Recording

Wecome 2021

Phew!! At last the New Year is here !!

Wow! What a year it was and in all honesty I really don’t know what the next 12 mths holds for me personally and musically. However, I do know that I will continue to make music, play music, sing my songs and fight for human rights. They are all one…..creativity is what gives me purpose and asking the difficult questions is what I do best, and I guess I thrive on the challenges that all of that brings.

Musical Shenanigans

The past few weeks I have been playing at a variety of venues and the most recent gig was at Gypsy Tapas House in Fremantle. It’s a great venue and they have delicious food there and they are passionate about original music. So they tick all the boxes but there is a downside and that is that they don’t pay their musicians. You do get a meal and free drinks and the PA is supplied but playing music for 2 hours and not getting paid is quite a big downer. I am not sure what is going to happen in the music industry and I do remember being warned on many occasions that getting paid in Perth was not easy. I haven’t approached enough venues yet to see if that is true but I have played at a few recently and the top dollar so far was $150 for 2 hours which is still below the recommended rate of $100 per hour of playing time. If you have spent years learning songs and are practising most days and you turn up an hour early to set up it turns out to be not a huge amount of money per gig. However, I won’t let little problems like that get in the way of things lol.

Recording

I decided to get back into recording and now that I am in Fremantle I have to find someone to record with. I was going to go through someone I know in Kalamunda which is a bit of a hike but then Tony King (who I usually record with) recommended David Hymans who lives just up the road, so it was perfect. He’s a great artist and has a recording studio and recently produced an album for Bernard Carney called Feathers and Tributes.  It’s not easy finding the right person because you need to feel comfortable with them and I need to also know that they are going to compliment what I do as a folk singer songwriter. There are many great producers around but it was nice to know that David was right here in Freo. We put down the first track a few weeks ago and we will have a go at getting the song finished next week. I will keep you posted on that one.

Denmark Arts Markets

January 23rd at 10am I am playing a the Denmark Arts Markets. I am so looking forward to going back down to my favourite place on earth. I love the big stage of the Denmark Arts Markets, the sound is always awesome and it’s such a buzz, although being ready for 10am could be a bit of challenge for me lol. Next up I will be preparing for Nannup!!

“Music Talks” Events

I have also decided to get stuck into more music talks events. The refugees that were medivaced here in 2019 are still stuck in hotels and detention centres. They are sick and it is very obvious now that the government is keeping them there out of spite, because they lost the medivac legislation that brought them here. It’s disgusting, punitive and arbitrary and I am ashamed to live in a nation that claims to be a member of the UN and yet carries out gross abuse of human rights on the most vulnerable people in the world. I have already phoned lots of community groups and churches and have a few bookings so looking forward to that in coming months.  Here is the bio that I have been sending to the groups to give them an understanding of what I have been doing the past 3 or so years. If you are in the Perth region or anywhere in WA for that matter and you want me to come to your community to do a “Music Talks” event please contact me dawnbarringtonmusic@gmail.com. I have had a fantastic response at every single event that I have done. I do it all voluntarily and it is purely to raise awareness through song and spoken word. 

 

Summer’s Here!

It’s been a while but I think I have good reason to be in “tools down”  mode recently. It was a big move  from Denmark to Fremantle but things are starting to get more settled now. 

I’ve been having a bit of fun busking and doing a few open mics and a couple of gigs too. I have found myself a music partner Jason Johns and we are now busy getting some songs together to go out and do regular cafe/event/pub style gigs. Jason sings and plays great guitar and also writes his own songs so we have a few plans to get originals on our set list too. If you are a musician that is staying in the same city for a period of time you have to do gigs that are mainly covers. There are some venues that do accept originals or even prefer original music, but on the whole, if you want to earn money to try and make a living you have to do mainly covers. I have been lucky enough in the past 6+ years to do a lot of original music performances and earn money but that is because I was touring, so I was able to seek out the venues that are happy to have original artists or actually prefer original music. 

Nannup Festival 2021

I am very pleased to announce that I will be playing at Nannup in Feb-Mar 2021.  This is is going to be great. We are not sure yet what format it will take but at present it is will be a COVID safe event with reduced numbers, however, that could change.  Watch this space. There might be an opening to sell more tickets soon, at present they are already sold out.

I will be doing a couple of “Manus Music talks” workshops at Nannup as well which I am very excited about.  It’s been a while since my last festival gig but they are my favourite because it’s a place where the whole weekend is music, music, music and meeting lots of other artists.

