My journey in discovering the joy of music, and developing as a musician began early.
I started learning violin as a twelve year old. At sixteen I picked up a guitar and inspired by Joan Baez and many other wonderful ‘60’s and 70’s singer songwriters began to sing and play.
There have been a number of magical moments along the way.
I remember sometime in my early 30’s a NZ cellist friend saying to me “I create a tune a day” I was so inspired by this and began developing myself as an improvisational violinist quite literally pulling tunes out of thin air and onto my violin.
In the mid 1970’s I spent two years in USA and England. During this time I was living in a radical social change community called the Philadelphia Life Centre. At this time I struggled to justify developing my music in the face of overwhelming social injustice in the world.
I resolved my inner struggle between action for social change and musical self expression for myself much later on. Recognising the powerful and transformative role that musicians, artists and writers often play in social change.
Moving to Australia in the mid 80’s I was lucky enough to attend a song writing course at Katoomba, NSW led by Judy Small, renowned Australian folk singer/songwriter. We created songs about old people who had grown up in the Blue Mountains.
It was an exciting project and Judy selected the best songs to be performed by us and to be recorded on tape. I was thrilled when one of mine was chosen. This experience inspired me to develop myself as a songwriter.
I was involved with an Adelaide show called “Stretch marks” in the mid 1990’s. This was a bold and quite controversial project which involved songwriters and writers creating a musical show using as a foundation current stories from women at Northfield women’s prison.
It was a very profound experience to be involved with, and from this project a lot was exposed about treatment of the prisoners.
Another thread of my musical career is a fascination in the healing aspects of music.
I started doing sound meditations about twenty years ago plus, I also ran sound healing workshops from time to time.
Coming out as a lesbian feminist in the early 1980’s I became involved in the feminist spirituality movement.
During this time I created many chants honouring the Goddess. Out of a number of women’s spiritual gatherings in Australia, I co-ordinated “Earthsinging” a tape of women’s Goddess chants and spiritual songs.
In 2005 at a winter solstice gathering I heard about the work and music of Dian Booth, violinist, sound healer and spiritual teacher. I felt this absolute intuitive pull and a couple of years later began training with her as a sound vibrational healer.
It was a rich experience and doing the work in desert country on the outskirts of Alice Springs added a most special dimension.
The final piece came together for me in 2006. Up till this time I had performed sporadically but was a very shy performer. I heard from a friend about Landmark Education and went ahead and did the Landmark Forum.
It is a very gutsy and transformative education in living our lives fully. A few weeks later I’m at my local farmers market busking.
I’m feeling really free and happy playing fast celtic tunes. Watching the kids faces light up as I play.
In that moment I feel profound connection and love and loose all self consciousness. This freedom in self expression is such a contrast for me and profoundly liberating and simply continues to grow.
In recent times I’ve been running lots of community singing groups. One of the groups I work with is old people and particularly those suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s. I continue to be moved by the power of music to light up peoples lives.
I think because my own journey into self expression through music has been a long one. I am very passionate about empowering others through music. These days I really recognise that musical self expression is not about perfection, it’s something to share.
To bring joy to others and such a powerful way to connect people across ages, cultures and different life experiences.