Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Heart and Soul of a Community

I read a great article recently about how valuable Community Musicians are - that they go beyond simply making their music, to bring inspiration and encouragement into the community in which they are active. Music is a universal language that can overcome so many barriers. Did you know it can also make a significant contribution to the general mental and emotional health of a community?

In a world where we are increasingly isolated within our own micro environment, where we are slaves to our home media, where it takes a mammoth effort sometimes to get us out and mixing with the rest of the world, where extended family is no longer involved in our lives, where our immediate family is so busy there is little time for connection.....we are gradually losing our sense of community. In times gone past when people were in need, in trouble, or just needed to feel as if they belonged - somewhere, the local community stepped in to support individuals. Nowadays, most people wouldn't know their next door neighbor if they bumped into them in the local supermarket!

So when community musicians and artists are able to reach out and share their music, recognise that they are doing a most valuable job. In the corporate world, artists and musicians are often dismissed as of little to no value - after all, there aren't too many who loll about on their yachts or arrive at their gig in a mercedes! In fact, they are doing a far more important job than the global wheeler dealers - they're actually paying attention, and caring for, the individuals in their community....warming them with their music and art, speaking to them on an individual level through their music, their art, touching the inner person through their music, their art.

And at the end of the day.....our world is made up of individuals, all connected in the common bond of HUMANity.......and nothing connects us better than music.

Just think about it....

Monday, November 8, 2010

what a year!

Gosh readers,
I can't begin to tell you what an extraordinary year its been musically!

From directing 2 festivals and an annual community concert.....3 tours.....writing/directing/producing my first musical.....organising local music initiatives.....supporting various fundraisers ...writing new songs.....and various commercial gigs locally.....forming a new comedy duo and writing material for it wonder I'm feeling exhausted!

There's been a couple of low points but mostly some great memories made this year. I've just come back from the Folk in Broke Music Festival and am, once again, blown away by the enormous wealth of talent this country has .....largely undiscovered. And its so sad that so many of our creative souls have to go overseas to get the recognition that they so richly deserve.

My last initiative is this coming Saturday night - its Comedy Night at the RX Theatre in Newcastle - and then I'll be ready to kick back and catch up on all the social that I've missed out on this year. [can't fit it all in, can you? or can you??]

I hope you've managed to get out there and support some live music/performance a few times this year - remember that if it's not supported it will not survive...and what sort of a legacy is THAT to leave the next generation?