For the past 20 or so years I’ve been involved with leading, composing for, arranging for, consulting with singers and choirs. Like most people I began at school. Singing was like flying to me or running as fast as you can, which I also did a lot of as a child. It was a dream space to live comfortably and happily and I suppose it still is. Its home.
Choirs are a very special place given that the singers surrender at will and leave their ego at the door.(erm…hopefully) Not so easily done as the voice is the first instrument of sound and meaning, a signature of it’s owner and so a vulnerable bag of stuff can accompany.
You’ve just got to give and breathe, be with your voice, be with the voices surrounding you and surrender. In this case it can change your life.
I dont feature as a soloist in any of the choirs, not really. Although , for almost 10 yrs I did write,conduct and solo with The Cafe of the Gate of Salvation and was also lucky enough to work as Tony Backhouse’s assistant which was an invaluable and cherished time.
I have a separate solo career working with instrumentalists on my own songs.
So today I find myself with a few different choirs based in Sydney. I also get called out to consult regularly on workshopping with choirs to work on blending and arrangements. I also work regularly in the Leadership sector of the community having worked with The Benevolent Society, CANTEEN, The Smith Family, Sydney Town Planners and others.
My first choir is, Another Roadside Attraction.
ARA have been together for 20yrs. They’re a grand mob of humans and after working with thousands of singers, I wouldn’t trade them. Our repertoire is a complex mix of simple tunes. One Day Soon by Luluc, Blue Spotted Tail by Fleet Foxes, Down, Down ,Down by Tom Waits, Imik Simik by Hindi Zahra and How to tame lions by Megan Washington, are just a few.
SING CITY on Wednesdays is held at The Sydney City Council, Town Hall House, available to all staff of the council. No photo’s yet.
..is a group of women who come together to assist the dying by their bedside. Singing quietly with intentional and caring love they are committed to assisting the dying on their journey from this earthly plane to the next.
Newtown High School of the Performing Arts. Sydney
Junior Extension Ensemble Choir. Years 8/9. Years 9/10. 2017.
As of last term of 2016 I will be leading an elite group of singers at Newtown Highschool of the Performing Arts. These kids are the bomb. I love them.
Cicada Choir is on the back burner as I step into NHSPA ensemble.
On Wednesday afternoon’s I have my children’s choir, Cicada. Every week In my lounge room 16 brilliant kids aged from 9 to 17 come to my house and we travel through songs I’ve written for them, songs they’ve written and some rather obscure other stuff. It’s my hour of healing. I’m loathed to go to a hall as the happiness we all experience is not found so easily. I’m often moved to weeping. I dont want to really work with schools anymore, they’ve just got it all so wrong. Each child deserves the right to feel special and we all get that in Cicada. If when they’re older they have a fond memory of a moment from my lounge room teaching them to sing in harmony then how wonderful. Remember the things that moved you as a kid, you never forget them. Every wednesday is like that. Blessed.
One day I’ll have to move from this rental and it’ll all be about how big the loungeroom is!