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Blasko (ATOM Study Guide)

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Synopsis

Sarah Blasko is a pioneer of the Australian independent music scene, and has been a steadily growing music icon since the early 2000s. She has been nominated for countless awards, including winning Best Female Artist and Best Independent Album Release at the ARIA awards. She has gone on to become one of Australia’s most successful singer-songwriters, walking the line between commercial success and artistic integrity with dignity. Sarah’s music is filled with a cinematic sense of wonder and melancholy. Her new venture will be her most courageous undertaking yet. Blasko follows Sarah as she creates an album of songs from scratch in a live theatre space with long-time collaborators. Together they create an album in a high concept setting – a theatre space in an arts centre complete with film projections, mirror ball and lighting – a very different way to write an album. With unique and intimate access, the creative process of an acclaimed singer songwriters is laid bare. The drama lies in the fact that Sarah has never attempted anything like this before. Weaving through an observational documentary style are biographical beats that tell the story of Sarah’s life from childhood to adulthood. Blasko explores Sarah’s life and history through her body of work. Her story involves an upbringing by religious missionaries and the loss of her mother when she was twenty-three. Narrated by Sarah herself, Blasko is an intimate portrait of an artist at a crucial turning point.

Curriculum links

Blasko is suitable for secondary students in Years 9 – 12 undertaking:

  • ENGLISH, MEDIA, MUSIC

As a curriculum resource in English, Blasko expands and enriches students’ understanding of human experiences. Activities have been designed to allow students to discuss, interpret and evaluate the film, including its ideas, characters, themes, contexts and cultural significance; and to identify, analyse and evaluate the way the film uses structures, features and conventions to construct meaning. In Music, Blasko develops students’ personal awareness of the expressive and aesthetic qualities of music and music making. Activities have been designed to allow students to discuss, and interpret the music of Sarah Blasko and her career as a singer; and to observe and critically discuss the artistic process documented in the film. In studying the practice of Blasko and her fellow musicians, students can then draw on their learning to optimise their own approach to composition and performance. Media students can use Blasko to describe, analyse and interpret a professional media product in terms of how it communicates ideas to a specific audience. Activities have been designed to allow students to describe and discuss ways that a documentary depicts events, people, places and themes. Teachers are advised to consult the Australian Curriculum online at https://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/ and curriculum outlines relevant to their state or territory for further information.

The curriculum in this study guide is organised into three sections:

  • BEFORE VIEWING This section provides opportunities for students to engage in a discussion of the ideas and issues relevant to Blasko.
  • CLOSE ANALYSIS This section of the study guide provides opportunities for students to make a close analysis of Blasko.
  • AFTER VIEWING This section provides opportunities for students to create responses inspired by their discussion and analysis of Blasko and to pursue further investigations of the ideas and issues relevant to the documentary. The activities in each section promote student engagementand active participation via individual reflection, class discussions, and small group and team work. Multiple activities are provided to allow teachers to select those which will best suit the demands of the subject and the needs of the students. If you do not own copies of Sarah Blasko’s music, you can listen online by accessing Sarah Blasko’s artist profile on Spotify at https://open.spotify.com/search/results/sarah%20blasko.

Spotify has compiled a Sarah Blasko playlist which can be accessed at https://open.spotify.com/user/spotify/playlist/37i9dQZF1DWY52ZLIhcvxM.

Watch music videos of Sarah Blasko’s songs on Sarah Blasko’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/SarahBlasko.

It is recommended that teachers preview Blasko.

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