I started following my music path when I was small. I loved sitting at the piano, exploring. I simply loved moving my hands over the keys, and making. I was blessed with a wonderful piano teacher who opened my eyes to a wide repertoire of music. I have also been a bit of an obsessive writer since my teens. Journals and poems, scripts for theatre and film, short fiction, letters, lyrics and playing with words.
Not much has changed.
I have spent the past two and a bit decades following my nose and working continuously, from one project to the next. From recording an album with a string quartet in the Adelaide Hills to stadium concerts to playing shows in the Village in New York City. I've had record deals, done the media thing, recorded quite a few albums and have songs on high rotation. I've done more projects than I can remember, back to back, all of this time, which means I've collaborated with a huge number of people from producers to musicians to writers to film makers to actors. A lot sits in those meetings and that kind of work together. I walk away from each project with new skills and a wider outlook.
For me, it's not about the final product, winning awards or being the best. I am a believer in listening to myself and others, staying open to ideas, learning from everyone who sits before me and always keeping the love in what I do.
So, yes, I've worked in Hollywood and New York, and alongside some of the biggest producers and most amazing musicians you can imagine. But what stays with me is the magic.
I remember Tim Pierce saying to me in LA, what else can you hear on this song?
Me: mandolin, do you play it? I was thinking like the beginning of Goo Goo Dolls' Iris. That is my all time favourite song.
Tim: oh, you mean this mandolin?
Tim played the opening to Iris and humbly told me how he had recorded it using the mandolin he was holding. He then played it on my songs. It made me realise how small the world is and that the making of something is far more special than the outcome.
Then there are the singers that I mentor. The songwriters who finally record albums. And their families. I like to get to know people and the people who love them.
Sometimes they become people I collaborate with. Meg Bignell came to me for some singing lessons a few years ago. Right now, Meg and I are writing and producing shows together. We have had two lately, Take the Spotlight and Run, and more recently, The Audition. We have are now working on another big project. I am also spending much time collaborating on works with songwriters. A lot of making.
I am always learning. Life is so precious.
When it comes down to it, music making is all about growth and wonder.