What’s it all about?

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In this little corner of the interweb I’ll be musing about music- music that I play, hear and think about. But I’ll also explore the things that can happen alongside and around music: the potential that resides in the spaces between the notes.

Travel will be one big theme: music as a reason (and an excuse) to travel, and as a platform for sharing something across cultures.

Musical projects that aim for community development/social justice/positive change/whatever you want to call it will be another focus: the ways that music can connect, enrich and empower people to make small but significant changes in the world.

So, why music, travel and community development?

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Gigging in Canberra, Australia

These are the three things that really float my boat. They’ve stretched and twisted me in lots of different directions over the last few years. One week I feel totally committed to putting all my energy into building a career in music, the next the travel bug bites and I’m booking a ticket to Bogota. One moment I’m determined to devote myself to fighting the gigantic social and political injustices all around us, the next I find myself in the recording studio, booking a national tour.

These three things, though, are not mutually exclusive and I’ve sometimes been able to find ways of making them complement each other. I’ve helped to run a music group for asylum seekers. I’ve toured- playing and travelling- around Australia and Europe. I ran a community choir that sang protest songs at demonstrations. I wrote an academic thesis about music as a community development tool for refugees. I took tabla classes while travelling around India…

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The Radical Choir singing at a demonstration at the Maribynong Immigration Detention Centre.

In 2015 I’m embarking on an adventure that is the closest amalgamation of the three things that I’ve managed so far. In March, I packed my bags and moved to Battambang, Cambodia where I work in an organisation that uses music and other arts to engage, inspire and educate disadvantaged young people, and support them in a career in the arts if they so choose.

So, is it possible to do everything that I’d like to do in each of these three areas? I don’t know. But the more I explore the possibilities, the greater the potential seems.

So this blog dissects what happens at the cross-sections of music, travel and community development. Some articles will be about all three, some about two, some just one. Some might be random rants about nonsense. We’ll just have to wait and see.

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