Australian vocal loops artist
Edwina Masson is my guest this week, a musician and mum of one based on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia.
Edwina was born in Brisbane and moved 5 states before she was 10 years old. She didn't have a lot of stability in her home location but her constant was the music that she listened to as a family, Paul Kelly, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Ella Fitzgerald and classical music. Edwina credits this time as the reason she gravitates towards music to cope with stress and emotions.
She started composing music in year 5 on Garage Band, and began to develop a love for harmony. During high school she was music captain and sang, played clarinet and double bass. After high school she decided she was going to be a singer, much to the surprise of her family, and went on to study performing arts at university, and lectured also.
Edwina describes her musical style as a vocal loops artist. She creates songs with many, many layers, using her voice as the instrument. and creating emotionally dense music which goes on a journey and often without lyrics.
While Edwina was experiencing a traumatic pregnancy in 2020 and 2021 she began searching for music that would support her experiences, and couldn't find it. Edwina began to write music that she need to get though, initially only meant for her, but on realising that others could benefit from it in 2022 Edwina released the album Birth of A Mother.
It's the music she wishes she had accessible to her at the time of being pregnant.
Edwina has recently created the Live Loops Choir in the Noosa Hinterland, a non audition, any ability singing group to be able to create the music she loves in a live setting. If you are in the neighbourhood check it out, link below.
This episode contains mentions of hyperemesis gravidarum, birth trauma, post natal depression, miscarriage and traumatic early childhood.
If today’s episode is triggering for you in any way I encourage you to seek help from those around you, medical professionals or from resources on line. I have compiled a list of great international resources here
Music used with permission from Edwina throughout the episode
When chatting to my guests I greatly appreciate their openness and honestly in sharing their stories. If at any stage their information is found to be incorrect, the podcast bears no responsibility for guests' inaccuracies.
Podcast transcript at the bottom of the page
Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode of The Art of Being A Mum Podcast. I'm beyond honoured that you're here and would be grateful if you could take 2 minutes to leave me a 5-star review in iTunes or wherever you are listening. It really helps! This way together we can inspire, connect and bring in to the light even more stories from creative mums. Want to connect? Take a screenshot of this episode and share it on Instagram tagging me in with @art_of_being_a_mum_podcast
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Alison acknowledges this Land of the Berrin (Mount Gambier) Region as the Traditional Lands of the Bungandidj People and acknowledge these First Nations people as the custodians of the Region.
Welcome to the Art of Being a mum podcast, where I Alison Newman, a singer songwriter, and Ozzy mum of two enjoys honest and inspiring conversations with artists and creators about the joys and issues they've encountered. While trying to be a mum and continue to create. You'll hear themes like the mental juggle, changes in identity, how their work has been influenced by motherhood, mum guilt, cultural norms, and we also strain to territory such as the patriarchy, feminism, and capitalism. You can find links to my guests and topics we discussed in the shownotes along with a link to the music played, how to get in touch, and a link to join our supportive and lively community on Instagram. I'll always put a trigger warning if we discuss sensitive topics on the podcast. But if at any time you're concerned about your mental health, I urge you to talk to those around you reach out to health professionals, or seek out resources online. I've compiled a list of international resources which can be accessed on the podcast landing page, Alison Newman dotnet slash podcast, the art of being a mom we'd like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land and water, which this podcast is recorded on as being the Bondic people in the barren region of South Australia. I'm working on land that was never seen it.
Hello, welcome to the podcast. Thank you so much for joining me. It is a pleasure to have you here from wherever you're listening around the world. My guest this week is Edwina Masson. a tweener is a musician and a mum of one based on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia. That duaner was born in Brisbane, and she moved around five states before she was 10 years old. It was these changes in location and schools that created the instability in her life. But the constant was the music that she listened to with our family. Musicians like Paul Kelly, Led Zeppelin, the WHO Ella Fitzgerald and classical music. Edwina credits this time as the reason she gravitates toward music to cope with stress and changes in emotions. She started composing music when she was in year five, using GarageBand and began to develop a love of harmony. During high school she was Music captain, and she sang play clarinet and double bass. After high school she decided she was going to be a singer, much to the surprise of her family. And she went on to study Performing Arts at uni and also became a lecturer at Duany described describes her current musical style as a vocal loops artist. She creates songs with many, many layers, sometimes up to 50, using her voice as the instrument and creating emotionally dense music, which goes on a journey and often without lyrics. While Edwina was experiencing a particularly traumatic pregnancy in 2020 and 2021, she began searching for music that would support her experiences, and she couldn't find it. So Edwina began to write music, the music that she needed to get through, initially only meant for herself, but on realizing that others could benefit from it too. In 2022, Edwina released the album, Birth of a mother, it's the music that she wishes she had accessible to her at the time of being pregnant. Dwayne has also recently created the live loops choir in the Noosa hinterland and non audition, any ability singing group to be able to perform the music she loves in a live setting. And if you're in the neighborhood, I encourage you to check it out. I've put the link in the show notes. Today's episode does get quite full on at times, just letting you know that it contains mentions of a traumatic pregnancy and birth and postnatal depression and also mentions of miscarriage. Throughout this episode, you'll hear snippets of a Dwayne his music, particularly from the album birth of a mother and I encourage you to check it out to again, the links in the show notes. It's just beautiful music and it just soothes your soul. No matter what stage you're in. Whether you are a new mother pregnant, or you've got kids that are 15 years old, it really speaks to all of us. Thank you so much for listening. I know you're gonna love this episode, and take care
do doo doo doo doo doo doo doo
Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited to be here. Yeah, it's
absolutely my pleasure. It's lovely to put a face to the sounds like I mean, I've seen you on Instagram, obviously, but to speak to you, after listening to, to your incredible music. It's really, really lovely to meet you. Oh,
that's so that's so sweet. I get that. You know what, I actually get that more often than you think. Because other people listen to my music. And I don't actually, it's really interesting as a musician, like you put music out and you kind of think that, like, no one's listening to it. And then you just like, it's just for me. And then somebody's like, you're the person and I'm like, Yeah, my music sounds so deep. And then you meet me and you're like, you're a dork. Edwina. Yeah.
I love it. That's awesome. Yes. So we're about to you at the moment. Where are you? What
in the world are we has a really good question. We are currently on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland in Australia. And we've been here I think for about seven months now. Seven months we've been living here and it's just so beautiful. Yeah, beautiful.
I am, we used to come up for a couple of years in a row, we came up to Caloundra for a family holidays. And I just loved it up there. I just loved it. We loved it so much. You went to exactly the same place two years in a row. We just loved it so much. It's like
why do we need to go anywhere else? If it ain't broke? Don't fix it. We're in like the kind of like the Noosa hinterland. Oh, yeah. And it's just where it's so beautiful. It's like I spent years just like dreaming about living in like a rainforest. And we do now and it's just, oh, I look out my window every day. And I feel so lucky. So happy to be here
yet. Do you have all those? I don't know what sort of birds they are. But I've never heard them because I'm from that Gambia right down south. And there's these birds like they made like a whipping
with Yes. Yeah. Like the Lyrebirds. Like the Yeah. And they had like the rainforest bird. Yeah, yeah, that we do have them and you can go out on the balcony first thing in the morning, and you can hear them and it is just like, you are transported to deep rainforest when you hear those birds there. Yeah, we do have them and they are spectacular.
