Whistle and Hum

Last week I gave my icebreaker speech at Toast masters. For those of you who don’t know about this cool club, it’s a place to learn to become a better public speaker and in my case, learn to stop babbling verbal diahorreah on stage to my poor awaiting audience. I feel very blessed to have joined perhaps the most cosmic Toast Masters group in the Southern Hemisphere or even one of the WORLD! Big call, I know. But I do feel quite stoked and blown away with my my TM group. It’s based in Mullumbimby, a little hippy cystal lovin village just a little north of Byron bay, and cosists of a collection of lentil lickin, mungbean munching, broad minded, open hearted, life living and highly comical individuals who make it a magic group. Hence our name ‘Mullum Magic’. I felt like doing that speech was like entering into something bigger, brighter and newer than ever before. I sounds odd, but seriously since that speech things have all come roaring to the fore.

I spent the 2nd last week of July in WA and had 10 glorious days spent dawdling around the wineries and olive grove of Margaret River, fishing, writing music on the rugged beaches (new song-Whistle and Hum) and generally having a very relaxing and highly overindulgent time, topped with an afternoon listening to Mumford and Sons, Angus and Julia Stone and Band of Horses at Perths ‘On the Bright Side’ festival organised by one of my beautiful friends Sarah Flynn. I wrote my speech on that trip and being my icebreaker it is supposed to be about yourself. Writing that speech was a really interesting process and a very strong reflection of just how you look at yourself and how much you have (or perhaps haven’t) grown. Of course I concentrated my speech on my love of music and life in general, and at the end of writing it I was really taken aback at the awesome life I have been blessed with. You know, it’s so easy to take it all for granted, but when it’s all there on paper in front of you, written by your own hand you can’t ignore it. I felt so energised by the process of recollecting all my journies and acheivements.What a great confidence booster.

Perhaps it was the speech, or maybe even the time on holiday to rest and defrag my brain, but after that speech something happened. I got a call from the NCEIA (North Coast Entertainers Industry Association) who hold a yearly event called the Dolphin Awards. I’d entered into 10 different categories and was delighted to learn that I had be nominated in the folk category for the song I wrote for my Mum in Monaco called ‘Lil Folk Song’. The next day I had an email in my inbox confirming I had made it into the Brisbane heats for the Telstra Road to Tamworth competition which can win you a slot on a big stage at Tamworth Country Music Festival in January. If any thing I’m alt-country-folk but hey, who’s complaining? Kath and I got confirmation of some new show bookings an performed two shows with the delightful Anna O’Donnell on fiddle this weekend past.

The Dolphin awards called again to say that I had also be nominated in the country section for my song ‘Maybe Kinda Love’ with James Stovin. Then they called again, and again and by the sixth time I had been informed I was in the running for awards in the categories for folk, country, funk (go figure) jazz, protest and kids song with my Global Clean Water song Mr H20. Holy moley!

The daily trouble I have is s-l-o-w-i-n-g d-o-w-n. Seriously! I go hell for leather from sun up till sun down and run on excited creative energy that fuels each waking minute. It’s quite the juxtaposition of my time at Vipassana meditation retreat earlier this year, but I tell myself that there’s zen in the mix (somewhere) and I balance it all out with yoga, digging in my vege garden and eating copious amounts of vegetables…and singing. Singing is my release.

I’ve attached a dodgy wee home-made rough up of my new track Whistle and Hum which is the basis for my new concept album. I spent last nigth in the SAE studio’s with my good mate Jordan de Senna, who is working over here to finish his audio degree. I should be able to offer a slicker version of the song, perhaps before the year is through. Stay tuned on this one.

I’ve currently raised $1,000 dollars towards my Album fund and want to thank everyone who have opened their hearts and wallets to this plight so far and offerd so much support in the form of finances, empowering words and supportive messages. Thanks team! The albums are now fully masterd. They arrive over a month ago and I had to send them back to the studio for a few amendments in levels and volumes of things. I have been told it now sounds better than ever and I’m chomping at the bit to get my hands on them and get them printed and out the public. I’m still trying to raise the next $1,500 to bring this dream to fruition and would be honoured if there are any of you who were keen to submit donations and haven’t had a chance to do so yet. Those details again are:

Australia Anna van Riel Westpac BSB: 733120 ACC: 614750

New Zealand Anna van Riel National Bank ACC: 06-0943-0081475-00

Also, Paypal is another option. The email address I use on paypal is [email protected]

Once again, I would like to conclude that there is no way I would have reached this awesome place I find myself now if it weren’t for the support you have offered me so far. That in itself is worth it’s weight in gold and I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. You are truly magic!

With love


At Bright Side Festival
At Bright Side Festival

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