Tag Archives: Tylea

Pascalle Burton & Tylea live at SpeedPoets this Saturday

This is going to be something!

speedpoets

I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am about the ‘SpeedPoets Only’ collaboration between Pascalle Burton & Tylea that will envelop one and all at the Hideaway (188 Brunswick St) this Saturday, August 31. Anyone who saw them together on the stage at QPF 2012, will, I am sure, share my excitement.

To get you buzzing, here’s the film that won Pascalle Burton the 2013 QPF Filmmaker’s Challenge and an absolute gem from Tylea’s former band, Gota Cola. Now imagine the combined adventurous spirit of these two ladies on stage… good times ahead!

And of course, there will be bountiful open mic opportunities, free zines, raffles and the guitar roar of Sheish Money. Be there to experience something special!

Date: Saturday August 31
Venue: The Hideaway, 188 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley
Time: Doors at 1:30pm for a 2pm Open Mic Start until 5pm
Entry: Gold Coin Donation

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spoken in one strange word 2012: The Sunday Wrap

… and before I can blink the sleep out of my eyes, I am back at The Judith Wright Centre, ready for the double helping of words on offer; Storm and Honey featuring performances from Doubting Thomas & Eleanor Jackson (aka DJ Thought Fox and MC Lady Lazarus) and Andrew Phillips & Tiggy Johnson + the launch of Nicholas Powell’s ‘Thomas Shapcott Award-Winning’ debut collection, Water Mirrors (UQP 2012).

Knowing that I can catch Nick reading later in the day, I opt for Storm and Honey and this is richly rewarded. Thought Fox & Lady Lazarus open up with a performance that has them embodying Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath, re-imagining their lives through their own performances and interpretations of interviews and poems, alongside readings from both Plath and Hughes with the most stunning visual imagery creating a swirling backdrop (and later in the day Doubting Thomas is rewarded for his mastery of the poetic film, taking out the QPF Filmmakers Challenge). Thought Fox and Lazarus are captivating on the stage, their interaction crackling with energy. It’s the perfect poetry hair-of-the-dog to get the day kickstarted… intensely dark and joyous and I would kill to watch it all over again.

From there, we are taken on a full 360 degree spin with a life-affirming performance from Phillips and Johnson. They take us into the heart of their families, then skillfully and fearlessly, allow us to experience some of their most intimate moments. The reading is taken from their dual collection, That Zero Year, which I was honoured to write a blurb for. This is what I had to say:

From the sudden weight of Thirteen Weeks to the biting complaints of Fishing, That Zero Year, screams with joy.These poems form a dialogue of love and loss; unpicking stitches in the family weave to welcome us to the bedside table of these most private moments. Here, we witness breath-taking devastation – the missing knee in the chest, the remembered rub of a belly – and wide-eyed wonder – a smile wriggled through to the toes. That Zero Year is an unflinching celebration of breath and blood. Phillips and Johnson know what it is to be alive and we are richer for it.

This is a collection that I strongly recommend you seek out. You can do so by contacting author, Andrew Phillips via his blog. And their reading… earnest, heartfelt, wonderfully human!

So with a buzz in the temples I eagerly take in the opening of Whisper Me Awake. I have the pleasure of catching the majority of Vanessa Page’s reading and she proves just why her work has been shortlisted in the Thomas Shapcott Award in 2011 and 2012. Her voice is assured, her words ringing with the fullness of the heart. If you have not yet acquainted yourself with Vanessa’s work, you can do so here, and believe me… she is a poet to watch!

From here, I am on dad duty (the most wonderful duty in the known universe), so it’s not until the 3:15pm sessions, Through These Paper Walls and Sharp With Sparks, that I get my next poetry fix. And what a fix… first up I take in Robert Adamson’s last reading for the festival. Hearing Robert read is a wonderful experience… his voice, lifts the words gently from page to ear; easy as breathing. Highlight is not even close to describing Robert’s readings… his presence at the festival has had a profound impact on me. Then it’s off to the Theatre to catch the end of Nicholas Powell’s reading and the first half of the man I described as having the best fingernails in poetry, Steve Smart. Nick is dazzingly relaxed while Steve is poised and menacing. It’s a great combination! And then it’s back to the Shop Front to hear Paul Summers, close the session with another rousingly witty reading. His lyricism is sharp and his keen eye for detail takes us into the heat of each moment. Before QPF I was not familiar with Paul’s work… thankfully, I am now.

For me, it’s now a long stint working the book store, where I am fortunate to have incredible conversations with Robert Adamson and Jill Jones. Working the store is a real pleasure and a great chance to connect with many of the festival punters, all of whom are brimming with festival energy.

And then, in what seems an instant, we are all rolling in to the Theatre for the final session of the festival, Evening Draws Back The Sun. There are many stunning performances, but the closing trio of Darkwing Dubs, a.rawlings and Tylea showcase the vastly different styles that QPF so elegantly unites on the same stage.

Dubs is a master of the blackly comic, bringing the room to its knees as he surges through a treasure trove of Saturday morning super heroes and threatens to slap an orangutan in the face; but he can also kick hard… delivering a slap to the senses with a poem that takes a child’s-eye look at domestic violence. a.rawlings then delivers a superb reading from her collection, Wide Slumber for Lepidopterists. Her presence on stage is magnetic, her voice control, thrilling. Having angela with us in Brisbane as Arts QLD Poet-in-Residence for the past two months has been nothing short of inspirational. And then, Tylea hits a big open chord, heavy with delay and sends the most delicious shiver right through to my toes. Like rawlings, she is impossible to look away from… her easy manner and delightful banter (school fetes, jumping castles and sick children) hold the audience captive allowing the emotion of her songs to burst inside us all. Tylea closes the festival by inviting Pascalle Burton on stage, to pay tribute to Yoko Ono. It’s a rush and the perfect way to sing QPF to sleep for another year…

Before I sign off, I have to pay tribute to Sarah Gory, Talina McKenzie and the volunteer committee. I hope you are all, like me, high on festival spirit. QPF is the pinnacle of our poetry community; the fire that brings us all together and I for one, am incredibly proud to have sat by its warmth.