Yeah. No, I love that I love. Yeah. And the other thing I remember there being up there was that it got it got light a lot earlier than what it does at home. And so like you'd be woken up with this beautiful bird song. And it was just like, oh my gosh, and then you'd see like, we're staying at the beach at the ocean. It was just like, why did we live where we live? What we need to
do here? Yeah, it does. It's like both a blessing and a curse that the sunrise is so early, like the sunrises before five. At the moment, the sun is I can see the sun restarting, like it gets light at like 450. And like, I know that because my child wakes up at that time. So this is before the sun is even, like awakened. My child's like it's going to rise in the next 10 minutes, Mom, I'm ready for it. Like I'm just beating it
up, they're ready to give it away when it comes. That's gorgeous.
God, it's up to us to keep them
I can see how close you are.
So you're a singer, songwriter, performer? How did you first get into music?
Wow, it's a great question. I grew up moving a lot. So I was born in Brisbane. And then we moved to states five times before I was 10. And yeah, and I didn't have a lot of stability and like the home that we were living in or the friends that I had. And so something that was always really constant in my life was the music that we listened to as a family. It was always like Paul Kelly and Led Zeppelin and the who and Ella Fitzgerald and classical music. And that was like such a core memory of stability and safety for me that I think that really had an impact on when I was getting older what I gravitated towards to cope with stress and to cope with emotion. And I think I was about I was about 10 And we had we just moved to Western Australia. And I remember going into year five and singing just like singing in class. And it was the first time that like a kid had told me that I had a good voice and I was like What do you mean, my family told me that I sound like a dying cat. Literally, they would say that and then I had all these kids being like, Oh, you can really sing. And then suddenly I was like oh that's the thing. Like in my mind. It was the thing that set me apart. So my Had I kind of developed a slightly unhealthy attachment to singing for a long time of like it was my entire self worth. Yeah. And I just kept singing. And then when I graduated high school, I was like to my parents, I'm going to be a singer. And like the shock and horror on their faces of oh, dear Lord, how is she gonna make this work? Because they barely knew that I was like a singer. I was always playing clarinet and double bass, but I never told them that I was a singer until the end of year 12, even though I was like Music captain sung in choirs as sung solo at school all the time. Like I just never told them. Oh, by the way, actually sing all the time.
Yeah. So image in your head of this dying cat singer.
They really had very little clue that I was as good as I was. Yeah. And I remember them. I remember singing at like the highest high school, entire school presentation that at the end of the year at this big old, like theater, and then hearing me really, for the first time seeing was like a 70 person choir behind me. And I remember afterwards and being like, Are you kidding? Like, what do you mean that you have been singing and being taught for like, what? Why didn't you want to tell us and it was like a whole thing of like me just not telling them that I was a singer, because I didn't want them to tell me that I sounded bad. Oh, yeah. So then I Yeah. And so then I went into performing arts university. And that was an experience and then I lectured and yeah, that was kind of how it all started for me. Yeah, right.
Something that's really big for you is harmony, which is I love is I've spent so many years of my life two part singing, and I just adore it. When did you first sort of start to recognize harmony as an actual thing, and start to fall in love with it? Well,
I started writing instrumental music before I ever started singing. So I was, I was in year five. And my family had just gotten like the first Apple Computer. And I remember GarageBand being on there, and it was free. And I was like, Oh my gosh, you mean I can put like, I can just make music. And I would spend hours on there just like bashing the typing keyboard as like a piano keyboard, just writing different parts and different. And that's when I started really, I had no idea what harmony was, I didn't know what intervals or anything like that was. But I remember, I listened to classical music growing up. And I had listened to such amazing artists that it was already like, clicking inside of my system, or this, this sounds good. And like this does not sound good. And so it was really very young that I started realizing that I loved harmonies, and then I sang in choir in school. And I always just had this obsession with like harmony was the tool that you could use to express emotion and not need words. And that to me when I was growing up was very important because I didn't necessarily want to talk about what I was feeling. Or there wasn't this wasn't necessarily a space for me to be able to talk about how I was feeling. And harmony was this tool that I was able to use to be like, I am feeling angry, or I'm feeling such pain or such joy and not have to actually with words, say those things. So it definitely was like my own form of therapy for many years. Yeah,
that's it. I've never actually thought of it that way. But that is so true. It's like it evokes so much in you when you hear these particular, you know, chords and constructs of notes. That's really incredible. Thanks for Thanks for sharing that.
So welcome. It was, honestly I remember being like, the melody, like in contemporary singers today. The thing I always talk to my students about is like, your Lyric should only be doing 50% of the work. Your melodies and harmonies that support the lyrics that you're using. should be doing. Like if you took away the lyrics does your melodies actually say anything? And that was the massive thing for me is like I spent so much time being like, How can I communicate how I feel, without ever having to say one word and harmony was such an amazing tool to use. So it was like a low key obsession of mine.
Yeah, I'm pleased because you're very, you've got a very it's like an innate natural ability, which I love. I think that's awesome. Because I think sometimes you can't teach that stuff. I know you can. You can actually teach it but just to get it like I had no formal train Writing in harmony. My dad used to listen to a lot of country music. So Johnny Cash, John Java course all male, like male voices, and I have an alto voice, but that's not that low, you know? It's not John. Hello, thankfully. So yeah, I, I developed a way to sing along to the songs in the car, because I couldn't sing the tune in their, in their, in their
what is their their vocal range, there's their register
in that register, that's what I'm after. And I couldn't sing it up the octave because my voice was too low. So I started to sing harmony, harmony without knowing what it was just to be able to join in and sing the songs because I love the song so much. And that's just did that too. Oh, and it's like, I'd never been taught and I never knew the words for until years later when people started explaining to me or you're singing in thirds, or you're seeing in whatever is and I was like, Well, that's nice. Glad I know what that means. But I had that's cool. What I do, you know, yeah, and it's just it's worked really great because my sister and I have been together for years as a duo. And I just naturally take the harmonies because it's like, you know, it's just there in your body sort of thing and hear
some people are much some people's ears are definitely more receptive and perceptive of harmony. And they find it a lot easier to hear for sure in like when I was lecturing, you could really tell the musicians whose ear was more sensitive to harmony. Yeah, it was yeah, it was something that it usually came down to the type of music that they'd listened to growing up. They were listening to music like country music, a lot of country music has a lot of harmony in it. Like particularly a lot of like, country groups. There's a whole bunch of there. It's so harmony dense in regards to like, there'll be three parts singing the melody like Yes, yep. So it is really interesting seeing how the music you grow up with hugely influences where your strength will lie if you are interested in being a musician.
Yeah, that's really cool. That's really cool. The other thing I find I do find it frustrating though, because when you've got that ear and you're used to picking nights and hearing things, when you hear something that's not quite right, it really frustrates you
are don't even honest to God. It's like it's a blessing and a curse being so trained in music. I honestly, I remember I went through a phase probably when I was at university, and I was studying it for literally like eight, nine hours a day, I was studying music. And it got to a point where I went definitely went through like a snobby snobby vase being like, What do you mean, you're singing flat? And it feels like, it's like, you know, the pee in the mattress? Yeah, like the old storytel. Yeah, yeah, it felt like that I would hear everything and hear something was flat, I would hear if it didn't match up, I would hear if the harmonies weren't falling. Like the same vibrato, like my ear was so trained that I for a while I actually couldn't enjoy a lot of music. Yeah, yeah. And I actually when I remember when I graduated, I actually had to take a step back and be like Edwina, why did you start singing in the first place? Because it wasn't about the academics. Yeah, it was, it was truly about how it made you feel. You just have the tools to express how you feel better now, but like, yeah, I definitely resonate with what you're saying. So I remember listening to other musicians and being like, they caught even saying, like no, I'm not. I don't think that at all now, but I definitely went through that phase. Oh, yeah. Because, like, I often think about the fact that like, if I wasn't as good as I was, I wouldn't be up there. Because I'm so judgmental on myself that, like, I used to have a habit of judging others with the same lens that I judged myself and because they would never level up to what the capabilities of myself I was like, Why do you think you should be up there? So definitely like to that. Yeah, it's it takes a takes a while to unpack it, for sure. So I understand that.
