On 31 March, UPF will be formally announcing their existence with the video release of “The Water’, from the debut album ‘Fall in Love with the World’ (due for release in October 2014) and which includes a collaboration with ex- Yes front man Jon Anderson and input from former Genesis guitarist, Steve Hackett. Steve Unruh will also appear as a special guest on the album, playing the violin and flute.
UPF – The United Progressive Fraternity was conceived by Mark Trueack, formerly the singer, songwriter and co-producer of well-respected and internationally successful rock band, Unitopia.
Whilst working on the Unitopia album, “Covered Mirror”, Mark was keen to explore new possibilities and to work with artists from all around the globe.
In July 2011, Mark decided to drop in and see Stephen Layton to discuss some potential song ideas. Stephen had been working on a couple of projects with former Yes lead vocalist and composer, Jon Anderson (“Survival and other Stories” and the sequel to Jon’s classic “Olias of Sunhillow”).
It wasn’t long before Mark and Stephen had developed some great arrangements for a concept album to be called “The Hope”
Stephen’s undoubted song arrangement talents in combination with Mark’s creative vision gelled perfectly.
Stephen also realised that perhaps there could be a real opportunity here to bring the two voices of Mark and Jon Anderson together. Stephen contacted Jon and asked him if he would be interested in working on this project and he agreed!
The piece that was selected to test this exciting collaborative prospect is called “The Water”
Over the next six months, Mark started speaking with artists from around the World that he felt would complement his voice and the new sound he was looking for. These included Hasse Froberg (The Flower Kings), Nikki Squire (Esquire), Jerry Marotta (Peter Gabriel), Ian Ritchie (Roger Waters), Guy Manning (Manning, The Tangent), John Jowitt (IQ, Frost*, Arena), Billy Sherwood and Tom Brislin.
The arrangements for the HOPE project were complete, but due to commitments with Unitopia, Mark decided to put the album on hold for a while.
During the latter half of 2012, Mark and Unitopia partner, Sean Timms, started to work on a new album concept for the band called “Turn Left”. The idea had come from the 2010 Unitopia tour, where the band made several wrong turns traversing throughout Europe! Both agreed that this would be a great concept for an album…making decisions and changing directions etc.
Whilst on that same tour, Mark also wrote song concepts for “The bridge that binds” and this was the first piece that post-tour, Sean started to arrange.
So, from late 2012 and into 2013, the pair was having a ball creating songs that would hopefully form the next Unitopia studio album.
However in August 2013, Sean had a change of heart with regards to working on any more Unitopia material. Many things contributed to his decision, but in the end, plans for the “Turn Left” album, in its current format, were scrapped.
But with all of that music now created, the pair agreed that they should still use the songs and focus on individual new Projects with different musicians. To Mark, this was really exciting, as his vision of UPF fitted perfect with taking these songs and reshaping them into something quite different from the Unitopia sound. Having enough material for two albums was going to be a lot of fun and so the next logical thing to do was to start to rework the songs that Mark had already vocalised.
To bring all this life, Mark was going to need partners to help mix, rearrange and engineer these great songs. Towards Christmas 2013, Mark contacted his good friends Matt Williams, David Hopgood and Tim Irrgang to see if they were interested in touring and being a part the new production.
To enhance this line up, Mark thought that it would be nice to involve some ‘kindred spirit’ musicians who were based in the UK. Calls were made to Ian Ritchie (who toured with Unitopia in 2010), Guy Manning (who Mark had met in the UK and had become good friends with) and talented bass player Steve Gee (Landmarq).
Thus, the proposed line-up of UPF was completed.
The demand for Unitopia music had doubled since the band had last toured Europe and the UK and so the opportunity now with UPF was to take a brand new album on tour and to present a show with both new material and some classic older pieces as well.
Mark’s vision for the underlying musical content of UPF music is that it will not be that dissimilar to that of Unitopia, however, the sound will be much edgier and less keyboard dependant.
Having several producers and songwriters within the core group will certainly give the listener a banquet of textures and moods!
Unlike Unitopia though, UPF will always invite special guests aboard for albums. This ‘open door’ policy will allow Mark to use producers and musicians as the music dictates, whilst also allowing each and every musician involved, a chance to put their own individual stamp on the music.
The songs, written by Trueack, Williams and Timms are published by
Additonal arrangements by Guy Manning
“Fall in Love with the World” will be the first UPF release, containing over 60 minutes of music that will take the listener on journey of self-belief. The album will be officially launched at the UK’s Summers End Festival in autumn 2014.
Fall in Love With the World
4. The Water (with Jon Anderson and feat. Matt Williams)
5. Don’t look back
6. Travelling Man (The Story of Eshu)
7. Fall in Love with the World
Matt Williams, Mark Trueack, David Hopgood and Sean Timms
David Hopgood (Drums/Vocals) [Unitopia]
Guy Manning (Keyboards/Guitars/Mandolins/Vocals) [Manning, The Tangent]
Ian Ritchie (Sax, Flutes./vocals) [Roger Waters, Steve Hillage and Robbie Neville]
Mark (truey) Trueack (Vocals) [Unitopia]
Matt Williams (Guitars/Vocals) [Unitopia]
Steve Gee (Bass/Vocals) [Landmarq]
Tim Irrgang (Percussion) [Unitopia]
Jon Anderson, Steve Hackett, Steve Unruh, Mary Katherine, Brittany and Holly Trueack