Til next year…

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QPF 2012 Feature Artist: Tylea (part iii)

With only one day left until the official opening of QLD Poetry Festival: spoken in one strange word, I catch up with Tylea to talk songwriters and find out about her closing night performance.

ALS: Last time we spoken, you mentioned Grant McLennan and Dave McCormack as two songwriters who are important to you. If you had to choose one song from each of these artists to listen to, which would it be and why?

Tylea: I could listen to Cattle and Cane all day by Grant.

I  grew up in Bundaberg and my family and forebearers had a long history with the Fairymead Mill.  Cattle and Cane is the kind of song you feel you have always known.  It just makes sense and works on many levels for me.

I also love David McCormack’s songwriting because of his sense of humour.  I wish I could roll with the punches as much as David.  He’s  a wonderful character.

ALS: And lastly, what are you most looking forward to about performing at QPF 2012?

Tylea: I have invited Pascalle Burton (Pas) to help me out with my set.  We have concocted a sound/guitarscape piece inspired by Yoko Ono’s Grapefruit.  I am not sure how my part will turn out, but I have enjoyed spending a bit of time with Pas and am looking forward to unleashing the uncertainty.  I hope it will be okay.

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QPF 2012 Feature Artist: Tylea (part ii)

ALS: QLD Poetry Festival has long been passionate about showcasing songwriters and their lyrics. Do you have any tried and true process for writing lyrics? Do they tend to inform the music or is it the other way around? And who are the songwriters in Brisbane that create a stir in your world?

Usually, I start writing on an instrument and some lyrical ideas will flow from there.  Each instrument can kind of dictate what type of mood the music/lyrics will have.  For example, if the music idea starts on piano, it will pretty much have a mellow, sadder feel for me.  And so melancholic lyrics will usually come soon after or simultaneously.

At this stage of the writing, I try not to interfere or judge too much as it creates blocks.  The most important thing is having that creative flow and to get a rough structure done with the words and music together – while you are feeling it.  You can always critque the piece  later on down the track, but at that precise moment of writing, I try really hard not to criticise or ask questions.  I guess it’s the only time in my life where I feel like I don’t judge myself.  That’s why I love it so much.

I think I prefer to write starting with music first as it tends to “open the door” on  possibilities to the lyrics. I can write vice versa but music first is the way I prefer.

The songwriters… Grant McLennan & David McCormack.

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QPF 2012 Feature Artist: Tylea (part i)

QLD Poetry Festival 2012 is looming large and the program is bursting with stars! One such star, is Brisbane singer-songwriter, Tylea, with whom I have had the pleasure of catching up with this past week to talk about her return to the live stage and the experience of parenthood.

ALS: 2012 has seen you return to the stage after several years away from the sweaty spotlights of beloved Brisbane venues such as The Zoo. How has your life as a mum influenced the way you approach the stage and the songwriting process?

Tylea: Becoming a Mum has totally changed the amount of time I can give to my songwriting.  The same motivation and need to write is very much still alive, however, I am have more time constraints and practicalities of family life/work which can come first.

Every and any moment I have to work on music is entirely precious.  I used to take the time I gave to it for granted.  Now, I simply have to be  satisfied, regardless of the amount of time I can give it – even though I would like to find more time to give towards the process of songwriting, as it definitely keeps me balanced mentally.

I still absolutely love performing and  I appreciate the “still” time on stage.  Many pent up emotions come out into the performing space because that’s where I can allow them to come out.  Before motherhood, these emotions used to spill out everywhere and anywhere into my everyday life and be very mentally draining.

ALS: As a new dad myself, I completely understand your new found value of creative time. Have you written any songs that directly speak about your experience of becoming a mum?

Tylea: There actually aren’t a lot of songs I have written which directly speak about my experiences as a mum, but there are a couple which relate to my mother.  Once I had my first child,  it occurred to me how much my mother gave to us a family and how much we all took her for granted.  Mum is a fantastic seamstress and she used to make all of our clothes.  She’s a very unassuming, kind and gentle lady.  One day we were visiting her in Bundaberg and she was making my daughter a pair of pyjamas. She came out of the house to where we were sitting on the back patio, stretching the waist band of the pants she was making, and she said, “Tylea, do you think these will be too tight, or too loose?”  Well, those words ended up becoming a song lyric and is an ode to her.  All she has ever done, is to try and please us.

ALS: I have seen you perform many times and it is also an emotional experience for the audience. As a performer, you have an incredible ability to draw the audience in and break down the barrier that the stage can sometimes create. I imagine that this can be exhausting, but at the same time incredibly uplifting. Are there any gigs for you that stand out as particularly memorable?

Tylea: I guess everytime I am on stage, I look it as an opportunity to connect with people and to make friends and understand others.   There are a few occasions where I have felt absolutely floored because it’s seems as if I haven’t connected with anyone after I have cried my guts out.

I used to run a very short lived songwriters club in a share house in Morrisey St Brisbane with my flatmates in the mid 90’s.  It took weeks to clean up and paint the space, and prepare it into a mini venue called Klub Kaos.   My flatmates made curry, we bought beer, hired a PA.  I got to perform at the first show and remember everyone being quiet, still and being in the same space. I played on a stage I’d made out of packing pallets.  The best feeling was from bringing all of our friends together …. The high I felt from that little gig is something I have always remembered.

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