Happy New year and hope you have been refreshed by the festive season.
We're currently in the midst of final acting rehearsals for the "Australia Day" play which opens on Australia Day at Redland Museum. After 3 months immersed in it, I have to say it's been an absolute delight working with director, Ray Noonan, and fellow cast and crew from Mates Theatre Genesis.
I have vivid memories of feeling overwhelmingly awkward at school Speech and Drama classes, so it's been a wonderful surprise to discover that acting can be a ton of fun. It's a learning curve for sure, but I've got an inkling that's what makes it so enjoyable. My biggest lesson in this latest sojourn:
Drop the judgement!
Allow yourself to experiment and explore without judgement and wondrous things may develop.
Breaking News - two songs from dreams of a wildgoose are through to the "Top 30" in the Australian Songwriters Association - Songwriting Contest. "Stanley" - Ballad category "Mahatma" - Spiritual Category
Last month I put my hand up to do a stint of Public Speaking. It was a 12 minute prepared speech fashioned along the lines of a TED Talks event. It surprised me that I put myself forward, but on reflection I realise that I've had a long held fascination with Public Speaking.
In Grade 1, I spontaneously put up my hand to do a "Show and Tell" morning talk. I was super excited - our family had just returned from a trip to Mt. Isa, and I thought I had some interesting stories to share. Alas, when I walked to the front of the classroom and saw the sea of expectant faces staring at me, I froze. I stood there paralysed, trying to find the words, one word, any word...
After what seemed like an eternity, my very kind teacher, Mrs Johnson suggested I might like to sit down and perhaps speak again on another day. Well I never felt the desire to proffer myself again, but there were a number of occasions in the ensuing years, where it was no longer a voluntary exercise, but a compulsory activity.
I learnt from that experience the importance of preparation, and that with preparation, one could deliver a half-decent talk. On the occasions, where I've had to speak, I came to understand that Public Speaking really starts with the writing, which is an activity I've always savoured....
Standing at the kitchen bench, peeling carrots recently, it strikes me that the journey of recent years has been a marriage of DESIRE and FEAR.
There's been this carrot of possibilities constantly dangling in front of my beak...the possibility of creating something glorious and beautiful, the possibility of momentarily connecting with another being. As the story goes, to taste the carrot, one has to bust through the fear... the fear of being judged, the fear of failing, and ultimately the fear of being a complete goose.
One of the joys of experiencing art of any kind, whether it be visual art, music, poetry, novels, is the chance to glimpse the world through the eyes of another human being.
Often the designers and photographers who help shape the image of a musician go largely unacknowledged.
I'm so proud to congratulate Chris Hall for taking out the Best PR Photo Award at the recent QLD MUSIC DESIGn AWARDS ...and what was the photo?....none other than the cover shot from my album "dreams of a wildgoose".
Chris did an astounding job with the album artwork. I asked her to make the album cover that matched the music - and I reckon she nailed it! It so aptly symbolises my musical journey, which has been one of unfurling on so many levels. It represents joy, growth, possibilities, and pays tribute to my cultural heritage, and my place in the world as a "wildgoose".
Congratulations Chris!!! & such a gracious acceptance speech.
I have friends who'd say music is not about competition, and I'd agree. However, there's some burning desire for feedback on how the broader musical industry might guage these songs, and I keep entering! I guess external affirmation is always nice. That ol' chestnut "Stanley" & "Will I Remember" received a Semi-finalist placing in the UK Songwriting Contest 2015 "Mahatma" got an Honorable Mention! Happy goose.
I never imagined that making music could be part of my life experience, particularly since I've had a long held aversion (since kindy) to singing & performing. After accidentally writing my first song 5 years ago, I found myself so wrapped up in the joy of creating something new, that learning to sing and perform became a natural and necessary part of the journey.
Here's the video footage of the debut album launch concert ....i's not a flawless performance by any means, but certainly a milestone for this lil goose playing with a gaggle of real musicians, and being responsible for putting together a whole show.
On reflection, I realise the value is as much about the journey of unfurling, as it is the actual collection of songs. Don't we all do our best work when we follow what truly fires and grows us?
Thank you all the beautiful folk who were there for the Live Launch of the new album. It was wonderful to have some friendly supporters in the audience. Thank you for for being so receptive and for laughing in just the right spots.
Such a delight to play with the honking "wildgoose orchestra", my friends from Diddly Squat, and Michael Fix who joined us for one exquisite rendition of "Will I Remember". and heck yeah - I will long remember it!
One of the biggest thrills was seeing the introductory video projected up on the wall behind the stage. After spending many hours giggling to myself whilst putting this video together, it was a hoot to finally unleash and share it.
Here's the video teaser for the album which includes the intro we played at the live launch, and features additional exclusive candid "behind the scenes" footage from the recording studio. Look out for the shower cubicle which doubles as a vocal recording booth!!!
It's not quite Dolly Parton, but ain't all the joy in the trying? only a few more sleeps until Launch - November 21! and it's feeling more "spesh" by the minute. Rumour has it that the uber talented Micheal Fix will join us for a song! see ya there!