Looking forward, looking back...

Hi, folks. Here's my latest update, with news on my music endeavours such as study, performances, and a new venture. I've also made my single Sand free to download: see the link down the bottom, and download and enjoy your free song!
 

Contemplation...
'Looking forward, looking back' is the title of a Slim Dusty song, about contemplating where we are in life - where we've been, where we're going. December has always been a time of contemplation for me, in regards to my life's direction. I guess it probably is for a lot of people. The work or study year comes to an end, and we often find ourselves thinking about the year ahead, it being just around the corner - a whole new year with a new set of opportunities and challenges.

Teachings and learnings...
I've just finished my Certificate III in Technical Production (in music), and have applied to study the Diploma in Sound Production at Central TAFE next year. Come this time of thinking forward, and I find am thinking a lot about working in ensembles more in 2016, and winding back solo performances, of which I've been fortunate to perform regularly in 2015. But performing as a soloist is rather taxing on the voice, with me usually sounding like pack-a-day smoker after three or four solo gigs! So the voice I'm left with during the week following a busy gig weekend is not very conducive to recording, and using all the wonderful learnings from my studies in music recording. I love performing live, but it's time for some changes in how and where I do it. 

Adventures in red dirt...
Speaking of change, last week I had the pleasure of experiencing something that was very much a change from the norm for me - something that was as much an adventure as a gig. I had the opportunity to play a few solo gigs on two iron ore mine site camps in the North-West of Western Australia. It's my second experience of a 'north-west' in the last few months, and this one couldn't have been more different from the first: in September I visited the north-west highlands of Scotland, the birthplace of my paternal grandmother and her ancestors. I guess one similarity was that the sky was up and the ground was down. And also that both places were fascinating to me. 

My Pilbara adventure began thusly: last Tuesday morning I was up at 3:30am (a time that not only surprisingly exists, but that is apparently familiar to scores of people! ;) ) for my flight from Perth. After around 90 minutes I arrived at tiny airport just down the road from Cloudbreak mine, and along with my guitars and bags, was shortly picked up by a friendly Cloudbreak staff member in a dual cab car with fluoro stripes, a big number on the side and a small, bright flag waving overhead. A few minutes down the road we arrived in a carpark filled with many more fluoro-striped vehicles, and a big bus. I was taken to the camp reception where a pleasant young woman gave me my room key and told me some information about the campsite: where and when to get breakfast, dinner and 'crib', who was going to help me with setting up the P.A., and where my room and the campsite facilities were. I found my room, settled in, and then spent the next couple of hours familiarising myself with the camp, meeting people, finding out where I was to be playing, and setting up a time to do setup and sound check for that evening. I went on to play a 2-hour set from 6:30pm to 8:30pm that afternoon for the 'day shift' folks, then on Wednesday morning, after getting up at 4:30am, I played a 6:15am show for the night shift people. It was unusual seeing the after-work drinks regimen happening at 6am in the morning. After my morning gig, I had about 20 minutes to get my gear and personal items together, and with the help of another staffer, put it all into another fluro-striped vehicle and set off for my next gig destination, Karntama camp, where I was to do it all over again. 

Warm fuzzies...
The staff at Karntama were just as friendly and helpful as those at Cloudbreak had been, and like their colleagues also blended geniality with solid professionalism and dedication to their job, and tempered job seriousness (in an industry where seriousness about safety and accuracy is paramount) with balanced good humour, which must help a lot in dealing with the elements of their high pressure work, long hours and the resulting fatigue. In fact, everyone I dealt with during my trip displayed these qualities. There was the real sense of a family-style team, with respect, care and responsibility shown to one another, at both sites. Those workers on the site who came to hear me play, while I didn't get to know them as much as the camp supervising team, came across as warm, appreciative, respectful and responsive to the music I brought them, and the little space I gave them to get away from the pressure of the job for a while. Some ladies and gents even followed me from night to morning gig, they enjoyed it so much, which made me feel warm and fuzzy. :)

Early mornings...
I've got to say, it was a rather novel experience for me to not only be up before 5am for three days in a row, but playing music before 7am for two days. Amazingly, I managed to warm up enough to overcome morning voice, and while tiring, the experience was one I thoroughly enjoyed. I do hope to get the chance to do it again, and to visit this deep red, remarkable country and its inhabitants, sometime in 2016. I guess it will depend a little on how the price of iron ore goes in the coming year. 

New and exciting ventures!...
In other news, I'm excited to announce I have been rehearsing and working on old and new material with two good friends, Stu Barker and Dorothy Helfgott, in a new trio called The Wire. We have all played together in duos and as a trio before, but decided more recently to work on an original act focusing on good songs with great sounding male and female harmonies. We have a website at www.thewiremusic.com.au, and a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/tothewiremusic. Check us out and stay tuned for more news, especially our next gig - see below!

Music performances...
Gig-wise, I am pretty busy in December with 17 public and private gigs, including a new regular spot at The Vic Hotel in Subiaco and Swanbrook Winery in Swan View, and regular spots at the National Hotel in Fremantle, the 7th Ave Bar & Bistro in Midland, and the Nag's Head and Last Drop in Rockingham. Also, The Wire trio will be playing a special fundraiser performance at Bolt Coffee on the evening of Saturday, 19 December, so get that one locked down in your diary if you're free. :) 

My gig schedule can be found at www.suesummersmusic.com/gigs. Hope to see you at one soon!

Music creations...
Last but certainly not least, I've been doing more original music writing, and more releases are back on the table. Stay tuned, and thanks for perservering to the end of my long post. :)

As always, keep loving your music!

Sue xx

Download 'Sand' for FREE at http://suesummersmusic.com/track/533285/sand?feature_id=67239 :D

Leave a comment

Add comment