Anna van Riel – Children’s song of the Year

Howdy Folks,

So, in this latest update I’m pleased to announce, that after all that hard work writing and creating songs, recording and mastering, applying and failing, all my hard work is finally starting to shows some fatter fruits. Woohoo!

On August 11th after recieving six nominations in folk, jazz, protest, children’s, urban/funk, country song in the NCEIA Dolphin Awards, I was awarded with a shiny glass Dolphin trophy (that is NOT shaped like a Dolphin) for the Children’s song of the year.

I have to tell you a little bit about how my winning song ‘Mr H20’ came to be.

I wrote the song late last year after I journied over the Himalayas on the back of an Enfiled motorbike with my guitar and ukulele. I was headed to the highest music festival in the world, The Confluence, to perform as an artist. The setting was amazing. I was immediately very humbled to be part of such an incredible event. While up there I met a fellow ‘Enfielder’ from San Diego named Donovan Bailey. We became great buddies straight away and he went on to tell me about his incredible journey. Donovan had been treking high in the Indian mountains, and on his descent an overwhelming epiphany hit him, causing him to fall to his knees and cry. Before this moment he’d felt as if he hadn’t found his full purpose in this life, but during his trip to India he’s come across so many remote villages full of beautiful families and children and a shocking shortage of one real necessity. WATER!

From that moment on Donovan vowed to spend his life commited to bringing water to those who needed it most, and ceated the non-for-profit organisation ‘Global Clean Water’ (http://www.globalcleanwater.org).

His objective was to educate our younger generation all over the globe on the importance of water conservation and with any money generated he would use it to install wells in those remote villages around the world that need it most.

I immediately jumped on board and offered to take on the role of musical director, and put together a compilation album of children’s songs about water by artist all over the world. I flew to the deep south of New Zealand and went on to record a series of fun and educational songs to kick the album off. One of these songs was Mr H20. I had the studio producer Geoff Burn put on the entertaining voice of Mr H20 and we used sound effects like toilets flushing, water gurgling, sinks draining and babies laughing.

Earlier this year I sent my favourite song ‘Mr H20’ off to the Dolphin awards as well as entering it into the Australian Songwriters Competition. You can imagine my delight when I won a Dolphin Award for Childrens song of the year, and even more so when I discovered the song had also made it through to the 2nd round of judging in the Australian Songwriters Competition. I’m so happy that it’s a song that was written with so much purpose. The Global Clean Water album is coming along amazingly, and we are now looking for about four more song contributions to finish it off. These submission can be sent to [email protected]

My other exciting news is that I have just found out that two of my songs have made it through to the 2nd round of judging in the Australian Songwriters Competition. This is super exciting as it’s quite hard to get acknowledgement in this competition so to make it this far is massive.

On Friday I recieved a package in the mail that has been a very long time coming in this whole musical journey. It was from my good friend Geoff Burn at Flame Studio’s in Invercargill, New Zealand and inside was a collection of discs containing the mastered versions of 17 of my tracks from my debut album Solar Panel and my latest 6-track EP Einey Meiny Miney Mo. I can’t explain just how monumental this is from a songwriter and musicians point of view. As a musicians I now have quality merchandise to sell on tours and at gigs, and as a songwriter I now have a product that really offers a professional showcase of my lyrical and arranging abilities. I am now in the process of listening through for any fine tuning that may need to happen and then will finally put them into a physical album form which I am excited about distributing to so many of you.

I have so far raised half of my goal amount of $2,500 for the replicating of these albums and want to thanks you again so much for the support you have given both financially and emotionally. After my last blog I had several more deposits go into my album fund which took yet another step closer to the goal. I aim to put together a double album launch and will keep you posted on that.

In other news I have been performing more and more with my dazzling music partner and super duper promoter Kathryn Jones in our new band called the Swingin’ Cowgirls. We perform often as a duo and also as a four-piece band with fiddle player Anna O’Donnell and percusiionist/guitarsit/songwriter Vikki Grant. Gig offers have been coming in thick and fast and our audience response has been fabulous. We featured in two newspapers just this week and will be on Byron’s Bay FM between 6 & 7pm this Tuesday Australian EST if you’re keen to tune in http://www.bayfm.org/tuesday.html

The Swingin’ Cowgirls (http://www.myspace.com/theswingincowgirls) will also be the feature artist at the Months Mullumbimby Folk Club on Wednesday the 25th of August.

Last night I performed with our djembe player Vikki Grant at the infamous Bangalow Hotel and can’t remember having more fun at at gig since I can’t remember when. Vik cranked it out on guitar while I charged on percussion and my spanky new stomp box which I just bought from my good friend Peter Woolnough who makes the official world’s best ever stomp box. I drove out to his last weekend where he showed me how he makes them and how to best use mine. My oneis a stunner. It’s made of rosewood and have a heel/toe ability that allows me to add a grunty bluegrass bass beat to my songs.Vikki and I had so much fun we’ve decided to do a duo tour of NZ at the next most convenient time. If you’d like us to come to your country, just book us a tour and we’ll be there. Wooh!

I’ve just entered an international songwriters comp and this week I apply for uni. I’m going back to Music School gulp. My vege garden is florishing and the girls are laying four eggs a day. I found them today rolling around in a dust bath under a big old tree. They looked so cute and happy I could have kissed them all at once if they had let me.

I’ve attached my Mr H20 song for your listening pleasure and look forward to sending out copies of my album to those of you who have been waiting so patiently

Take care

Thanks for all the great email replies. I love hearing from you.

Big love

Anna xoxoxo

Global Clean Water
Global Clean Water

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