Yes. And I personally had to let go of a lot of like jealousy, like, oh, how come they get to do it? I can do this. Why can I do it? And over the years, I've gotten very good at just going you know what, it's not nothing to do with you, Allison, this is this person. This is where they are in their life and their journey and you have no idea where they come from or what they're doing. And I've just gotten really good at like going that's good on them. I'm really pleased for them. That took a little bit.
It's really hard as like a musician when for my personal experience when I was studying it was such a competitive environment that you couldn't help like that you weren't told that there was room enough for everybody. Yeah, space existed for everyone. So you would it was like inbuilt in you to become judgmental and to become competitive and to become this. This thing where you believe that you know if you didn't get that opportunity And then you like you were missing out on the break on the on the next opportunity. And I definitely went through that we will literally got ranked when I was at university. Yeah, we would end the top four singers would get all the opportunities. And I was lucky to always be in that top four. But I remember the, like, I remember the levels that I like, how much I work to be in that top four and how I had massive burnout at the end of studying because of it. Yeah. So it definitely like the music industry breeze you for competitiveness, and it actually takes active, unlike undoing to just allow someone to sing and not charge them.
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I grew up doing a Stanford's. They used to put me in a sentence from a very young age. And I think it's the worst thing that ever happened to me, because I just think continued to go through life thinking I was being judged
all the time all the time. Yep. Yep. Yep, I still work through that stuff.
Yeah. And you have an expectation that whatever, whatever this person tells you must be right. Because they're the adjudicator, you know? And it took me took me years until someone said to me, Allison, are you going to let one person's opinion might like, change your opinion of yourself? You're gonna let that one person have that much control over you. And I just went? Yeah, no, that's what I've been doing since I was like, I don't
know. Young Child. Yep. Like, and yeah, music is. So beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Every person will like a particular type of music and like a particular type of voice better. So it's really hard. I remember when I was lecturing, how hard it was to mark someone on the skill. Because it's like, I always knew that I had biases to the types of voices that I liked. So I had to really actively be like, Okay, if I take away my own bias, how do they technically like when we're looking at technique? How the technique because there are some vocal tones that I just love, and there are others that I am interested in. So it is a really, that's why studying music and it's so weird. It's so weird.
Yeah, yeah, I have memories of like, but just before I set for the started, like the room is room, excuse me, the rumor mill would start up about who's the adjudicator? And what sort of voice Do they like? And then when we knew that they liked surprise all those hours ago, stuff, nice, you know, what we bother, you know, if you could get you down right from the start, you know, you'd go out there just thinking that they're not gonna like me, because they like sopranos, you know? Yeah. So that, that kills a little person's head. And, you know, it took me took me to I was certainly my young adulthood to actually say to myself, You know what, I don't need to do this anymore. Like, yeah, no one's making me do this anymore. Why am I doing this?
I'm actually so thankful that I didn't do a lot of those things when I was that young singing was something that was so incredibly like, personal and like, sacred to me from a very young age. And I didn't have singing lessons until I got into performing arts university because of the fact that I was always like, I don't want someone else to take this, this thing that I have, but I was so young, and I recognize that I recognize. Yeah, and then when I started university, I was like, my song, my voice is the audible version of my soul, I will protect it with my life, because it meant so much to me. And I think that's the reason why I didn't want to have singing lessons in high school because I knew someone was going to come in. And like, I was just learning my voice. I was just like, in this point in time where I didn't want to compete for it. I didn't, I just knew, but then I went to university and it was like, wow, like whiplash? Oh, yeah. Suddenly coming into a highly competitive environment. Being so unlike I was on trained, but I was really passionate about it. So I was able to pick things up very quickly. And it went from being a therapy to being a sport. It was it was a real, a real change for me. And it took I wanted to quit so many times because I was like, I don't love this anymore. This isn't why I started singing. Yeah, and I remember just my lecturer who was spectacular, telling me you know, you have to think of these simply as tools that we're trying to teach you so that you can access your therapy even more specific specifically so I can sing with more nuance and I can have more vocal range to communicate how I'm feeling and I had to come back to that so many times because otherwise it just wasn't worth it. It just wasn't worth it.
It was like could you you were you really protective of that because you thought people were going to try and change what you had.
Well I would listen to people voices change like really change I was like, This is not you have any more or and I came later came to learn a lot about placement and how placement affects tone and, and I would hear singers mimic other singers. And I was like, well, that's no longer you. You're manipulating your placement to sound like someone else. And therefore it means that you're not actually authentically singing your voice and you're like your story. And that was something for really young age that I was like that's, that's I'm not I'm not willing to do that.
Yeah, that's actually one of my pet peeves in in singers is people who manipulate their voice to sound a particular way. It just really makes me just, I just think, and then when they successful at that, and then I've got to finish back, you know, I think that's not even you.
Yeah. Because, like we go through stages as a society as being told this is the voice like Christina Aguilera. Oh, my gosh, you had millions of young white children, young white females trying to sound black. Yeah, because of Christina Aguilera, Christina Aguilera had multiple vocal health issues because of her terrible technique in her lower part of her range. She can no longer belt as high as she could, because of how she treated her voice. Yeah. So it was definitely I remember being like, I want to be Christina Aguilera. Like when I was when I was really young. And then I was like, well, this hurts.
Yes. Yes. Do this. Yeah. Yeah.
But yeah, definitely. I think about that often. And I just am thankful to the younger version of myself who was really protective of it. Because I probably wouldn't still be singing if I had been in a Stanford because I cannot compete when it comes to voice like I just I can't do it. I can't do it. I used to do piano. And I did one concert and I would never do it again.
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, it just, it just takes out like you said this. The soul things like it's just, I don't know. It's odd. I hate them. And I, I paint them with a passion. And I wish I mean, I guess it's taught me something. You get something out of it. But yeah, it wasn't that great. But anyway, enough of that.
I know there
are times when you feel like you can't do it on your own. I promise you, you're God.
So tell me about your album that you released last year, which is amazing.
Thank you. That was a birth of a mother.
So I wrote those songs. When I was pregnant with my son in 2020s. Yeah, 2020 I, like started writing songs and 2021. And for me, they literally those songs were only ever meant for me. It was I had a really tough pregnancy. I had hyperemesis gravidarum I had every everything under the sun. When it comes to like side effects. I used to get pregnancy hives, my vocal cords was so swollen because of how much I was throwing up. Yeah, it was the like, it was so dark that period of time. And I remember being like, where is the music that is specifically for someone like myself, like, where's the music that is for someone who is terrified of becoming a mother, even though they want it so much or terrified of birth. I just needed like a, an audible birthing step. Like that's what it felt like to me, I just needed to write these songs to help me feel supported. And so that's what I did. And because I couldn't work because I couldn't. My vocal stamina was so affected by the sickness, I had a lot of time. To slowly record these songs, I listened back to the vocals, like the lead vocals on some of those songs. And I'm like, oh, man, you can hear the fatigue. Like I know my worth well enough, and I can hear the fatigue, I can hear just how hard I found that period of time in my life. And so they were just the biggest support for me. And that's why I decided after like after, I think I was pretty pregnant when I started releasing the songs, not on Spotify. And I remember other women being like, oh my gosh, thank you. Because like, I was never really into mantra music or like the, those types of things. I was like, I want it to feel contemporary enough that someone who is not spiritual at all, can listen to it and not be like what is this? Yeah. And so it was like bringing my very like specific type of writing into a space where I was like 50% of the population have mothers or mothering or parenting or birthing babies, and there was like, no music just for them. Oh my gosh, yeah. How, how? Oh, how and so I just, I just couldn't get over that. I was like, once again, there's so underrepresented as mothers in, like, I know, there were so many female mother artists, but where is the music that is actually for them. So that's why I created the music. And then last year, I was finally like, I just need these to exist in the world. I just need them to be somewhere easy, even though it doesn't make me money. Because Spotify or Spotify, but I was just like, it just has to exist somewhere. Because, like, I just got to a point where I was like, it's not just for me, it's bigger than me. It's just bigger than me. And so that's why they're on Spotify now. And I just love the album. I still go back and listen to it. I still go backwards to it.