Two Up

Jason and I are Two Up and we did our first paid gig at the Carriage Coffee Shop in Fremantle today.  We have been busy doing open mics to get our songs practiced and we are working towards 2 and 3 hr sets for the summer time. I have not managed to get any recording done this year which is a bit disappointing but Covid had an impact on my best made plans and then finances became a problem too. However, I am keen to record again soon and I am sure I will get the opportunity . Thanks again everyone for following my journey and for your support in what I do. It really is amazing to have so many interested in my musical shenanigans, you are the ones that inspire me to keep going even when the chips are down sometimes.

The Big Move

Ready for the drive to Perth

The big smoke was beckoning and it was time to leave my home in this idyllic little town in the Great Southern of  WA. It really was a big move and I hadn’t anticipated how much of an effort it would be on my own. But with a bit of help from my son and his father it all went smoothly. After securing a small unit in Hamilton Hill near Fremantle I got very busy packing and sorting through a life time of “stuff”. So much “stuff” and so many difficult decisions so make but I had to scale my life down to a 2 bed unit with no shed or garden. Now that I am here in Hamilton Hill I can see it was a good decision. I can see that I will be able to get much more happening with my music, that is meet other musicians and get some gigs happening. I can also do so much more with regards to raising awareness for refugee justice and I have already started to make a few waves. 

“MUSIC TALKS EVENT” – FREMANTLE

July 19th I came up to Fremantle to do a music talks event. A wonderful lady Kris Holman who has been supporting my advocacy hosted a “Music Talks” event. She booked the Hamilton Hub community centre and we had a great turn out. July 19th commemorated the 7th year since the offshore policy was legislated. So in solidarity with the Refugee Solidarity group in Brisbane and with the refugees detained at the Kangaroo Point hotel we sat in silence for 7 mins after the first few songs and an introduction to the audience. It was powerful and sobering. 

The HUB, Hamilton Hill

Once again I told the stories of 2 refugees and of my trips to Manus Island where I witnessed the horrific conditions of 100s of refugees under Australia’s care.

People were in disbelief and horrified at what they heard and once again the Q & A opened up a space for important conversations and more people keen to take action.

I also had a couple of radio interviews both with Fremantle Radio 107.9fm. Bill Hale invited me to join him and his offsider Frank on their Monday evening “Folkin around” show and they literally gave me the floor. I was very appreciative of their support for what I am doing with regards to the refugees being detained. I got to play a number of songs and talk lots….two of my favourite things lol.

The second interview was a pre recorded one with Kavi Guppta where we talked about me as an artist using my songs to raise awareness about the social issues that I am passionate about. It was a stimulating conversation and I look forward to followup interviews with both Bill and Kavi once I have got myself established more up here.

In the meantime I am going to unwind and get myself familiar with my new surrounds. Dream about the day when I can go back on tour which could be a while away yet. We live in very strange times and who knows what the future holds but hopefully new creative ideas will come into fruition and I will find ways to play my songs and talk about the things that matter to me.

Stay safe everyone

 

Keeping it cosy this winter

So it’s almost winter and I can’t believe that 2 months have just passed me! However, I certainly have enjoyed the break and I’ve actually had time to relax and do nothing somedays….which is always something or course.

I have still done a few of my usual gigs and my next performance is at the Denmark Festival then I will be playing at the Albany Boatshed Markets on Sunday July 7th and then it’s Townsville Festival again but I will talk more about that in my next update.

Denmark Festival is coming soon 31st May – 3 June 2019. This is when the whole of Denmark comes alive with music from all it’s venues.

It’s a great honour to be selected for the Denmark Festival of Voice and I always look forward to this weekend because I can throw my guitar over my shoulder and walk down the road to the venue.

There will be people from all across the world and Australia and the past few years have cemented this festival on the map of Australia. I will be playing on Saturday at 2pm and Sunday at 12 noon at Freehand Natural Wine. I will be facilitating a skype talk with refugee and award winning journalist and writer Behrouz Boochani at 12 noon too. Behrouz is still being detained on Manus Island with approx 500 other men in the most in humane conditions under the Australian government. It’s disgusting and I can’t believe they have been there almost 6 years.

