Who am I?
My name is Josh Belperio.
I am a composer, a cabaret artist, a graduate of the Elder Conservatorium of Music, and a big fan of trains.
I believe in the power of music and lyrics to call people to action, to communicate a message through feeling and to capture moments in history.
I have synaesethesia. This means that every time I write a word or play a note on the piano I see an associated colour in my mind.
I love the way music can colour a story.
I love how it can key directly into an audience’s emotions without them even knowing.
Almost like an ancient code that we all subconsciously know.
I think the world needs more colour.
And more things that bring us all together.
I can do this with my music.
And so that’s why I do.
Dear Scott Morrison
In my synaesthesia, I see the name of Australia's current Prime Minister as orange.
Orange is the colour of the silly Hawaiian shirt I dressed him in for this video.
And orange is the colour of the country currently going up in flames while he fiddles.
Here is my open letter to him.
This song has currently raised $223 for the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal.
What else can you do?
Find climate protests in your state here
Donate to Red Cross Disaster Relief here
Write to your Local MP to oppose the Religious Freedom Bill here
Dear Malcolm Turnbull
'Malcolm', the former Prime Minister of Australia, is blue in my mind.
So was his political party.
And in 2017 he did some things which made me feel pretty blue:
He decided to put Australia through a divisive and traumatic public debate over gay marriage
when he could have just legalised it with a vote in Parliament.
So I wrote an open letter to him
Where, in rhyme, I outlined my outrage and grievances against him.
And it sort of became my own queer rights anthem
during a period that was so horrible for so many of us.
I posted it online, and it got shared around a bit.
(Okay, about quarter of a million people saw it).
So I released the song for purchase, where the money went to charity
and as a result some very generous people raised over $3,000 for QLife
– Australia's national queer counselling service.
Even though the plebiscite has long since passed, you can still buy this song below,
and the funds will still be donated to QLife.
In my synaesthesia, 30,000 Notes is green.
This show is a cross-artform theatrical experiment
with a surround sound choir and string quartet,
a series of monologues,
and everything I've ever written spread out on a 13 metre-long wall.
It's all about memory and how we capture the past.
It's about my Nonna
and how, in music and words, I tried to capture everything she meant to me..
It premiered on the 19th of February 2019 at the Adelaide Fringe.
At the Fringe awards, it won the Adelaide Festival Centre InSpace Development Award, the Holden Street Theatres Award, the Best Emerging Producer Award, and was nominated for the John Chataway Innovation Award.
It also won the Adelaide Theatre Guide Best Cabaret Award and was nominated for the Adelaide Critics Circle Innovation Award.
I want to do some more things with it, but I'm going to put it to bed for a while, because oh my god, it was a huge project, and I need to do other things for a bit!
Here is some of the music. Stream it here for free if you like. Or if you'd like to support me, you can download it and pay what you want.
Scarred For Life
Scarred For Life is red to me.
(well, it's actually orange, but my scar is red, so the show is red by association).
This was my debut solo show.
I filled it with original songs
about the time I fell off my bicycle,
ruptured my spleen,
and almost bled to death.
What I'm left with now is an eight inch scar on my abdomen.
I know – perfect material for a musical comedy.
I premiered it at the 2017 Adelaide Cabaret Fringe Festival
and something really interesting happened:
all kinds of people came up to me afterwards and told me their own medical stories.
Many showed me their scar(s).
And their willingness to share their stories inspired me to keep telling mine.
I was going to bring it to the Adelaide Fringe 2020, at Holden Street Theatres,
But I decided to bring a new show instead. It's here.
Scarred For Life
Theatre & Film Scoring
Morning Whiskey [Short Film]
This score was fun because I got to play with a full orchestra (in sample sets), a lot of bowed cymbal, and all of the horror genre tropes! The film tells the story of a young couple who are crumbling under the pressure of a life they can't afford. That's when a loanshark named Lou arrives with an offer that the two of them can't resist.
Morning Whiskey 2:120:00 / 2:12
19 Weeks is a beautiful site-specific work that is presented in a swimming pool. To score it, I went for lots of swirling electric guitar looping effects and a live string quartet. Here is the synopsis: In 2016, playwright Emily Steel had a termination after her baby was diagnosed with Down Syndrome. This is her story. It’s sad and funny, familiar and surprising, not self-righteous or guilt-ridden but complex and truthful. Come sit by the pool, put your feet in the water, and listen.
Here is everything else that I've done that isn't already on this website:
In 2019, I was employed as the live musician for Slingsby Theatre Company’s The Young King North America and Australia tour, which won a Ruby Award for Best Work or Event Outside a Festival. I have worked as a music tutor at Tutti Arts, the Adelaide Festival Centre’s OnStage Holiday Program, various South Australian high schools, and been composer in residence and assistant musical director of Festival Statesmen Chorus.
I graduated from the Elder Conservatorium of Music in 2015 with a Director’s Award and high distinctions for all portfolios of composition. My music has been performed by ensembles including the Australian Youth Orchestra, Canberra Youth Orchestra, and Gondwana Chorale. I have been writing and musically directing my own work since I was thirteen. Outside my own projects, I have musically directed and accompanied works presented the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, community theatre across Adelaide, and worked with a range of independent cabaret artists, and even a musical improvisation troupe.
In 2016, an original musical theatre project of mine underwent its first stage of development, produced by Release Creative, and in collaboration with Uncle Moogy and other community members of the Ngarrindjeri nation.