A few weeks ago I saw and heard the wonderful Rory Mcleod in Yackandandah. A teller of stories collected from all round the world, from conversations with strangers, small moments and big events. With a tireless voice and a collection of instruments he caught us up til nearly midnight.

RoryMcleod@Yack

Checking out his website I realised again how travel is a great educator. The only time I’ve managed to leave this country was to visit my family in the Netherlands a dozen years ago. It was the stories that affected me most, and I made work about them for the next 2 years. Many of the artworks are back over there on loungeroom walls.

bells

dad's hands cropped

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Yack Folk Fest

March 27, 2011

Just a few pics from the wonderful Yackandandah Folk Festival. I only made it to the free stuff today, but normally a ticket to the whole weekend is the go. Live performance is the best – you never know what might happen!

yack fest 2011 1

yack fest 2011 2

yack fest 2011 3

While I’m on the subject of music, last week I saw these game gals, decked out in gingham pinnies, perform a few country songs from the US of A.

CCopy of Emmylou & sidesaddle gals

Copy of Copy of audience 1

The singing workshop the next day gave me a happy feeling for a long time after. Except I couldn’t get the tune about dying after camping out of my head!

 

 

A few years ago I lost the nerve for performance. On a whim, and with no practice, I sang a few songs in public, badly. I hadn’t sung for a year or so – and didn’t for another four. I swore never to sing alone again. And indeed I went off music altogether. But slowly slowly I’m being drawn back, by friends and opportunities.

The art that my parents gave me was music. We all had music lessons, all nine of us. This was considered essential for a meaningful life. My parents had come from southern Netherlands where everyone was in a choir. Mum sang contralto. Dad sang solo baritone, and when he came to Australia he formed choirs and directed them. All through my childhood he went out two nights a week to draw out dozens of voices and weave them into beautiful pictures.

So when I’m away from it all for too long it feels like something’s wrong.

Copy of Belle Musette 1

Tonight I saw and heard some gorgeous music by Belle Musette, a Melbourne band who play all kinds of French music.

Copy of Belle Musette 2

Each time I hear something good, I’ll let you know.

 

Christmas aftermath

December 28, 2010

Yesterday was for rest. Today I can’t think, only do – a good thing. Today I wiped down much of the house, following the discovery on Boxing Day of a flea infestation which we subsequently ‘bombed’. This is fast becoming the era of the bug. I haven’t put grasshopper-proof shade-cloth over the car grill yet but the pressure is on.

I remember an Easter Sunday when we discovered lice in 4 out of 5 family members’ hair. Not a chemist open. Only an experienced mum and hairdresser over the back fence who graciously cut off most of my hair – an early nineties acid perm. We were staying with friends at the time because all of our belongings had gone to our new home town in a truck.

Christmas is fraught with traps, and that thing called hope. I like the funny moments, when no-one is thinking too much. The quiet after lunch is good too.

ChristmasDay 4pm 2010