sources and protest footage. These films provided accompaniments that were both contextual and poetic, allowing a cinematic insight into the worlds and emotions of the songs. For more information on Notes from the Hard Road and Beyond, see here.



  • Produced by Andrea Distefano & Natasha Gadd
  • Film content directed by Natasha Gadd & Rhys Graham
  • Research by Natasha Gadd, Andrea Distefano & Rhys Graham
  • Film content edited by Natasha Gadd
  • Technical Assistance by Hollie Fifer
  • Motion Graphics content created and animated by Darren Richmond
  • Show duration: 180 mins
  • Film content duration: 60 mins