Australian musician, actor and comedian, Tim Minchin and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra have joined forces to raise awareness of the debilitating symptoms of Motor Neurone Disease (MND) by performing a moving rendition of Neil Finn’s ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ to launch MND Australia’s new campaign ‘The Fading Symphony.’
The campaign aims to highlight the impact of MND -- a progressive, terminal disease that can strike people young and old -- and claims the lives of two people in Australia every day while another two are diagnosed.
Devastatingly, the average life expectancy for people living with the disease is 27 months. In which time they progressively lose the use of their limbs and the ability to speak, swallow and breathe whilst their mind and senses usually remain intact.
Off the back of last year's Ice Bucket Challenge campaign, awareness for the disease has significantly increased however, there is still no cure.
“Our goal is to strive towards a world without MND and in particular, strive for a cure and the most effective treatment for people living with the disease,” Tim Hynes, Vice President MND Australia told The Huffington Post Australia.
Filmed at the City Recital Hall in Sydney, the video features Minchin and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra emphasising the physical impacts of the disease metaphorically through the deteriorating performances of the artists.
Tim Minchin interviewing Kirsten Harley, a wife and mother living with motor neurone disease and MND Australia board member.
Both Minchin, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and all of the production and creative partners involved offered their services free of charge for the cause, while Crowded House frontman Neil Finn gave special permission for ‘Don’t Dream It’s Over’ to be used.
Just over a minute into performing ‘Don’t Dream it’s Over’, Minchin and the orchestra fall abruptly silent as if they were affected by MND.
“We’re going to have parts of the orchestra dropping out at different times until slowly it’s just me and then just my hands and then just one finger,” Minchin said.
Viewers are asked to donate a minimum of $5 to help the fight against MND. They are rewarded with the orchestra coming back to life and performing the rest of the iconic song to a superb moving crescendo.
“It brings a tear to our eyes every time we watch the video and we think it will do the same for the wider community,” Hynes said.
Minchin, who is based in Los Angeles has had a huge year bringing his much-celebrated ‘Matilda the Musical’ to Australia -- an adaptation of Roald Dahl’s novel -- in which he wrote the music and lyrics for.
"I hope that through music and theatrics, we’re able to increase awareness of the devastating impact of MND and help raise much needed funds for the disease," Minchin said.
To donate, head to 'The Fading Symphony.'