Wednesday, 6 October 2010

The secret to a happier me: Playing Music

I've recently rediscovered music - creating it, listening to it, savouring it, experiencing it. Strangely enough, I didn't know I had given it up until one day I went to Jeremy Mendonca's slightly free-form and energetic toddler music class. Jeremy biked across the field, standing on the pedals like a big kid, guitar strapped to his back. He burst into the room with such energy, and rather than yet another saccharine rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, got us singing "I'm a Believer" - the Shrek version, and "Ring of Fire", and then the kids ran around with shakers accompanying the mums and dads on "Twist and Shout".

I sang like I'd been locked in a closet for 4 years - singing out loud, I mean really loud, was so incredibly liberating. Liberating from what? Well, something funny happened to me when I had the kids. Parenting (or good parenting) doesn't come naturally, and as a result I have sometimes felt like I'm acting a role rather than actually experiencing life, or experiencing it with the intensity that I'm used to. Partly that means that superb but loud Bad Brains album gathers dust, and rather than singing at the top of my lungs to Janis Joplin, I've been sweetly singing Sleeping Bunnies. Besides giving up my name, my job, my sleep, sponteneity, privacy... I could go on and on! So I felt liberated from the label of being Someone's Mum and felt a little bit more in touch with Me. Needless to say, I've made a point of attending every "Music with Jeremy" session I possibly can!

Anyhow, as some of you will know, Jeremy plays proper music by night, a fun sort of Americana / Bluegrass style. He was playing at a local bar and asked me to come along, so I invited a group of friends, including the fabulous Hilary Kelsh. Watching Jeremy play, Hilary and I both had revelations - separately, and secretly - "I can do that!"*. To make a very very long story short... we confessed our love of music to each other, and well, we made it happen.

Here's the first song in a series of videos from our first ever live show. This song is called Reason, written in August by Hilary Kelsh, and performed at the "Live@25" gig with the help of a few stiff Whisky Macs. I love the part about being "in mourning for myself - not sure who I ought to be".

Please give it a thumbs up and add your comments to YouTube, and if you have time check out some of our other songs on the Hilary Kelsh channel. If you only have time for one more, listen to Shame:

* As it turns out, Hilary can definitely do it!! and I am a bit rubbish and a bundle of nerves, but happy nonetheless. 


  1. Music makes you happier! Its bizarre isn't it? Plus the kids love it, so it has win written all over it. Good for you getting up with your adorable posh accents and whatnot and belting out some tunes.

    Just one thing: no ukuleles? Wouldn't the second song be like, heaps happier, on a uke? A bit chipper? Just saying.

    And I kept waiting for you to bust out some vocals! Maybe next time?

    Keep strummin'

  2. way to go Hilary and Janis, great lyrics. When do you make the cd!

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