Mar 21, 2013


is that a look of intense concentration? you bet ya! photo by my friend Nick Anderson 2011

So, as some of you may know I have been dreaming up an album that combines jazz & Balinese gamelan for some time now. In fact, the idea first germinated after a trip to Bali in 2007. I hadn't been there for 22 years, and found myself quite nostalgic for it (after having spent a lot of my childhood between Bali & Australia) and wondering if I shouldn't learn about the music a bit. Well, that launched me into writing some songs that were based in Balinese scales & sounds, with lyrics that explored how I felt about growing up between two very different islands. Wanting to understand a little better, from there I joined Gamelan Dharma Swara here in NY in 2010. (Addicted!!)  And in the past year or so I have been really working on combining those initial song sketches into songs that are written for gamelan and a jazz group and explore different cultures and places and a search for my own identity - Australian, growing up in Indonesia, learning jazz and moving to New York. Belonging and being 'from' somewhere are always interesting things to me - sometimes one means the other. Sometimes they don't mean a thing. It is all in the heart, and my heart is in more than one place. 
It has been so much fun, and such a learning curve for me. It is great to be able to push the boundaries of my own self, especially because I get nervous about sharing my ideas, so anything that makes me scared I am (mostly) happy to embrace. Especially where music is concerned.

I have had such support and encouragement from my fellow musicians, family, friends - There's been lots of talks about music, expressing ourselves, honoring the past (interesting conversations including both jazz and gamelan) and creating something true. It really has been a most wonderful winter - I think the first where I have truly enjoyed holing up and getting down to work. Yay!

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