Australian Fires Influences Musical Direction
It all started New Years Eve and has been the topic of conversation on our lips and on most of our minds in 2020. The fire emergency has affected so many people on different levels. Some folks lost their homes and livelihood and others have been affected emotionally, witnessing the devastation of wildlife and their habitats. Some of us have had to evacuate areas and focus on safety issues rather than enjoy a well-deserved, laid back summer break!
Nature has kicked us in the guts and the warning signs are in our faces...yet still some leaders in government are reluctant to take appropriate action to ward off further devastation to our planet and our way of life. For me, my emotions have been raw and all I could do was channel my thoughts and feelings into music.
My first impulse was to write an instrumental meditation for rain. 'They' say whatever you focus on multiples, so I figured if I concentrated on visualising rain, it would not only help my mind but may assist in attracting a downpour to some of the fire ravaged areas. I also took part in a world prayer session and attended a local yoga chant for rain. A couple of days after these efforts (coincidence or not), beautiful crystal jewels of H2O fell from the sky. This gave most of the South Coast of NSW some relaxing relief for a few days.
When the stories of people losing their homes and waiting for assistance came to light, along with the massive loss and suffering of so many animals, I felt overwhelmed and cried myself to sleep at night. Again, I needed to express myself with regards to this Australian tragedy and wrote the track 'I Burn'. There was no planning...it just poured out of me.
After the dust settled a bit, the frustration that I had carried with me for decades about lack of action toward protecting and caring for our planet, came to the fore. I wanted to compose a song that rallied people to vote for change. Set to a funky groove I put all my energy into writing, recording and compiling a video for 'Rise Up'. It is a bit of a fun track with a sincere message to take action. I drew inspiration from some of those protest songs from the seventies like War (What Is It Good For) by Edwin Starr, When Will We Be Paid by the Staple Singers, and Say It Loud by James Brown. Of course, it is only me doing my thing in
my home studio and green screening in my single garage but I do the best I can with the skills I have developed thus far. One day I hope to work and collaborate with other like-minded musicians to mutually support each other's ideas and visions.In the meantime, it is back to music school for this mature aged student so that I can keep evolving into a better artist and musician.
I wish everyone all the best for 2020 and let's hope that things settle down and Australia can recover and regenerate. Perhaps some good practices and measures will come out of this historic fire disaster that will help us move forward with positivity and wisdom. Onward and upward!