A Brief Update July 2023

It has been a while since my last post and much has changed. I am still active as a composer and conductor but COVID 19 has knocked me and my work around considerably.

My part-time position as Artistic Director / Manager with the Young Music Society ended in April this year (2023) after a 7 year stint. It was mostly a very happy time and, in that time, I believe the team and I had some significant achievements, however, just like most arts and community organisations, COVID affected us badly to the point where we were not able to run any significant programs for over 3 years. After the upheaval of this time YMS managed to survive however it meant rebuilding the organisation from the ground up once again, and perhaps this wasn’t the sort of task I was willing to take on. So now a great replacement has been found in Lisa Gill and I will stay on as President of the YMS Committee for the meantime. After a solid 53 year history it is going to be a long journey back for the organisation.

After suffering my first serious bout of COVID in the first week it arrived in Australia (February 2020), I was left with a long list of serious ailments from LONG COVID which have impacted my physical well-being and my work. After a second bout of COVID whilst in Japan last year (October 2022) further complications are now affecting my daily life and the complications I am told can be long term or for the remainder of my life. Bummer! But life goes on.
During my time in Canberra I moved house 3 times but never really felt completely settled, the last house in Farrer about 500 metres up the road from my family home from back in the 70’s and 80’s. It was I guess a nice time to reflect on my childhood and formative years as forgotten memories were triggered every time I passed the house. In September 2020 I moved to my current home, Werona, in Launceston Tasmania where I have opened a boutique Bed and Breakfast.

In a nutshell, since COVID most of my work stopped. Certainly, throughout the COVID years, when singing was not permitted and people stopped requiring music, it was a dry time for music making indeed. Thankfully the YMS was able to sustain me at a basic financial level throughout that extended period whilst I had short bursts of relief lecturing at the Australian National University School of Music and at the University of Melbourne Music School. I enjoyed delivering the composition lectures very much, though at first it was a whole new experience presenting via zoom and then in lecture theatres to anonymous masked students. I have completed a few small pieces during the last 12 months and am now seeking more avenues for commissioned work.
Now that I have changed direction slightly to running my B&B and it is up and running, I am able to focus a little more on the slowly increasing demands for my artistic work.

I thank my friends and colleagues for their patience and support through this difficult time.