It’s almost time to pack my bags and get ready to go again. Next week I am off to Townsville Cultural Fest and I am soooo excited about it. I am even more excited to have a little feature photo on the program. The Townsville Cultural Festival is an all inclusive all ages festival which is the amazing work of Farvardin Daliri who has been running this festival for the past 30 years. He has a wonderful team of people there including his son who have worked hard to make it happen each year with no government grants or funding. (I have inserted the program at the end of this post)
I’ve had a fair variety of gigs the past couple of months, the Manjimup Truffle Kerfuffle was a great opportunity to play to a totally different audience and what a fantastic venue! I also played my first gig at Freehand Wines which was lovely…Matt and Danni are a lovely couple who are passionate about what they do and they love to have live music at their cellar door 2 nights a week which is wonderful for us musicians.
Then I got an opportunity to play for the WAM Winter Sounds Series which was at Brookfield Place in Perth. This is a very upmarket dining place in the big smoke where the corporate mob go to have lunch. It was a great gig and once again nice to get paid well for a gig of all original songs. Thanks WAM for that. On Sunday just gone I played at Six Degrees Albany and it was my first 3 hour gig for while and I have to say probably my best. I had an awesome night, with great hosts and an wonderful audience. I hope I can do it all again soon.
Documentary screenings have also filled my time and as much as I try to keep my music separate to the documentary screenings it seems like a strange thing to do now. My music has been inspired by the things that I am concerned about and the plight of the refugees is the most current concern right now although I am not limited to that issue. There are many concerns and my music is my vehicle to express what I need to say with clarity. I am a communicator and I spend most of my time engaged in the big issues we face today and expressing those concerns is, I feel, the most useful thing that I can do for myself and for the planet and humanity.
I have done a number of documentary screenings and I absolutely love doing them! I have done one at the Agricultural Colllege of Denmark, the B’hai youth group and a home schoolers group as well as a community group in Walpole WA. I have a heap of screenings organised in the next couple of weeks from Townsville to Newcastle, Gosford, Sydney, Thirroul and Eurobodalla. I am so excited about meeting all the refugee groups and advocates that I have become friends with on social media over the past 12 or so months. I absolutely love the work that I do and it gives me so much pride that I can do this.
The format for the screening events is that I introduce myself and I talk about how I got involved in this whole thing and then I play 2 songs which are the songs I have dedicated to the refugees on Manus and Nauru since June of 2017. Then I show the documentary and then I do a Q and A afterwards and I have found people really do engage with the whole situation. I feel that people really do care but they are just overwhelmed with the terrible way in which the policy has become a political tool and the magnitude of it. Many people are fearful to discuss about the subject matter because it has become so political and I find that when the bare facts are placed there with the music and the joy of playing music with these lovely young men the viewers become disarmed. They actually see the refugees are real people with the same human traits as all of us and that is the most exciting moment for me because it’s at that moment that I can see change is possible.