Where are you from and/or where do you live now?
Born in Melbourne, raised in Ballarat, currently living in Berlin.
How long have you been playing percussion? And what initially drew you to the instrument?
I was fourteen years old when I first became really interested in percussion. I had been playing the violin for about seven years prior to that, and one day at the school music department I caught a glimpse of a vibraphone, and that was enough. It looked so cool. I was entranced by it's beautiful shapes and then - the sound. It also looked so fun to play and I was drawn to the physical freedom of having your arms flying everywhere in contrast to the somewhat strict posture required to play the violin. I began taking vibraphone and marimba lessons right away and joined the percussion section of the school concert band, much to my violin teacher's dismay!
Do you play any other instruments?
I play the piano, violin, harmonica, melodica, hand/multi-percussion, ukulele and I also use my voice for things.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I'm writing the music for a new shadow-puppet theatre play which will be premiered in Berlin this December. It's a huge challenge as I've never written a piece for theatre let alone anything for the duration of an entire show, but I'm absolutely loving the creative freedom. If all goes well we'll tour the show next year throughout Germany, France and Italy.
What else are you (currently or previously) involved in (bands/shows/projects etc)?
I have been fortunate enough to collaborate with some incredible musicians from many different places around the world. I've performed gigs with own music and with other projects in Spain, Germany, France and Russia. The biggest issue is and has been getting the vibes around easily, but I guess that goes for all drummers and percussionists – we'll always be the first to arrive to a gig and last to leave!
Do you write music or develop your own shows? What are they about/how have they come about?
Yep and yep, the bulk of my performance material is based around my own music. I compose pieces for vibraphone and instrumental and electronic elements. On stage I usually improvise with another musician over pre-recorded parts which are triggered manually via a midi keyboard. I've been developing this live set for the past ten years or so and for me it's a nice blend of structure and freedom.
What are your thoughts on collaboration in music and in the projects you’re involved in or the projects you run?
I think collaboration is very healthy in music and all the arts for that matter. Cross pollination of inspirations and ideas can create new and exciting growth within us, maybe resulting in something that neither one expected.
Who are you listening to/whose music are you enjoying right now?
Those who know me well know that I have The Lake Radio on in the background pretty much at all times. It's a 24hr radio stream from Copenhagen which plays an incredible selection of music, speech, and sound art. To me it's inspiring, random and a bit mental - just how I like it.
Do you have any favourite drummers? Or other musicians who inspire you? why?
I wouldn't say I have a favourite drummer, and there are many, many musicians that inspire me. But moreover, I would say that life is constantly giving me inspiration in it's constant and ever-changing forms. Emotions, things that happen to me and around me or how my brain perceives the world are all things that I take with me when I go to write or perform. Usually the things that are very close to my heart are what gets channeled the most.
Do you have a particular warm up or practice routine? Or favourite exercises?
I love doing pad practice with varying exercises to my favourite tunes with a strong or interesting beat. I try to do this daily or every couple of days, and always with pair of isolating headphones so I can also practice vocal stuff at same time without having to hear my own voice.
Does social media play a big part in how you promote yourself as an artist and your various projects? Do you promote your work in other ways?
Absolutely, social media is a seriously helpful service for artists. It can help artists reach a much larger audience than would otherwise be possible. Recently I had some stickers printed up which I've been giving out and sticking around in appropriate and inappropriate places.
Where’s the coolest place that music has taken you?
If you could give your younger drumming self some advice what would it be?
The metronome is your friend.
In December I'm heading back to 'Straya! Looking forward to playing some gigs and collaborating with old friends and new. I'll be kicking off with a 3-week residency at the Wesley Anne on the 15th then a few more shows around Melbs before heading up to Sydney to perform for the first time. Excited!