Welcome back. I hope you had a wonderful festive season and that 2016 has started well for you. It’s certainly been a busy and exciting first quarter for me.
I started the year performing and speaking in Ireland at one of the most interesting arts and disability conferences I have ever attended. You can read my reflections on the experience here:
Before that, I celebrated International day of People with disability in Jakarta where I spent five days meeting with arts and cultural organisations and performing with internationally acclaimed pianist Ananda Sucarlan at the Australian ambassador’s residence. In addition to performing some tracks from “Fine Line”, I also performed some of Ananda’s classical pieces in Indonesian. Having just recovered from a serious case of tonsillitis, and having no previous knowledge of Indonesian, I was a little tense to say the least, but managed to pull it off.
Katie Keys is one of the artists who inspired me to make “Fine Line”. So I am very excited about our new collaboration. Katie is a poet, writer, arts manager and advocate. We met when she was the CEO of Arts Access Australia, the organisation I now run. I was intrigued by her creative discipline to write a poem a day on twitter. You can follow @tinylittlepoems and enjoy her 140 character poems. Her conscious decision to keep creativity on her agenda whilst managing a national organisation with limited resources made me re-evaluate my own approach to my arts practice … and here I am.
I asked Katie if she would write a series of poems in response to my songs. To read the first of them, which is in response to “Monsters”, visit:
While I’m on the subject of collaborations, I want to let you know about another musical one which is close to my heart. In my last newsletter, I mentioned I am president of Blind Citizens Australia, the national consumer organisation of people who are blind or vision-impaired. Some friends of mine have recently collaborated on a fantastic new theme song for BCA’s national radio program, New Horizons. You can hear an interview with song-writer, Steve Richardson and listen to the track here:
I wrote this track at Easter in 2013. I have selected it because as I write this article, Easter is upon us again. It is a reflection on the tension I was feeling between enjoying my new and very different Easter celebrations after moving to Hobart in 2012 and the life I had left behind in Brisbane. It strikes me that not much has changed. I still don’t miss the Brisbane weather, but the friends and family I left behind are still very much missed. Especially the opportunity to share the little things.
To find out how to buy the track, go to:
You can also stream it on Apple Music or Spotify.
ten degrees outside the leaves are falling
And I begin to slide.
From my past I hear you calling,
The ones I’ve left behind.
Chorus: Well I really really really really really don’t miss the weather,
But I really really miss you more than ever.
Really want to be there, really really wanna be the one who shares
All the little things, just like we used to.
Yeah I really really miss you.
It’s a special day and we are laughing
But my heart feels far away.
From my past I hear you asking,
Asking me to stay.
Happy and sad they collide.
This has been an unexpected bumpy ride.
And I hope that when I get to the other side I’ll be OK,
I’ll be OK but until then, until then.
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