Hannah Lane (Italian triple harp), Jennifer Kirsner (baroque violin), Ellie Walker (baroque cello) and myself (tambourine….no seriously) presented an ambitious concert of very early Italian music in an homage to the “sweet torments” of love. One of the utterly fantastic things about this early Italian court music is how passionate and unexpected it is – at once elegant and unruly, bursting from melancholy to bitterness, longing and downright bawdiness. (I couldn’t help myself, right at the end of the Melbourne concert before the final piece, I ended up explaining “It’s basically about boobs”, causing my more-refined stage companions to guffaw and shake their heads.
.....I’m confident I got away with it.)
A week later we hauled ourselves out to Western Sydney in 30-odd degrees (the instrumentalists were all champions, dealing with the temperature-tuning challenges of period instruments) and gave a really magical, humbling performance to a group of detainees. The security protocols surrounding the concert were pretty intimidating, but the reception we got made it all worth it. At the end, many people came up wanting to chat to us and look at the instruments (and help us carry them back to the front security section), and one man who had sat quietly with his eyes closed through the whole concert came and said, “Thank you for taking me away from here for an hour”. That says it all, really: about detention, and about music.
Our first concert was generously sponsored by Purple Hen Wines, and our second public performance – in the equally beautiful Glebe Town Hall – was sponsored by the fabulous Beliso Chocolates (handmade, ethically sourced artisanal chocolate – SO good! The whole performance venue smelled like delicious chocolate by the time interval was through!). Together with our sponsors, we raised nearly $2,000 for The Asylum Seekers Centre (VIC) and The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (NSW). A lot of hard work was put in by all involved, and I am very proud of what we achieved both musically and socially. Most of all, I am very grateful to be surrounded by musicians and friends who pulled together to make it all happen (with special thanks also going to Matthew Lorenzon, my mum, and my husband for helping with transport and set up!). Well done, everybody!
Here we are having a well-earned drink at the pub after the final show. I have loved hanging out with these ladies:
(L-R: Jennifer Kirsner, myself, Hannah Lane, Ellie Walker)