Image from the Adelaide Festival 2013 brochure for the Australian Premiere: DirtDay! Laurie Anderson.

Adelaide Festival of Arts

There’s an international festival of arts going on in our city and inspiration is flowing.  As we drive through the streets and go to performances and exhibitions we see constant reminders of the good soul food provided by artists in all the forms – music, dance, drama, visual arts, film and all their interconnections.  We listen enthralled to visiting musicians such as members of the Kronos Quartet, each one a virtuoso in an instrument.  Then we are captivated by a whole body of work spanning visual, film, performed and recorded music and philosophy by multi-faceted artist Laurie Anderson.  One thing they all have in common is childhood and we can say with certainty that those impulses showed up early and were nurtured.

So who might we have in our classes and music sessions?  Is the child who just doesn’t want it to stop, who sings every line even though not yet three years-old, who has a favourite instrument amongst our kit of percussion that we hand out and who wants to be our roadie as we pack up the next twenty-something to take the art world by storm?  It’s my contention that we have to assume it’s possible that we are touching the lives of elite musicians as we sing and play the traditional songs of childhood.

With that in mind we become freer to explore our artform, to take chances with our voices, to sing, play and move as though we are in a festival theatre, not a humble classroom or corner of a gym.  Our sessions and lessons are then inspirational in turn, and even if there is no budding virtuoso in the room everything changes, the space lights up and what was an ordinary day becomes a festival of music for the young and those who spend their day caring for and educating them.