What is UPF? First of all, we must be clear that UPF is not a 'band'. United Progressive Fraternity is the project which fulfils a lifelong ambition and passion of Mark Truey Trueack; to bring people together under a common love of music and concern for humanitarian issues and the environment.
Truey explains "The more people that are involved to help us, whether it be from a musical, artistic, or a networking/media, the better our success will be in this. All commitments to the UPF project are tremendously valued and we really appreciate all that you do."
2. WHO IS 'TRUEY'
Mark Truey Trueack and Sean Timms made their mark on the progressive music scene down under with the band Unitopia, and were active from 1996 - 2014, releasing a total of 6 albums, including the acclaimed "One Night in Europe" DVD and live album, and a 2019 box set compilation entitled 'More Than A Dream - The Dream Complete’. Sean went on to form Southern Empire, while Mark founded UPF.
Notable Unitopia songs include The Great Reward, and This Time, which also feature in the 2019 bonus album, ‘Reimagining’ by the Romantechs (more about this below).
3. VISION REALISED
With the release of the first UPF album, Fall in Love with the World in 2014, Truey declared, “Our planet is not happy in so many ways; our climate is constantly changing, religious intolerance leads to conflict, bloodshed, and outright war in an already unstable social system."
The album’s signature title track, “Fall in Love with the World” embodies the core message most succinctly.
Enter Steve Unruh
Truey connected with Steve Unruh, one of the brilliant guest musicians on FILWTW during a visit to Rhode Island, USA in 2015. They felt an immediate cosmic kinship and began to collaborate full time on production, arrangement, songwriting and recording for the second UPF album, Planetary Overload.
Steve brought his amazing talents on flute, violin, mandolin, keyboards, guitar, vocals, composition and studio engineering. With an inseparable bond between them, Truey and Steve have gone on to blaze a remarkable path for UPF - enlisting the crème de la crème of guest musical collaborators spanning the genres of rock, progressive rock, world music, orchestral, and jazz fusion.
4. PLANETARY OVERLOAD
Planetary Overload represents the culmination of more than four years of collaboration with international guest musicians, a team of talented songwriters and arrangers, support from documentary film directors and environmental organisations, endorsements from climate scientists, and features the voices of prominent spokespersons such as Jane Goodall, Sir David Attenborough, Dr. James E. Hansen, David Suzuki, and others.
The urgency of the message in Planetary Overload cannot be overstated – “Our entire survival depends on what action humanity takes in the next few years, and the United Progressive Fraternity is striving to create the best musically communicated albums ever made. Together we must make a change to save our distressed planet.”
The message continues to reach out via Truey's creative flair for experimenting with other musical styles. Truey's pet project about romantic themed songs turned into the Chris Lebled-Mark Trueack-Steve Unruh trio called the Romantechs, who will be releasing a bonus companion disc with each of the two Planetary Overload albums, and a USA mini-tour is in the works for later in 2019.
Jon Anderson, who has collaborated with Christophe Lebled on several albums, says: “It has been almost impossible to find a musician who can make music as Vangelis does, and here we have Chris Lebled, a wonderful music man very capable of morphing into many styles of music, and sound very unique at the same time.”
5. WHAT'S NEXT - THE VISION CONTINUES
Expect United Progressive Fraternity to impact the world in a major way with a multi-sensory full musical production tour in 2020 encompassing the entirety of the Planetary Overload albums, with full piece orchestra. This combined stage musical represents a message of love, hope, and peace for the planet from an international fraternity of musicians.
UPF events will include strategic partnerships with eco-friendly companies, distribution of information supporting sustainable consumer habits such as recycling, reusable items, clean energy adoption, talks, documentary films, convention style booths, roadshow type attractions, product endorsements and offerings.
UPF is in negotiations for mini-shows in 2019 and drawing up plans and preparations to perform the entire album parts 1 and 2 of Planetary Overload in a live tour in 2020.