On the 24th of April, The Studio opened its doors once again and gave Art Party (AP) a home for another month, with over 300 expected to attend. AP was a night that did not disappoint and showcased some new talent.
The Boy Edition celebrated some really talented creative men in our community, both upcoming and established artists and performers within their respected area of expertise. Performers ranging from junk percussion and body instrumentation to spoken word to amazing singer/songwriters.
Anyone who has attended AP in the past, knows never to make the assumption that you know how the evening it going to go down. It is always different and it’s always a good idea to come with an open mind and without expectations, you won’t be disappointed, I promise.
What remains the same is the surge of creative energy, a synergy that inspires like food for the soul, the companionship, and the friendship with like minded people. You will always be greeted by a smiling face.
Jessie, the host for the night, was once again brilliant. A ray of sunshine on an otherwise grey and wet night, smiling as she thanked the original owners of the land before introducing the first performance.
Nathan Johnson – Singer/Songwriter
Nathan performs in a duo called, Tap Jones, and together with Gary, they were a great start to a night that promised more surprises.
Gary, the vocalist, commanded the attention of the audience with the sheer power of her voice, very raw, vulnerable and emotional, a voice of someone who seems to have experienced a lot within her life.
Nathan performed solo on a few songs, showcasing his maturity through his lyrics before joining forces and using the power of voice to reflect emotional truths.
They gave me their thoughts on their inspirations and what it’s like performing at AP.
‘It was completely inspiring and amazing and every time I come to these events, I’m surprised by how powerful communal love is and how important it is because no matter what you are going through in life or the kind of day you have had, you can’t help but feel completely loved and blessed in these communities,’ Nathan said.
‘A lot of my inspiration lyrically, is about the prejudices in the world and things that we can improve. I want to empower people to take control over their lives and not rely on others to control it for them,’ Gary said.
Once again Jessie captured the attention of the audience, dedicating a poem to Tashi. Her words have the amazing ability to be humbly transported in through the eardrums of the audience, her emotional truth, her words, both relatable and accessible, become imbedded into your DNA.
Jonathan had a commanding presence on stage, but came across as very humble – there to support other local artists rather than for his own ego. For a tall man, his words expressed a vulnerability that made him a crowd favourite.
He spoke of the ignorance of people when it comes to using particular words and the effect of such usage. He made a political and social comment on homophobia and coming out and being gay in this day and age.
He spoke about depression and suicide and the guilt that is left behind as a result of taking such action. He gave a message of hope, of never giving up. He ended his performance with an ode to Julie Bishop, expressing his undying love for her, which had the audience in hysterics. His words are a reflection of what inspires him throughout his daily life.
‘I guess mostly just emotions. I guess my poetry’s very introspective, I am trying to branch out and trying to write about other things, more than myself and my emotions. I guess I get inspired by that and your everyday struggles and triumphs and what you go through,’ Jonathan said.
Dominic performed some new songs for AP. From soft electric guitar rhythms to more upbeat songs, he had the constant attention of the audience. Dominic’s words had a resonating affect, he told a story of love lost and there seemed to be a sadness to his lyrics, but also an enticing romance. His words had a life, something that was felt by all who were present that night. The audience demanded one more song and he did not disappoint.
Dominic believes in the importance of collaboration:
‘I think, as someone who has basically wanted to be a musician ever since I can remember, I think the modern musician’s life should be about collaboration whether it be with a producer or with a community or another artist, collaboration is everything. And I don’t mean just in music, but collaboration in the creative form is great, any negativity surrounding collaboration shouldn’t exist,’ Dominic said.
Fire never ceases to amaze those who have had the chance to witness a fire artist before. Adam, also known as the lone wolf, showed his mastery over fire but also the danger, you are never in control of fire. Enchanting the audience and showing them why he is at the top of his game.
Adam was quite hypnotic, drawing you in with his eyes as he placed the fire into his mouth and blowing it out setting the staff alight. He balanced the dragon staff on his head and at one point his clothes were alight and like a true performer he got on with the show. His performance was magical and it was a great end to the first half of the night.
After a 15 minute break, the next performance required audience participation and an instant buzz swept through the audience.
Oded Prior and friends took the stage, they used everyday junk and objects and their bodies to create music. Items like used buckets, plastic bags, boxes converted into drums.
Junkyard Beats was another crowd favourite. Charismatic and funny, Oded knew how to work the audience and get them involved and feed off the energy.
Junkyard Beats was very entertaining, breaking the audience into 3 groups getting them to collaborate and make some music, all the while the audience was laughing and having a great time, the ethos of AP.
Inspired by the idea of turning other people’s trash and turning them into instruments:
‘I love junk, I just love it, I can go in a van and drive and see junk on the side of the road, put it in my van and take it home and start looking at it. I like to reuse stuff that people think is trash but I actually make it into a musical instrument, and then they go ‘why didn’t I think of that?’. That’s what motivates me, finding new sounds with new junk and turning them into instruments,’ Oded said.
Max was next to take the stage, he performed a few cover songs before opening the stage to collaboration to anyone with a talent. Relying on his voice to enchant the audience and an acoustic guitar.
There was something soothing about his voice, the power reflected the tones of the songs. Raw and emotional he was able to take the words of someone else and make them his own and make the audience believe it, not an easy thing to do.
Finally, Max opened the stage for other performers, singers, vocalists, drummers, guitar and flute players to collaborate on a song together, that was not rehearsed. The female singer was mind blowing, a voice that came out of nowhere and she had our attention from the very moment she opened her mouth and hit that first note, the audience let out a cheer showing their appreciation.
Declan was the last performer of the night, he thanked the audience and spoke about how great it felt to be in an environment that is about the creation rather than the ego or the self.
A voice of hope, he got the audience dancing and singing along to his songs. With sweet reggae afro-beat sounds, performing with his old guitar and a box drum, you can see why he is still a force in the music industry today.
Declan brings AP down to a social level as he spoke to the audience about the protests that took place a few days later to stop the forced closures of Aboriginal communities. For the final performance, Declan collaborated with Oded Prior and ended the night on such a high there audience were still buzzing as they left the venue.
Declan performs because he has a powerful need to create:
‘It feels like I have to. The first time I probably performed in front of an audience, I was nervous as hell and then realised that you can actually move people’s emotions, or legs, and I’ve never looked back. It’s a powerful thing: music can make you want to dance, laugh or cry, it’s just good to be a part of it and create it,’ Declan said.
If you want to find out more about AP check out their Facebook page. Friday the 29th of May is the next AP lock it into your calendars and come for a night of art, music, fire and cuddles.
A special shout out goes to:
Without whom AP would not be a success.