Yeah, yeah. So for for those who haven't heard it, how do you how can you describe? Because it is very unique. Yeah, the way that you put things together and you add delays? Can you just describe how you do it? Maybe a process of how you put it together? Yeah, so
essentially, I'm a vocal looping artist. So I create songs 95%, just with my voice. So essentially, it is a song where every instrument that you might hear in a normal track is my voice in my music. Yeah, it's I don't know, I don't know, genre, in regards to my music, like it really is really hard to, but it definitely has influences of many different styles. And yeah, it was one of my all time favorite time to this day favorite artists and has been probably one of the biggest influences in the way that I write. But yeah, that's how I would kind of, I would say it's like a mix of ner with Gosh, I don't even know that's a really hard thing. I used to be really good at describing what I did when I wrote like, pop music. And how I'm just like, you have to hear it. Yeah, no, literally. But it is it's very vocally dense, harmonically dense music that takes you on quite the emotional journey. Hmm, absolutely. Now that's a great way of describing it.
Did you make a sort of a considered decision to not include instruments in your work? Was it like, this is you're taking ownership of this yourself?
Yeah, it was I, I, when I first started, like performing I had an 11 piece band, I had a big band, I had three horns, three backing vocalists, it was like the full shebang. And the first EP I ever released was, was that it was massive. And then I remember finding it so hard to ever do gigs or to ever, like it was just a really difficult thing. And I remember being like, these instruments aren't even accurately doing or playing what I exactly want in my head, because they're all bringing their own personality and their own filter to the souls. And I remember just starting to do vocal, I started vocal looping when I was 17. And I'm 29 now. So I started vocally exploring harmony and rhythm with my voice a long time ago. And I think I was 21 or 22 When I started writing, just vocal music. And it took me a really long time to accept that that's what felt most authentic for me as a musical expression. Because I was always like, this doesn't fit anywhere in music like this doesn't, it didn't fit anywhere. It was never going to end up on radio, in the radio stations that I dreamed of like I really grappled with that for a long time. Because I was like, this just isn't like anything else I've heard. And I didn't know where it would fit. So it took me a really long time to just be like, well, this is this is me like this is this is what goes on in my brain. And I just remember getting to a point where I was like this, I have to honor the fact that if I'm going to be a musician, I am going to be an authentic musician. And this is what is going to have to sound like and it might not be for everybody. But I can go back and listen to this music and know exactly how I was feeling and hear every single vocal harmony and know that It was placed there, because my brain was like it needs to be placed there.
So intentional. Yeah, it is, it
was really intentional. And it's like I love collaborating with others. However, I always loved being able to have a bit of a control freak, probably. I liked being able to control where everything sat and the I knew that I could sing certain things better than other singers. And when I was my song, I wanted to be able to exactly replicate my harmony, exactly replicate, like, my vibrato on certain things. So that it would wouldn't each pot Ness doesn't necessarily stand out. By itself. It kind of feels like a wall of sound. Yeah. And so I just practiced and did that and just wrote, and I look back at the first vocal looping songs that I ever recorded in my bedroom. And it's like three layers. And I remember being like, oh my gosh, this is amazing. And now you now you look at my recorded files of my songs, and it's like, minimum 40 to 50 layers of stuff. Oh, wow. Because everything gets doubled, and we pull things to the left and pull things to the right. And there's parts that exact like work exactly, just as rhythmic stuff. And, and to me, I was just like, oh, this just feels so cool. To like, Okay, so my two biggest influences are Enya. And Bobby McFerrin.
Yeah, right? Yep.
I studied him when I was studying at university, and he had such a huge impact on me, because he's ranged was phenomenal. And his ability to move, I just had never heard anyone like that. And I went, so I dove so deep into his vocal past. And that's why I was like, Oh, my gosh, I have to try and replicate that on a looper because I couldn't sing as low as him. And that's kind of how it really like that love affair of like being able to just be voice because his was just voice you would hear him collaborate with other musicians. And he would be singing the baseline, while the double bass player was playing, like some type of melody. It was just like, holy moly, that just blew my mind. Like it was just had such a profound impact on me. So those two together is kind of how I ended up with what I do now.
Yeah, a couple of things from that. I want to mention that when you talked about having to sort of have this, I'm gonna call it an existential crisis, but literally deciding between what was genuine and authentic for you to present as your music and what I think what music industry or being in the music environment tells us, our end goal is we have to be heard we have to be on radio, we have to get our break, we have to do this, you know, it's fighting against all that.
Yeah, it's, it's pretty hardcore, I really had a hard time with it. I, when I go back on my own catalogue of music, you literally see the evolution of that crisis of me starting to write with that 11 piece band and then moving into one like almost electronic music. And that was the moment where I was like, you've gotten too far off, like you've gone too far away from I was singing lead vocals on like, EDM tracks, like, like club bangers. Yeah. And I was like, you have gone so far away from where you're meant to be. And because I had health issues, I remember thinking to myself, you only can sing a certain amount of hours a day, you only have the energy to do so much creation, if you're going to do it. It needs to be something that you will love. And it needs to be something that makes you feel like truly seen and truly heard. And that was something I was so passionate about is is what I'm putting out into the world. Is that Is that me? Is that me? And the more that I practice, and that's why I always say to people, you know, your first thing doesn't have to be this thing that gets you your followers that gets your big break, whatever that means to you. Like just start because I look back and I'm like, I'm so happy I recorded that music and released it because that you can literally see the evolution of myself as an artist and trying to work hard to get to a place where the music I'm releasing most accurately reflects my internal state. And I remember when I finally got there it just like that was the vocal loop. It was just like a clip. Yeah, and it was just like, Ah, this is it. Like this is me. This is all the everything I hear in my head. I can finally create something that like that everyone else can listen to. Because even when I was with the 11 piece band, I'd be hearing so much more in my mind that was never going to be able to be played by another instrument. And other singers would were having a trouble hearing the harmonies or I couldn't have 17 singers on stage with me. So I just couldn't do that it was just, I couldn't get paid any money doing that, like I just there was no, there was no money. So if it was just me on stage with my Looper one, I would actually make money. And two, I was able to have ultimate freedom and ultimate control. Yeah, and not have to worry about someone else keeping up with me. And it was just as like, oh, that's what it felt like, it felt like such a big sigh of relief. That's what it definitely felt like,
yeah, I can relate to that on a slightly different level. But same sort of thing. I do have control issues. And my sisters listening should be nodding your head right now. Because I, as I'm gonna say, I hear things, and I know how I want it to sound. And I'm getting better. I mean, I think I've, since I've totally got over it, but I don't have to do at all. Like, it doesn't have to be me. But when I spent 20 years singing in a vocal group, and towards the end, it was just, it had gone from this massive choir to like we would I was involved in like the Committee stage of things. And we, we turned it into four or five, sort of niche groups. So I was in this, this group of there were six of us. And we're, we're doing part singing. And I guess every group is going to have a leader. And it wasn't me, which was fine, because I didn't want to lead but I wanted to have my ideas heard. And I wanted to be able to say, actually, can we do it like this? Or can we try it at this tempo or whatever. But the personality clashes made it really hard to do that. So I just went, I'm not doing this anymore. And I didn't do any anything except for I turned myself into a soloist and just got mine backings got all my own gear just made it possible that I didn't have to organize rehearsals with people, I could do everything I wanted. So I basically just went, nah, this this is too much for my head anymore. And around that time. You know, my, my first son was gonna say he was about seven. Were thinking about having another one. And I was like, No, this is just too much. And so I just brought it all the way back to me and then gradually added my sister back in, because we could communicate and and do things together. But it's I don't know, you just get to that moment where you just go, This isn't me anymore.
