Hey everyone and welcome 2011!
If I told you how my 2010 ended I have no doubts there would be those amongst you who would shake your heads in disbelief. I think I can safely state that the year 2010 has been the biggest and brightest in my collection of 30 years yet and, incredibly, it somehow continues.
Just yesterday I received an email from Kevin McCarthy of the Blarney Bulletin proclaiming me as the official winner of the 2010 Rebel Yelp Competition. This comp is for protest and rally song submissions and I feel honoured to accept 1st place with my song Matilda’s Waltz (attached)
2010 came at me like a bat out of hell with opportunities and friendships to activate my music career in a massive way. I made the move to Byron Bay Australia where I met the enigmatic and lusty Kathryn ‘Cougar’ Jones, a massive musical entity in her own right. Together we launched our acoustic duo ‘The Swingin’ Cowgirls’ and proceeded to hold the whole Northern Rivers at ransom with our “Look at moi, look at moi” approach to showbiz. Wahoo! It worked a treat and together we performed a huge amount of gigs in just four intense months before the year was through.
I am also stoked and proud to have launched not only my 2nd album ‘Einey Meiny Miney Mo’, but also my offical https://www.annavanriel.com website where I now sell my albums online and keep all of the incredible people who support me up-to-date on my ever changing story.
Other than the brilliant music venues and musicians, Australia’s East Coast has also handed me a bunch of awesome opportunities such as the Annual Dolphin Music Awards where I received 6 nominations and took home Children’s song of the year for my kids conservation song Mr H20 (also attached). I made it into the 2nd round of judging int he Australian songwriters competition and got through to the heats for the Telstra Road to Tamworth competition in Brisbane where I performed two of my originals.
Good friends Graeme Woller and Jordan de Senna activated the start of my new EP Whistle and Hum which is a ukulele based 6 track EP that I aim to release in 2011, along with Raw As, a raw, stripped back guitar and vocal EP of some really emotive tracks recorded with stunning guitasrist and audio engineer Pete Jaksic in his Byron Bay Studio. I’m super excited about both of these albums. I also hope to put together my children’s album and then create a box-set for all 5 CD’s. I am also currently looking for a talented children’s storybook illustrator to work with towards a collection of illustrated stories and songs I have written.
The other massive event in 2010 was the discovery that I was up the duff. It hardly came as a suprise to discover I was pregnant just 6 months into my life in Byron. These are fertile lands and historically known as the birthing place for many Aboriginal woman who birthed in the tepid teatree lakes that surround the province. My, now, husband Locky and I had hoped to break the family tradition of a shot gun wedding but it was apparently not to be.
The sad news is that, on our trip home to NZ for our wedding, we discovered that our wee baby has a very rare and serious condition called a giant omphalocele. After loads of research we have discovered various other cases of babies born with this condition and feel hopeful that there will be a positive outcome for us. Only time will tell, and until then we aim to remain in the moment and grateful for all the wonderful blessings that are upon us right now. There is nothing we can do, or could have done, to change this situation and have concluded that unnecessarily stressing wont help anyone, least of all bub.
With this new discovery about baby however, we have made the decision to move back to New Zealand so can take advantage of the outstanding maternity care that has already been bestowed on us from the very moment we found out about our baby’s condition. It feels sad and confusing to be leaving Byron so suddenly, especially when everything has been rolling so well here, but as supportive as Byron is to musicians, NZ is to pregnant women and our priority right now is to offer this baby the best chance possible.
2011 is destined to be another incredible year and is quickly proving to be with the events that have already taken place. New Years Day marked my 30th birthday and two days later I married the man of my dreams. Yahoo! We’re now back in Byron packing up our life here although taking time to enjoy the gorgeous weather that is currently upon us, the lush beaches and the super warm waters as well as a string of upcoming gigs for me and Kathryn Jones before temporarily leaving these lush shores. I can’t wait to return with a fat, healthy baby and float around in the ocean and squish fat toes in the white tropical sands (baby’s, not mine).
Thank you once again to all of you for the ongoing love and support. I know I say it every time but it still blows me away. My albums are selling steadily which is so awesome and I receive a constant flow of supportive emails and encouragement that keep me surefooted on this musical journey. All the sale funds of my albums are going towards the new projects mentioned above.
I also have to make a note of saying a really special thank you to both my parents and Locky’s parents. With motherhood upon me I could not have been blessed with more loving, dedicated and inspiring parents than these two couples. They blow me away with their love, compassion, empathy and unfailing support under any circumstances. They have definitely set the bar in defining the meaning of unconditional love and I hope to be as much a role model to my children as these amazing people are to me. Thank you! xxoo
On this note I wish you all the most fabulous 2011 ever. Live for the moment, be in the here and now and have gratitude for the blessing upon you for there is always much to be thankful for.
All my love
Matilda’s Waltz- Winner of the Rebel Yelp 2010
Mr H20- Children’s Song of the Year 2010 Dolphin Awards
Photo by Annelie Hansen Photographer http://www.wix.com/anneliehansen/anipictures