Penelope Arvanitakis and I go way back to 2005. I would spot her at open mics in mysterious and leafy Belgrave, the creative centre of the Melbourne hills, and simply marvel at her talent. The cadence of her voice was like no other, her piano playing was so highly advanced for one so young, and her songs were quirky, honest and deep. She was a cut above the rest.
In 2007 we recorded three songs together at her parents’ house, one of mine and two of hers, and then … we promptly fell out of touch for 16 years!
Music ebbs and flows, back into time immemorial and forward into the unknown future. I was late to the party, learning instruments and theory as a self-funded young adult long ago.
After many years of compiling former band and personal demos for my own interest, I thought it was time to finish an album for release. Sea to City began with a bunch of “lost” songs from other abandoned collaborative projects and a cover concept. The songs seemed to join hands as a thematic collection, so I then wrote into the spaces, and painted the cover to go along with them.
I live in a small house. High on a forested mountain. It rarely snows during the winter. I drive long distances to see the entire country sometimes. I eat alone in vast naturistic scenarios. However, I have a deeply loving companion.
I am living proof of the regenerative power of muscle memory and artistic practice. Music and lyricism saved my life, and to these, I owe everything I have. Ten years on from a major stroke, composer Liam O’Connell shares his thoughts on life and returning from the brink.
With the passing of legendary soul singer Aretha Franklin and the 60th birthday of Madonna occurring within days of each other this week I started to think about the enduring legacy of certain women in the music biz and how they got to where they are today. I also started to think about the mentors that have helped me on my journey. Here are seven female performers who have influenced my work and the stage of life I was in when they found me and first sang their song to me.