Yeah. And I think it's like, you have to give yourself permission to be okay with that. Like, I remember accepting that my music will may not live in the spaces that we are told music should live in. I remember being like, you know what, it's okay, if it doesn't end up on this radio, because I'm not the type of person that listens to the radio like that. Anyway, like, I had to really get so clear on what if I was to be a musician my whole life? If I came at the end of it, what do I want to feel like I have done for myself? And am I proud of where my music has existed? And when am I creating music that actually helps people and makes people feel things? Or am I writing music for a record label?
Yeah, yeah, absolutely.
And I really came back to like, oh, I need this is I came back to that little like 10 year old girl who wrote music because it was therapy was is what I always came back to. I was like, I want to be able to look back on to her. And be like, I I kept, I kept going with that I using was first and foremost an emotional expression for me. And anyone who gets to enjoy it. It's like, you're welcome. Like, I write, I write for me, I sing for me, I perform for me. And it just happened to be the the moment I found the most authentic expression of myself at the moment where people were like that was that was a really interesting moments like when I I don't know it doesn't happen for everybody. But for me personally, it was like I just had this perfect combination of like, sound like the sound that I was producing people were looking for. Yeah, and I'm so thankful for that. But in the end, even if I didn't have that I can listen to my music and be proud that I did it for myself.
Yeah, yeah, absolutely.
you're listening to the odd thing. You talked about being pregnant. How wild is your little boy here?
He is to in May. So yeah, he's a wild. I was gonna say fun times. My gosh, my child has been In a wild since the moment he was conceived, like home I gosh, I could not prepare myself at all for that journey like it was. It has been the baptism of fire over and over again with my beautiful beautiful son. He's just so wild. Oh man. Yeah, he's Yeah, it's been big. It's been a big, big journey from being sick. My whole pregnancy. He went to 42 weeks. Yeah. Oh, yeah, he was coming out. No, he was very happy. And I was in severe pain, like a my body it was just like, well, we're gonna, we're gonna break now. We're done. And then birth going sideways. In regards to Yeah, it didn't go to plan. And then our postpartum with Fergus was honestly I didn't think between pote like pregnancy and birth, I thought they were going to be the two hardest experience, but it was our postpartum. It was like a first eight months with Fergus was the just the worst time in our lives easily. So definitely, I felt like I had what I suppose people call like ego deaths. I just felt like I died over and over and over becoming a mother. It was just
so your identity was changing so much. And
yeah, because I barely could sing when I was pregnant. And then after I gave birth, my plan was to go back to work back to being an artist at like three months postpartum. And then I had to have an emergency cesarean for our for birth, after a home tried home birth for 24 hours. And then we gave birth to Fergus and Fergus was a incredibly distressed child, he had so much stress in his body. So we spent the first almost year of his life just supporting him like he would scream and cry for about nine hours a day. It was we couldn't leave the house. He never was able to go into a carrier because he hated any type of pressure on his restriction on his body. We couldn't put him in a pram until he was six months old, seven months old. And still to this day, he doesn't doesn't like being a pram and then he started walking at eight months started crawling at four months. Yeah, he was we we had the hardest time no one could like look after him for the first nine months of his life because he would he just had he had a lot of trauma in his body. He came out holding his neck up screaming bloody murder. Well, he could take a turn his head from birth like he was never a floppy head, baby Cheevers Yeah, he used to he never he hated sit like I have forgotten so much. We've definitely blacked out a lot. But he hated sitting from the moment he was born. He was like 10 days old and he was his legs were straight and they wouldn't he just wouldn't sit. Yeah. He had just so much tension in his body. So we had to do a lot of work with him to help him basically unwind his nervous system and that involved a lot of like, trauma for us parents of listening, being with him as he expressed his emotions and we would sit with him. And he was like we knew he was fed in we we'd gone every Western medicine route to see if there was anything wrong. I say that in inverted commas wrong with him. Yeah. And then we found a way of parenting. Yeah, that was the game changer. We worked with like a birth trauma aware parenting specialist, and she changed our life. It was yeah, it was fantastic. But Ferg was a really, really intense child. And for the first year and he still to this day is massive feelings. So I didn't sing for a year for the first year of Fergus his life I didn't didn't touch my Looper at all. And it was the worst time of my life.
Yeah, yeah. Is it's literally your that identity that part of you is just disappeared.
Yeah, and I genuinely thought I was never going to sing again. Like I really thought that this was over because, like fit I couldn't sing with Fergus because Fergus just hate like he just couldn't. He wouldn't sit like he couldn't be still. He wasn't just the baby you can put in a bouncer like ever. I couldn't just put him in a carrier when he wouldn't sleep. He was such a light sleeper for the first year and a half of his life. So I couldn't sing like I could never leave the bedroom and sing. So he was honestly he was like 16 months the first time I pulled out my looper. Yeah, right, since before giving birth. But I had honestly thought, hey, and my voice was so wrecked because my body was so exhausted. That I had such limited vocal range, my muscles were just shot to pieces. And I just have such deep set I have so sad. Like, I remember being so sad about it. Like I was just like this has been my life for a decade. And then some I would I had so much anger because I would watch other musicians who were mothers be able to balance both. Like they were able to take their children to their shows their child was able to fall asleep on their body as they practiced, I would watch them record music with their kids in the room. And I had a baby that was so angry. Just such an angry and struggling child that I couldn't we couldn't do anything like our life didn't even look remotely like it had before giving birth and so we really, we really struggled and we were in lockdown. And we had no family man.
And that's the thing the thing that you had always gone to to work through stuff with your music that wasn't accessible tea.
Nope. So I pretty iced I had, I did suffer from like, postnatal depression. Because I had no I had nothing no, not only because the pregnancy was traumatic, the birth was traumatic and our postpartum was just the worst thing in the world. But also because I just had no outlet like I just had the tools that I would always use to express how I was feeling I didn't have that anymore. And it was just it was such a dark time. Oh my gosh, it was so dark. Which is the it was I would wear out over here being like we're one and done because the idea of going through that again is just yeah, we couldn't we couldn't even fathom it. It's just now that focus is almost two is the first time in years that we've been like oh, hello like to my husband. Hi. I haven't. I haven't seen you for a while. I haven't seen you for a while like he slept on the couch for a whole year. It was just Yeah, it was very hard. So I remember being him being focus being 16 months old and finally dusting like dusting off my looper and being like Oh, hello old friend.
Yeah, Joy Joy choice to see
these moments to catch up above God it's up to us
to give them
that's got me I nearly started bawling then. Oh, man. That's tough that hell yeah. How did you get through it? Literally. How did you get through it?
