Creativity, connection and my little midlife non-crisis.
Such an eclectic time I’ve been having this last little while.
Just sitting here listening to the final mix of the song I wrote with my friend Katherine, World Keeps Turning, a really special close-to-my-heart creation and an important project too. Yesterday I had a bit of a world premiere and a debut all at once. A new Sydney Children’s Choir group named after me (all their training choirs are named after Australian composers, cute!) performed a song I wrote, Stuck. Last week I was enjoying really getting into the choral repertoire for my album recording with my special guest artists VOX. Now the notes are learnt, we can really start making music with it and that’s getting me very excited!
And it’s a pretty eclectic time I’m about to have too.
Tomorrow my friend Steph is bringing her band to my studio to rehearse for our Wednesday night gig. We’ve never played together before, in fact we’ve never even met before but we’re performing together in just two sleeps time. The internet is wonderful at bringing people together. Tonight, my very talented friend Bobby Fox is coming over to the studio to work on a tune for this charity show Light the Night. I first met Bobby doing a show with Sydney Philharmonia Choirs The Beatles Unplugged. This is also where I met my friend Rob Mills. We’re gonna start gettin’ our cabaret on up on the Gold Coast in October. Should be good fun, can’t wait!
All this hydra headed activity is giving me a mid life crisis or something. What I’ve really always known about myself is that even though it is lovely to release albums and perform as a solo pianist, I would be miserable without all this creative connection to other people.
Most importantly, I like to work with a great variety of people. I do get tired of people from one musical world asking me why I would want to work with people in another world… My contemporary art music classical friends wonder why I like working with music theatre people, my professional friends wonder why I am so keen to continue to work with groups of eight year olds, my opera friends wonder why I prefer to work with choirs of amateur singers rather than trained professional voices and amateur singers wonder why I don’t just want to be a concert pianist.
The answer is really not very complicated - it’s just that music for me is all about human connection. Human connection at a great variety of levels. The connection of communicating a theoretical principle to a young person and the light of understanding shining in their eyes. The unique connection of co-creation, adding another layer of abstract musical expression to someone else’s words. That special connection of co-creating with people who’ve never even tried to make a thing, and the pride of creative ownership when they hear the final product. The connection you feel when you understand someone else’s life perspective through creating a thing together.
All this is what keeps it alive for me. I don’t care if folks think this eclecticism makes me a jack-of-all-trades, or somehow second rate. All these different shaped little creations fill all the different shaped little corners of my heart till I’m bursting with it. I wouldn’t have it any other way.