Monday, October 31, 2016

'Singing from Country' launched at the Maldon Folk Festival

It has been with pride and pleasure I have had a place on the Singing from Country steering committee representing Storytelling Australia Victoria. Any project that aims to deepen connection to the land through understanding is a winner in my book.
 Uncle Rick Nelson: Welome to Country
This event was the pilot project; the goal is to eventually roll the idea across Victoria. Almost two years in the planning, it was wonderful to see the hard work come together in a day of workshops and a powerful and joyous concert.

The pilot Singing from Country was launched on Dja Dja Wurrung Country  bringing together traditional knowledge holders, ecologists, naturalists, singers, songwriters and choir leaders.

Workshop: Rebecca Phillips, Djali Balag (Langugae Group on language and culture)
Two months ago, four of Australia's celebrated songwriters were immersed in full day of presentations and stories to assist them in the task of writing two songs each, to be arranged for community choirs.

Neil Murray (songwriter)
These songs were revealed at the Maldon Folk Folk Festival as works in progress (still to be arranged and polished) at the concert. I am still smiling and savoring the delight of the day. To hear a hall full of people singing about Allocasuarina, swathes of wildflowers, skin and bark, to hear a welcome sung in Dja Dja Wurrung - powerful and memorable. A wonderful beginning.

 Songwriter Eva Popov (left) with the help of friends
Hats off to the Dja Dja WurrungCommunity Music Victoria, Victorian Aboriginal Corporation of Languages, Connecting Country  

So many people to acknowledge who have contributed to the project so far. I suggest you visit the Singing from Country website, join the Facebook Group and follow the journey.

Songwriter Kavisha 

Songwriter Carl Pannuzzo

Friday, October 28, 2016

'Tales from the Flyway': Sunday 27 November

click on poster to enlarge
Sarah and I will be performing some of our Tales from the Flyway during an exhibition curated by visual artist Kate Gorringe-Smith.  Kate shares the passion for migratory shore birds, their plight and the metaphor their epic journeys gives to our lives.

FROM A HOME TO A HOME: A STORY OF MIGRATION seeks to raise awareness of the migratory shorebirds that travel the  East Asian Australasian Flyway and their habitats and raises empathy for people who have migrated to these shores looking for sanctuary.

The exhibition includes works from seven of the twenty-three Flyway countries. Artist include: Kate Gorringe-Smith (Curating artist), Cui Xiao Hua, Kyoko Imazu, Nakarin Jaikla, Vicki Kinai, Andrej Kocis, Helen Kocis Edwards, Khue Nguyen, Minh Phan, Ema Shin, En En See, Pamela See, My Le Thi, Pimpisa Tinpalit, Haily Tran, Rebecca Young.

Exhibition details
Friday 25 November – Thursday 8 December
Opening: Friday 25 November , 6.00–9.00pm
Brunswick Street Gallery, 322 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy
Gallery hours: Tues–Fri 10am–8pm; Sat–Sun 10–6pm

Here's one of the Tales we may tell. Will be hard to choose, we love telling them all.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

House Concert: C.J. Dennis The Songs of the Sentimental Bloke

Its been a quiet few months as I've been recovering from a broken arm. Miserable as it is,  I have been enjoying the chance to focus on writing. I love writing, once I get started, but if if the sun is shining I'm easily distracted. So.. not able to drive, ride my bike or work in the garden, one hand typing has been my thing for the past eight weeks.

I like to think I'm not superstitious but I do have a streak of superstitious caution when it comes to talking about projects that are still waiting for that contract that says - 'its a goer'. So I won't reveal too much, suffice to say I have been immersed in mid 19th century to early 20th century Australian English.

This culminated in a House Concert: C.J. Dennis The Songs of the Sentimental Bloke. My friends Alan and Dave Davies created a 30 minute piece around 4 poems from The Bloke a while ago, to celebrate the 100th Anniversary since publication. Dave has been memorising and reciting verse for over 60 years and his son Alan is a dab hand at the art form as well. The poems were linked by Australian Bush tunes, selected and played by Nicola Johnson. I had the pleasure of being 'The Narrator'.

My friend Alex Kharnam arrived with a truck load of camera gear and lights and filmed the event for posterity. The results will be available for all to enjoy.

Dave, Alan and Nicola are friends from the Newport Fiddle and Folk Club, a great caldron of creativity in Melbourne.

I love House Concerts and aim to host a few every year. They are a great reminder that houses are not just for eating and sleeping.


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