It was it was the it was the toughest thing I have honestly ever been through. I don't even know cam has my husband has pretty well blacked out the first four or five months of focus his life. Yeah, really can't remember it. Because we were in straight survival mode. Like we couldn't leave the house like I we couldn't even walk up the street without various catatonic Lee screaming. And we used to sit on a bouncing ball for hours just to her to try and keep him like, that's when we were we didn't understand birth trauma or nervous system issues. And we just It was exhausting. And I, I don't even know how we made it through. We just were like, we just have to. It was like the mantra of survive the day, survive the day survive the day. And it felt like we and it's still to this day. It's a lot easier now. But it honestly felt like we never got a break of like Fergus was then he went from being a really distressed, massive feelings child to suddenly like, crawling so early, and then walking so early. Yeah. And so it was just like, we went from one thing to the next thing. And he was such an angry, frustrated kid because he wanted to do everything on top of like, Oh, I've got so much anger and like so much feelings and you need to and we could never pacify him. Like if we even if we tried. Even if we tried. He was like, No, you will hear me. Yeah, we used to just sit there with him. And we listened. And we listened to him. And it was like, I'm glad I took videos of it because I remember like, it was so intense. And you'd watch his little nervous system unwind. And I remember thinking to myself, I was like, Okay, we're probably only going to do this once because of this, like it's going to get better. And I and that's when I started reaching out on Instagram and I found other mothers who had gone through a very had very similar babies to Fergus Yeah. And because everybody around me all of the friends that I had that had been having babies had were experiencing nothing like we were like it was just and that was made it so hard. Because the we didn't even know a baby like Fergus was possible. Because we never seen anything like him in regards to his intensity and he his stress and his body and he never sat. He was always twitching. And oh my gosh. And so we really it was just, it was survived the day like I cried a lot at nighttime. Like I cried, I cried the first year of his life. That was the only way and we went into therapy. I started going and seeing a therapist because we were doing so much listening to Fergus his feelings that we just had to get that extra support. And we didn't have family support at all. So it was just kind of like we Yeah, it was dark. Oh my gosh, it was so dark. It's just started even though Oh, man. Yeah, it was it was definitely hard. And I remember the first time I met in person, another mother who had a baby like Fergus, and I just cried
to just almost a relief like it was just me
it was because I only met her in the last like two months because she lives over here. And she her experience, she gave birth to her child three days after Fergus and her child, her birth mirrored our birth and their her baby mirrored Fergus, and they might turned out that Kim and her husband had actually met each other through and aware parenting men's group online. And they so it was like, just meeting someone else who could relate to so many aspects of our parenting experience was just like, incredibly healing. And I didn't know that I needed that healing before until I met her in the flesh. And I was like, Oh, my gosh, there's someone who truly understands.
Yeah, yeah. And that's thing like when you said before about, sorry, I've just realized that my camera's frozen up, but I am still here. In that position, look like or it's fun. Yeah, like the people around you that have having babies that are not experiencing what Vegas is experiencing. It'd be so easy for them to place judgment on your parenting as a reason why your baby's struggling and that it would that would be tremendously unhelpful and unkind. Yeah, yeah. And
I mean, I was pretty I was very lucky that the everyone around me knew that what we were going through was really different to theirs and that we were doing everything I like the everything we did to support Fergus, and then I came off with first we were like, it might it was a tongue tie. So we had his tongue tie snipped, and then we took him to osteo, cranial sacral therapy, physio, Cairo, naturopath, I came off basically all foods other than roast vegetables and chicken for four or five months, I have lunch and dinner. I used to give him a naturopathic tonic to try and help we thought it was might be a stomach. Everything, I changed the way that I was breastfeeding to try and help Oh my gosh, we went we did. We knew we knew that we were doing everything possible, like within, like, anything possible to try to help him. Yeah. Until we got to a point where we were like it, none of that it's his stress, like is so much you would look at his body. And you could tell that his nervous system was so wired. And I felt so much guilt in my body for that because I was like, he became like that when he was in my womb. That was definitely the the story that I told myself for a really long time. So I definitely think that I punished myself for that. And I took on a lot more of the listening to feelings and my husband because I was like, I did this. I have to undo it.
Yeah, right. Was there a point where that became, you realized that that wasn't the truth?
Um, I think over time, I just was like, even if it was me, what's done is done. Like I couldn't like I couldn't go back and change my pregnancy. Also, I was like, Yeah, I was incredibly stressed. We were, it was a pandemic. There was stuff that was happening within my family on the other side of the country that I could never, I couldn't go and be with them. We were told when we were pregnant, that Forbus was going to have Down syndrome. Like our pregnancy was really stressful. Yeah. And we'd also miscarried before Fergus, and so I was really stressed. Yeah, yeah. So even if, even if, like, there's certainly so many things that I probably could have done differently, but I just got to a point where I was like, I'm doing everything within my ability now to support his nervous system so that it can relax. I can't like I can't keep beating myself up for what the experience was for him because he's thriving now. Like I was. I was like Kim and I sacrificed a lot of ourselves and our relationship in that first year for Fergus to be How he is now. Yep. And I often think to myself, I can't even imagine the type of child that he would be now, if we hadn't supported him so much releasing the tension that he had in his body then. Yeah, yeah, absolutely.
What does your music look like now your music practice now that Fergus is a little older?
Yeah. So he goes to date a family daycare two days a week. And so that's pretty much when I get to do anything outside of mothering. Because he is a full on child, I can't just set my Looper up. And when he's around this, he was just honestly, and it would be you'd set it up so that you could have fun with your child. Yeah. Yeah. So I Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the days that I can actually create music. And that's the days that I do all of my art and all of my work. And that's really it. Like, I sometimes do it in the evenings, after he goes to bed, because our My office is down the other end of the house, but I'm so tired. By the end of the day, he he wakes up between four and 430. Every single, every single morning, and he's ready to go. He's so turbo. Yeah, he's so turbo, that by the end of the day, you are us. You just you just absolutely exhausted. So I really, I just look forward to Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and I'm like, this morning, I was like, okay, I can actually like do all the things that it's hard. And the thing that I have struggled with the most is the fact that I used to spend my entire week. If I had any creative idea, I could write that in there, stick with it, and create and that was just, oh my gosh, it was so hard for me to have to, like lock in key ideas and be like later, later, later, later, because I was that person that was like, I'd have an idea in the morning and it would be recorded in the evening. Yeah, yeah. So that's been something the the amount of creativity that I am able to do is significantly less but because I think I went from so much to nothing. I two days a week feels like absolute heaven. I'm like, take it I'll take it oh my god one hour fantastic. Like cam can take focus out for like for an afternoon on the weekend. And I just get to stay home and do like anything to do with my art and I feel like a different woman. Yes. And so it's been like hard fought to get to this and I'm I think I'm like very grateful. I'm really quick at doing stuff now. Like even quicker than I was before. Because I go okay, you have four hours and you have to get all this done. Go like yes, like I don't I don't go with this work. I trust the idea. Trust the idea. And that's been the so it's definitely gotten me really like onto it. But right now it's two days a week that I have to do everything it's art
is Chris's son
so what sort of things are inspiring you at the moment with your, with your music? What are you sort of creating about,
I guess, I am definitely processing my postpartum period through my music at the moment. I am writing songs that allow me to make sense of the experience that we had. Because we are kind of through that dark tunnel of that first really, almost two years of his life. I'm at a point where I'm like, Okay, I need to process what we what we went through, like I really need to, because my body still shakes when I talk about it. Like yeah, my body goes into like a trauma response when when we talk about that whole experience that we had, and I recognized that for me like therapy was great. But it didn't get everything that I needed out of my system. And so right now I'm the music that I'm recording for myself is definitely postpartum music that I'm hoping one day I can release because I know that there are other mothers that really need music that like validate is the experience that they're having? Absolutely. So that's the myself right now. That's the music I'm writing. But I'm also writing, actually, I'm running choir music. Because I have started a choir. Yes, I
