Musicians receive once in a lifetime opportunity
Talented Tom Price musicians have been given the opportunity to record their original songs with professional musicians and engineers.
The three-week program, held in April, was part of the Western Australian Music Industry Association’s (WAMI) “sounds of” series of regional recording projects, which aim to teach remote musicians recording and production skills whilst providing a mentoring service.
The program was conducted in a house donated by the Shire of Ashburton, which served as an informal studio for the musicians and a team of professional engineers from Studio Couch.
WAMI Regional Officer Nigel Bird said that the project was a once in lifetime opportunity for remote musicians, whose talents often go uncelebrated.
“Musicians in remote areas don’t often have access to recording facilities, so many great songs and contemporary music works in WA have gone undocumented over the years,” Nigel said.
“Although new technology is providing great opportunities for bringing artists closer to recording environments, it is important to develop the skills required to operate in these environments.”
Nigel was highly impressed with the talent and diversity of the 15 Tom Price musicians who participated.
“People in Tom Price come from all different places and the music reflects this – we’ve got everything from heavy metal to cold chisel and acoustic roots music,” he said.
“The great thing for these participants is that we provide them with highly trained producers with impeccable music theory knowledge who can help them fine tune their songs.
“One of the best parts of this job is seeing people’s individual achievements and increased confidence and we have really watched this happen with the musicians in Tom Price.
“One man had a song in his head for 20 years and was finally given the chance to record it!”
Nigel said that Tom Price was a fantastic town, a fact reflected by the sense of camaraderie among the musicians who participated in the program.
“The great thing about Tom Price is that there is already a strong sense of community here” he said.
“A music project has to work in a place like this because it is such a young community.”
Nigel encouraged all musicians in Tom Price to get together and form an informal music club.
“I will start the conversation about the music club but I can only hope that the local musicians make it happen,” he said.
“In a place like this music culture is at the mercy of a transient population and long working hours so it can be difficult.”
Local artists have each had one song professionally recorded, which will feature on the ‘Sounds of Tom Price’ community compilation CD, to be released for free at the Nameless Festival in August.
WAMI will also conduct promotional projects through various state and regional media outlets.
“Hopefully the CD that comes out of this will help to educate the community on who these musicians are and will spur people to support local bands and musicians instead of getting bands in from the outside,” Nigel said.
“Music is a great tool for community development as it brings people together for a positive purpose.”
Nigel said WAMI would continue to have a relationship with Tom Price musicians and foster the development of community music programs.
WAMI will also supply artists with a master copy of their one recorded track, which can be used for many purposes, including seeking radio play, entering song competitions, festival and performance opportunities, and deriving income from sales or publishing opportunities.
“We will stay in touch with participants and help them in any way we can,” Nigel said.
“Ultimately it is up to the musicians to get together and create a music culture. This is an opportunity to start something that Tom Price has never seen before.”
If anyone is interested in joining a Tom Price music club, contact Elissa Nash on 0447 409794.
Photo courtesy of Julie Glover