Paper Cat Tales

Chasing My Tale

Posts tagged music

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Singing - We Are All Flesh

Not too long after I moved to Melbourne I found out about a choir directed by the incredible, Sue Johnson, member of one of my all-time favourite bands, Coco’s Lunch. It’s been a weekly slice of heaven to sing with a group of fun, vivacious women at the beautiful Prana House. This photo is not the room we rehearse in, but it’s the room that grabbed my attention the first time I visited, so sunny and inviting!

This month, on Wednesday the 18th of July my choir has been invited to perform at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in Melbourne. I’m more than a little excited… Our performance will be part of the program for the Berlinde De Bruyckere, ‘We Are All Flesh' Exhibition. If you are not familiar with her works, here is a snapshot… not particularly child friendly, but amazing, haunting sculptures of humans, animals and trees in metamorphosis.

It’s a free public event. So if you’re in Melbourne and keen for a night of singing and sculpture please come and enjoy it with us…

The Last Supper
Wed July 18, 5pm-8pm
Australian Centre for Contemporary Art

A cozy mid-winter evening in the gallery with all the things that make you feel warm, inside and out. Art, music, wine and fresh-baked bread to take home from the wonderful Fatto a Mano bakery.

With Choir Director Sue Johnson and the Prana House choir.

Free entry. All welcome.

How to get to the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art:

From Flinders Street Station…
    10 minute walk from the city, across Princes Bridge, up St. Kilda Road
    Tram Route 1 Sturt Street Stop No. 18 (to front door)
    Tram Routes 3, 5, 8, 16, 64, 67, 72 alight at Stop No. 17 on the corner of St.
Kilda Road and Grant Street, then 2 minute walk to the end of Grant Street.

Metered street parking is available in Grant and Sturt Streets.
Commercial car parks are located at the Victorian Arts Centre and the Australian Ballet Centre at the end of Sturt Street.

Filed under singing art sculpture music melbourne sing choir events

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I guess what surprised me when I was invited to respond to the questions below, as part of the registration process for a two day workshop, ‘Freeing Your Voice!’, was not how I spoke about my voice in the third person, but how much these questions brought to light. It was a sign of what was to come. By the end of the two days with Voice Movement Therapists, Trish Watts & Sophie Martin I was able to access so much more of my voice. This drawing was a response to the unleashing I was experiencing… I decided to draw using as many different kinds of marks as possible, playing with line, pressure, texture and shape.


I adore her (my voice) but we sometimes we fight about self-care. I want what’s best for her and I think she wants what’s best for me but we don’t always know how best to look after each other.

I was aware of and fascinated by my voice and its capabilities from a young age and I’ve never lost that curiosity and the joy of making sound.

I love using my voice as an instrument and I want to develop this further without losing the spontaneity and fun that I enjoy when I play with my voice.

I’ve had trouble with my voice at a few key times in my life. At one stage I sought the advice of an ENT specialist because I was getting a lot of reflux and losing my voice regularly. The specialist put a camera down my throat, saw no problems and suggested speech therapy because he thought my speaking voice should be higher. I thought this was a strange diagnosis. I think I was stressed.


I am a singer. I know I am… but a singer is someone who sings, I’m not doing as much of that as I’d like to be. There are blockages there… perhaps with confidence, or fear of the power of my voice. I’d like to build trust with my voice and feel more ready to take the next steps, whatever they may be.

Trish and Sophie are offering similar workshops throughout 2012.
The next one is called
Move your Voice! Embodying your whole self

If you liked this Paper Cat Tale you might also like this one or this one.

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sound [e]scapes

Thank you to the Weary Hobo from the Lurkers for sharing this link, In Bb 2.0. I love it! It’s a collaborative music project conceived by Darren Solomon and developed with music video contributions from people around the world. These videos can be played simultaneously, in any order and layered — the soundtracks will work together, and the mix can be adjusted with the individual volume sliders.

For more sound art and to create your own check out community sound [e]scapes - a creative research project by community groups in Canada, Australia and Northern Ireland exploring sound and place. This project was facilitated by my friends Dr Rebecca Caines and John Campbell in collaboration with individuals and groups across the three countries.

Filed under [e]scape community music soundscape sound art

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Backstage at the Sydney Opera House

Earlier this year I had the privilege to work for the Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band on their Re-Ignited Tour. In the photo below Mic Conway breathes fire at the Cell Block Theatre at the National Art School in Darlinghurst, Sydney.

Last weekend Captain Matchbox performed to projected illustrations by Robert Crumb at the world premier of Silent Comics. Along with Gotye, Seekae, FourPlay and Darth Vegas, Captain Matchbox composed original scores which were performed live to wordless comics as part of the Graphic Festival at the Sydney Opera House. While I was racing around organising band merchandise I snapped a few photos back stage at the Opera Theatre. Putting up the following photos feels like a bit of a disservice to the mystery and enigma of the backstage experience, but what can I say, I’m an excitable Paper Cat

The view from the dressing rooms

The view from the Opera Theatre Green Room

Graffiti in the stage lift

A friend of mine, the talented Kiwi-born Sydney-based cartoonist, garrylarry entered this illustration in the Sydney Opera House Graphic ‘Air Your Grievances’ competition… so fun! I was disappointed that the entries weren’t on display at the festival.

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Trish Watts is an inspirational woman and a mentor to myself and many others who seek wholeness. This clip “the body is wise” gives you a glimpse into the type of work Trish has pioneered through interplay australia and voice movement therapy oceania. If you’re in Sydney (or near enough) and keen to experience some of this for yourself, Trish is currently facilitating a series of workshops called Singing Well for women. Otherwise, keep an eye on and for other opportunities in Australia and abroad.

The fabulous Amy Shoemaker has encouraged me to blog some of my playful vocal stylings… She wants me to sing. I want to as well but I’m not quite ready yet, so this video is an homage and my first step toward the ‘PaperCat Cacophonous Yet Harmonious Yowl-a-thon’!

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A night at Yoshi’s with Blues Traveler

On my way to see Blues Traveler at Yoshi’s in San Francisco the other night I came across these beautiful fish on the footpath.

I met a woman at the bar who was a harmonica player who’s mother was also a harmonica player (‘harp player’ in her words). Her name was Judy Cantu and she was really excited to be seeing John Popper play in such an intimate venue. I was inspired by her passion for the harmonica and she was eager to see my reaction to the music as a first timer.

I didn’t really know what I was in for… the band was incredible, the venue was beautiful, the drinks were… well strong, but I must say rum and ginger beer with fresh lime is a good combination. During the show Judy made friends with a couple who were celebrating their 2 year anniversary and one of them gave her a harmonica from a previous Blues Traveler gig. After the show Judy belted out a few tunes on her new John Popper-monica and I danced to it down Fillmore street.

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