was gonna ask you about that. Yeah, well, I
have been, I think most singers that love the voice fantasize about either singing in a choir or having their own choir. And I was like, I had been thinking about it for years. I was like, three years ago, it's so great to have a choir because I used to lecture. And one of the classes that I lectured in was creative arranging and voice and we do a lot of choir stuff in that. And I was always, like, I'd love to be able to transpose some of the music that I write into acquire setting, to be a hero at like, live and just to be able to have other people get the opportunity to experience singing my, my arrangements, and I was like, Okay, so we're not in lockdown anymore. I'm not in Margaret River anymore. I don't have a newborn baby anymore. Like, I think the time is now. And I was like, um, I'll probably just like, run it from my house, maybe like 10 people, that'd be great. And then I was like, I don't have space to 10 cars. And so then I had a friend that I've met who has a shop in this particular pavilion and your Monday. She was like, why don't you hold it in the pavilion? And I was like, Oh, my gosh, that mean that can hold more than 10 people? I don't know. And then I, and then I was like, Okay, maybe I'll just make the first choir session free so that people can come and have an idea about like, what is the type of music that I would create, and we were like, Let's hope for 20. And then I put the signup form, we had 70 people, oh, good for you. And I and my mind was blown, my mind was blown. I was like, oh, people want to sing. And I think the thing that I can recognize is that a lot of choirs around for an older demographic. And also, a lot of the music that they're singing isn't, if you haven't sung before, or if you haven't done in a while, it's can be quite daunting for a lot of people. And so my type of music that I write is, it's pretty repetitive, it's looping. So the parts once they have them, is a very easy for them. And I wanted it to be like focused on your part. And it might not be hard. But I want you to be able to understand how it fits within the context of the whole song, so that you can actually listen to all of the other parts going on. Yeah, and I suppose after being isolated for so long, I was just desperate to create something that allowed me to be with other people in a creative setting. Yeah. So that's kind of we had our first rehearsal on Sunday. And I think there was like 4045 people came, which was just wow, that was just amazing. And damn, they could sing. I was I went into it being like, I went into being like, I don't know, like, we'll see what level they're at. And they picked up parts so fast. I was like, Okay, I now know what type of choir I'm writing for. Yeah, and so it's just like, kind of like a dream, it's the first time that I'll be able to actually make money since becoming a mum. Because I have not really been able to work because of Fergus. And then we moved across the country. And so this is like really a really exciting and fulfilling way to actually make some kind of income for myself, as well, which is just like a added bonus, to be honest. Yes.
Yeah. I gotta admit, when I when I saw that your Instagram reel that you created, you're working through that process of, do you think the terms right now and then you can tell us like, Oh, my God, I want to do that. Because it's like, no one does that everyone wants to sing, like, just crap songs, and, you know, versions of pop songs. It's like, getting back to what music is, you know, at its essence. Yeah, I had an experience years and years ago. Because through our, our vocal group, we'd get like, we go to places and learn things. And people come and visit and teach us things. And this guy just broke it all down one day said, he said, we're not going to sing anything, that we're not going to sing things with words, we're not going to, you're not gonna know this song. There's no structure to it. He didn't even give us sheet music. So straightaway, people are freaking out because this is not what we do. He gave us a chord and he just said, Pick a night in this court. And then he'd go over, like we had to hold it for a long time. So it was good way to practice our,
you know, control vocal,
and listen to the agility X to you. When are they going to breathe, you have to not breathe at the same time, all this sort of stuff that was held, it's good, it's good things there. But then it just go over to one part and it just say, just move your note. And so people are looking at each other like, oh, how do I move my note? What do I do? Where do I put it? I don't know what to do. And he's like, just trust yourself. Just just Just move your note. And so then people would just move their note. And then he'd come up to another group and just say, now you move on. And it was just the most freeing experience. And I still couldn't let as I'm telling you, I can see it in my head, it was so wonderful. I was like, we don't need all these bells and whistles and all this stuff that goes with it. You know, it's just getting back to the essence of it. And it was amazing.
And I think the thing that I recognize is that people feel so intimidated by singing, for so intimidated by singing, because, you know, the music that you hear on the radio are either very auto tuned or from trained singers. And so there aren't many spaces that exist for them to have the opportunity to actually sing. And most people can hold a note, like, even those that believe they're tone deaf, it's just the muscle of super underdeveloped, so the more you use it, the better your ear and vocal muscle gets. Yeah. And I was just like, I want people to have the opportunity to sing something that's not a radio song, that where that you're expressing an emotion, because you're part of a whole, like really having that idea that you are a really important piece of this puzzle. And it might not be a hard part. But you actually have the opportunity to develop your ears and understand how your part is, like the context of it.
Yeah, where you fit in and where we fit in. You know how important your party is like, yeah, I remember at one point being in was doing an SSA arrangement, and I was first our show, and we were literally a drone.
We had a drone, honestly, one of the most important ones.
Yeah, God. Yes. And
I said that all the time. I say that all the time. I'm like, the Jerome note is literally one of the most important notes in almost every arrangement that I do, because of how all the other notes are affected by that one note. It's like the the level of tension that you can create from a moving parts and how that one note actually influences. Yeah, yeah, I, there was a group on Sunday that for one song, their note was a drone note and I was like, I want you to take this opportunity to feel what this drone note actually is here to make you feel like why is that drone note here? Like if without it? What are the other parts sound like? Yeah, yeah, it's and I, you almost as if you listen to my music, there's almost always a drone note in the songs. Yeah,
right. Yeah. It's so important. It is so important. And then, years later, obviously, years and years and years later, my son now plays the bagpipes. And when you hear it, when you hear those drones fire up, they're like, Yeah, I get this, like, they're the heart and soul. Like they're the bits that you know, the hold everything together. And I always hated how people, they played, like these jokes on our toes like this, the joke like the sopranos says to the alto, the melody and they go, Oh, I don't get it. And they're like, Yeah, course you don't get it, like you never get the tune. But it's like, the tune is the most boring part of Yeah, it's always underneath that just drives it.
Well, it's like that's the when I think about harmony, it's like, it's really easy for most singers to sing a third above. The third below is the like the harmony that creates like the most important texture, but it's also the hardest for someone's ear to actually be able to hear. So it's like something that I always work on. It's like the you've got your melody and you've got your Harmony above, but that harmony below is what gives like the rich texture of your sound. So low voices are just like, so important to me, because of the impact that they have on a harmony. Because it's like I when I think of harmonies, I think of like, a really important balance. And if you have too many harmonies that sit higher in a register, your your balance is like off put and suddenly, the top harmonies are starting to really ping out rather than it being like a really perfect balance. Yeah, and I mean, the only reason I am so obsessive over those because I've spent so much time listening to harmony, and so much time listening to how harmony impacts me emotionally. And when I go into a song, I'm always like, how do I want people to feel when they hear this and being able to pick notes that I know will elicit those emotions, but that just comes with like, a lot of a lot of time. Yeah, I think a real interest in in being able to express some like something audibly with no words. It's also like it's when, when it doesn't have words, people's minds don't have to think so much. Because what I often find is people who aren't necessarily singers, they get really stressed about having to remember words if you're not using a book. And what I found is with singers that aren't, you know, choir singers, like haven't had that type of training, their head will be so down in their book trying to remember their part that they're actually missing half What's the point of singing with other people?