It’s been quite a gruelling couple of months after my trip to Manus Island and getting deported didn’t help. I am still embroiled in this story as it continues to unfold and it will be a big part of my life until all of the refugees are free. You may ask me why get so involved and why put this pressure on yourself? For that I have no answer except for, ‘it is just something I have to do’ just like when I was extremely concerned about the environment and destruction of our planet for so many years in my teenage years and on through my 20s, 30s and 40s.

Although back then my work in activism was separate and on it’s own whereas now my music overlaps with my concerns for human rights, social justice and the planet we are all destroying at a rapid pace. So in effect the work is never done but I get a huge amount of satisfaction knowing that my art can participate in the solution to all these problems.

I do have a few other things happening behind the scenes and one of those is a small documentary in collaboration with 3 other artists; a poet (Renee Schipp), a textile artist (Ruth Halbert) and a film maker. Rob Castiglioni is the film maker and he has asked the three of us if he could make a short documentary about each of us and show how our lives and our art practice have been impacted by our work in the area of offshore detention.

Of course I jumped at the chance, any opportunity to be in front of a camera or microphone …… lol …..We have done a lot of filming and in the process we also made a music video for one of the songs that I wrote on Manus. I collaborated with one of the refugees there Kazem Kazemi who is a heavy metal fan and an amazing guitarist and musician for that matter. He wrote the melody and I wrote the words so we put the two together and came up with the song below. It’s called “We live and we die”. I wrote these words at 3am in the morning while on Manus. I had been visiting some very sick men at the local hospital in Lorengau which barely has the facilities to take care of the local population let alone an extra 600 refugees. The two men I saw were very sick and were both on hunger strike and had lost the will to live. I sang a few songs to them and one of the guys actually spoke on the 2nd and 3rd visit (he was probably sick of the singing lol) but he did sit up and we had lovely chat. His name is Qassim and he is still there now in the camp languishing and has no idea how much longer it will go on for.

New Year ….. New Releases

We’re already half way through January of 2019 and what a great beginning to the year. I hope you all had a fantastic break and festive season and that it wasn’t too hard to get back into things again. I am having a bit of trouble getting going but I figured it was time to start the year with a blog post.

It was very quiet over the December/January break in my neck of the woods but I really enjoyed it. It gave me a chance to spend some time with friends and generally relax. My son is almost 17 and he’s quite indifferent to the whole fiasco but likes to have a few presents and some nice food which we did.

So what has been happening Musically?

Well I played at the Denmark Arts Markets on January 5th which is one of my favourite gigs because it’s just down the road and I reckon it must be one of the biggest market stages in the southern hemisphere. The sound is awesome and it carries all across the town. Sorry no photos to prove I was there though this time.

I also spent a lot of time listening to my new tracks which I will be releasing this year. We had to go through the process of listening to the tracks and checking to see if there were any final changes that needed to be done. I am very grateful to Tony King and Al Smith from Bergerk Studios for all their time and work into this project and also Luke Tulloch for his beautiful violin work. Three very professional and wonderful human beings who are always a delight to work with and so generous with their time.

New YouTube video uploaded

Back in September of last year I spent a day standing in for Ruth Halbert Textile Artist at her Exhibitions “Castaway” and “Witness” which was part of the Great Southern Art Trail. Rob Castiglione (Film maker) turned up to do some filming with Ruth but there was a mix up over dates and Rob suggested that he record me playing my song “Fly Free Little Bird”
instead.
It was a special moment because I wasn’t feeling my usual bubbly cheerful self and Rob was able to capture the essence of my mood and I was very excited about the results.

Fly Free Little Bird – Performed at the Sanctuary Denmark WA
Filmed by Rob Castiglione

So what’s happening over the next few months?

Well I have a few gigs lined up and the next one is at Gallery 152 in York WA and it is an evening of stories through song. Chris Gibbs is the person organising and he is a professional artist too so I am looking forward to meeting him and maybe even getting him to play some of my songs with me. I love these types of gigs because the audience are usually very attentive and I get to play in a line up with other great artists. I then have Albany Boatshed Markets gig before of take off on my 3 week trip overseas. I am also planning to go to Papua New Guinea to play music and even do a bit of teaching which I am really looking forwards to.

I’m almost ready to release my EP which will consist of 5 tracks. After much deliberation I have chosen a track to release first and it will be the title track of my EP and that track is “Can’t Let Go” . I am very excited about this one because we tried a different format in the studio. We worked on the vocals first and the music was created around the vocals and the vocal melody and I am sooooo happy with the results.

I think I have covered everything to date and I hope you all have an enjoyable next few months and see you all soon.

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