Yeah, that's it, it becomes this insular thing that you're just focusing on yourself. Yeah,
yeah. And so that's just why I do it's like, quite simply, it's for them to be up at around each other. Yeah.
My God My says, the memory of my legs.
When you said before, about listening to each other, I feel like that is the most underrated part of part seeing people get so focused on themselves, like, and you said about heads in books. But I could, I could literally for years seeing other people's parts, because you spent so much time working out where you fit in, and perhaps why you fit in to this where you see as part of his whole group, it's so important, and I think it teaches you so much about, like life skills, you know, listening to each other. When When do you need to back off? When is it, you know, time for you to come forward? And you're blending and listening to those around you like that? When I said before about when you take your breath like, well, we're not
good at listening as a society. Yeah, absolutely. It's when like, it's really easy to see that we're not very good at listening to others, because we're always thinking about the thing that we're going to say next. And so it's like, singing in a group l gives you the opportunity to, and it kind of forces you to have to listen to others. And it's like, it's why I make it's why I do things really specifically of not having like books to read from and making parts simple and repetitive. Because I want to give people the opportunity to work on their listening skills. Because then they just have that like ability to be like, Oh, I could switch parts I could. Like I can hear their part. If someone next to me is struggling to hear their part. I can help them find their part.
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. So it definitely definitely oh
my gosh, I remember singing in choirs, and your head would be down. And you'd just be following the words. And I just be following the music writing on the page. And I wouldn't be caring if I was singing too loud. Like that's the other thing is like, yeah, everyone wants to be the soloist. Yeah, that's like you go okay, but you're part of a hole. Which means if you can't hear the Alto or you can't hear the sopranos, then you're already singing too loud.
Yeah, exactly. Yeah, it teaches you so much
doesn't Yeah, I think it's such a beautiful opportunity. Like, I love the spaces that choirs can, like the right type of wires can create.
Put that caveat in there? That's so exciting. I'm so pleased you're doing that. I think it's a wonderful expansion of your, you know, sharing your, say your wave of music, but it's like, yeah, it can't you know what I mean? It
kind of like no, I do. It's like my, the way that I write like I'm giving it. And the thing that I was told over and over on Sunday was it's like, people were really looking forward to having an opportunity to sing the type of music that I write. Yes. And I was like, oh, yeah, well, that's that that meant so much to me, because it's like, as we've said, I've spent so long worrying that the type of music that I wrote wasn't didn't fit anywhere. And then to have people be like, Oh, I've seen these parts at home, or I listened. Yes. You know what I mean? Like, yeah, absolutely. I sing. I sing these harmonies by myself in the shower. I'm like, You kidding me? Like, I yeah, it's just been such a beautiful validation of what I have chosen to be as an artist. Yes, absolutely. And I would love to be able to, like, I would want to create a choir in Sunshine Coast, but I want to take like a live loops workshop and be able to take what I do to a day long workshop somewhere in other places that because other people would love the opportunity to sing these types of arrangements. Yeah. Yeah. And so yeah, it is really it's a really exciting project. And I'm just like, feel so fulfilled, but it feels really like in alignment with what I do. Yeah. And I think that's what I've been trying to find is like, I don't want to teach people singing how to sing well, like I don't have no interest in teaching technique. I'm like, there are so many singing teachers out there. Like I want to create spaces where people get to experience harmony, because harmony has had such a profound impact on me. And my ability to cope with life.
Yeah. Oh, that's why I'm so pleased for you. Honestly, it's just sounds crisp, I can be my heart swell. You know, it's just wonderful. I really I'm really, really pleased for you. And I'm very jealous that I'm not there.
I'm I just have to come down the coast.
Do you come down a long way? Right to the bottom of the mainland. Sorry, just on that if there's payment listening that are in your neck of the woods So what's the best way for them to get in touch if they're interested in in a bit more,
we will be social media. So my instagram handle is the dot Edwina dot Masson, Ma, Double S O n. That's where pretty much everything that I do everything that I offer, all the links to all of my work is that's kind of where I play at the moment. So that would be that that would be the spot and just message me or email me any, like, beautiful girl up? I'm pretty, I'm pretty easy to contact. That's awesome. Yep. So we're just about to start term one. So it's going to run in terms, and at the end of each term, we're going to have like a little concert. And so that's kind of where my focus is at creatively focuses. Yeah, one thing at a time choir, establish the choir.
Yeah. And on that, I think it is important for people to have a goal to be to perform, because I've been at times in a group where you don't have any, you're just singing, it's like, that's lovely. We love it. But to be able to then actually put yourself up there is like a whole new kettle of fish, you know,
for people to get to witness the work that they've put in, you know, I mean, I'm just like, I really believe. Yeah, and because then it gives other people permission to do the same thing. It's like, this isn't a bunch of people that have grown up to having singing, training or singing in choirs, but then when you see them sing together as a group, and they can see how they've improved from the start of the term to the end of the term. Because it's important for me to be able to teach them technique and teach them how to braid properly and teach them how to warm their voice up. It's, they would be remiss of me to like, just get them singing and not care about their vocal health. Yeah. I even heard people saying at choir, they could hear the difference in their voice from the start of that two hours to the end of the two hours, because of the muscle, like because of them actually using that muscle. Yeah. And it's like, I want to give people the opportunity one to hear the work that these people have been putting in, but to then maybe even try it themselves.
Absolutely. And see that it's actually it's not this way out scary thing that's only accessible to people who've been, you know,
tracing. elite group of people. Yeah, that's how it definitely can feel. Yes, yeah. And so and then when you give people the opportunity to actually sing with other people, you realize that most people can sing everybody has a voice, like, Yeah, everybody has a voice. Yeah, there's
people that tell me they can't see I'm like, you just don't know how to use your instrument. Literally. That's me, you know, every muscle a thing in your body that we all have, you know, it's just like some people
are born with the ability to run faster than others before they've ever been trained. And then they choose because they have, they're better at that party, that muscle is more developed, then they might choose to become a runner. Some people's vocal cords, or their ears are born more developed with more of an aptitude for music. But it just because the starting point is different doesn't mean you don't have the ability to work to be as good or whatever, it's just a muscle a muscle that can be
stressing it literally and you learn that that's really obvious when when you've been a singer for a while, and you get some training and you go Holy shit, I can do this as well. I didn't know that, you know? Yeah,
it's like I don't sound like I sound like I did when I was 15 You know what I mean? Like I had a good voice when I was 15. But I sound nothing like I did then because I've had training so I've just worked on the muscle and the more you do it, the more flexibility the muscle has and the more agility it has. And yeah, so I definitely believe in like just give it a shot and I want to create spaces that give the people the the opportunity to safely do that.
Yeah, no, I'm good on Yeah, that's it's so inspiring. I'm really pleased for you and I'm gonna follow the journey along on your Instagram I'm really really pleased for you that's wonderful
chatting with you it's been lovely. I feel energized and light and bubbly. Now I feel like I need to go record something for
how Yeah, that's what I'm gonna be doing I would be like, like, peace out. I'll get my recording studio open. Yeah, thank you so much for having me these I always value having a space opera like opportunity to share my journey and to share my story with others because I I know that my experience and what I do can hopefully make other people feel less alone. And and so I I am very thankful to to you for having a space
or Thank you. Thank you and I'm frozen still, but I'm sorry. No.
I know I like you face has been frozen in some great position.
It's hilarious, isn't it? Thanks for your company today. If you've enjoyed this episode, I'd love you to consider leaving us a review. Following or subscribing to the pod Fast or even sharing it with a friend who you think might be interested if you or someone you know would like to be a guest on the podcast please get in touch with us by the link in the show notes I'll catch you again next week for another chat with an artistic mom
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