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Helen Davey: news

Little Theatre Presents... - May, 2019


Some years ago in my home town Daylesford Australia, I saw a live performance of Jeff Stewart's Little Theatre. The piece was called "Elemental Passions" (which takes its title from Luce Irigaray).
I was utterly captivated by the mastery of Jeff's miniature theatre sets and the penetrant nature of his four 'undiluted' monologues.

I approached Jeff asking had he considered music for the piece. As it happened, he was in the process then of working with film maker, Anthony Petrucci to capture Elemental Passions into a short film. Jeff was happy for me to create the film sound-track. It's now ready for viewing (11:03 mins).
you can check it out here:

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opening sets of Jeff Stewart's Little Theatre.
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Piano Pictures & Spring Flings - April, 2019

I've been working on two different anthologies for solo piano.
The first - called "Piano Pictures" - is a series of notated compositions for student pianists. Each tune is a musical response to a black and white photograph and features a learning objective which is demonstrated in the piece. These will be bundled up, available for sale soon. Watch this space for details.

The second collection of tunes is called "Spring Flings". These are free improvisations which I record during my daily studio practice. I've been selecting my favorite piece from the week's recordings to build this collection. They are sound paintings too (each responding to an image). Here's an example of a Spring Fling: "Spring Sings".

You can hear these evolving sets and more of my music, here on my bandcamp page.

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"Helen's Hands" - Photo credit: Alison Pouliot
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Spring Things - March, 2019

As Winter melts into Spring in the northern hemisphere, I've been inspired to record a series of solo piano piece. Mostly there's an image that has prompted each piece. You can hear them at my bandcamp page.

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R&R - January, 2019

Thoroughly enjoyed my much needed rest and recuperation (R&R) at home in OZ during Summer.
And what a privilege and a pleasure to be blessed in our garden by the staggering array of birdlife (at least 20 noted species), swamp wallabies, echidnas, eastern grey kangaroos, antechinus, possums and bats, not to mention myriad insects, skinks, spiders and the odd snake. What's this to do with my musicking? Oh just the sheer joy of drinking it all in and trusting it will compost down in my creative self and be drawn upon musically at some point.

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Um,... g'day Mr. Gang Gang
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Here we are again - December, 2018

I've heard that astrologically speaking, 2018 was a year demanding great patience and that 2019 will be a year for creative expression. Um... well in a nutshell, that seems a comforting way to look back and forward.

Wishing you a year ahead that takes your breath away.
Often.
In a good way.


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Seasons Greetings
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All for One - November, 2018

What a pleasure it was to reconnect with some of the folk in Melbourne's vibrant improvisation scene whilst in OZ - especially many of the old faithfuls from the Cecil Street Studio.
Working with some old and new connections, I was again wowsed by the professionalism and bubbly delight in risk taking from fellow improvisers. Not least of whom is movement maestro, Catherine Magill, whose series "All for One and One for All" was a performance of rolling duets. I was lucky enough to be part of this inspired work.

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Catherine Magill's All for One and One for All
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Sabbatical - September, 2018

There are times when one unexpectedly finds oneself having an unplanned "sabbatical"for all the right reasons. It is one of those times now. How fortunate I am to able to savour this.

'There is no such thing as free time.
There is no such thing as work time.
There is no such thing as play time.
There is no such thing as spare time.
There is no such thing as the right time.
There is no such thing as down time.
There is no such thing as quality time.
There is no such thing as the wrong time.

There is only time.'

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Artwork and quotes from Rob Ryan - paper artist
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Words in Winter Festival - August, 2018

And so it was: my Solo Show at the Words in Winter Festival. This was a richly varied festival programme and I thoroughly enjoyed attending other artist's presentatins.
Love participating in my home town events.
My gig was in a great venue with a super focussed audience - thanks for your fabulous contributions. A highlight for me was requesting two fine vocal improvisers in the audience - Hilde Knottenbelt and Jen Hutt - to join me in co-creating a sound painting. We responded to a multi layered story about a non-Aboriginal woman born in the Victorian Goldfields during the late 19th century. Thanks again gals.

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Sound-painting vignettes.
A golden gig to precede my sabbatical
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Being fed fine food through music. - July, 2018

When I can, I revel in the richness of wholesome professional development in improvisation. Sometimes it's in my own art form, other times I choose a different art form to explore. It's all nourishment and inspiration  - like gourmet food for my musical senses.

This month I was fortunate to be in Melbourne for fine vocal Impro food at Hilde Knottenbelt's winter school workshop. Lucky me!

 

 

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Some toys from the workshop
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Sapperlotting - June, 2018

Sapperlot is an all women's Playback-Theatre group in Zürich. We've been refining our improvised forms/structures during our regular training sessions over the past months. It's been fun working collaboratively.


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Public workshop performance

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Posh music - May, 2018

Until now I've been handwriting my music - yes really.

This month I made time to explore Logic Pro's notation options. It's pretty impressive and I enjoyed learning the ropes. Can hardly believe how posh my music looks in conventional notation.
Once I've completed the current collection, they'll be available for sale.

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Piano Portraits Series
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Still Morning - April, 2018

Project 52 Sound-Paintings is back with this contemplative piece for solo piano and breath.

You can listen to it here

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Näbelmeer, Central Switzerland, winter 2018

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Context - March, 2018

This month I was at a workshop in central Switzerland. Great people, good vibes and commendable creative work. I enjoyed taking one of the sessions and being nourished by the leaders of other sessions.

The view was breathtaking. Rather than being distracting, it offered a sense of profound focus. I felt like it contributed to the layers of meaning we expressed with our music and theatrical works.

Some say context is everything.

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Inspiring views in central Switzerland
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Silent Accordion Practice - February, 2018

Getting back to a routine in my studio after a month away had me taking very long, musical ‘breaths’."Still Morning", a piece for solo piano came out of that pondering. You can listen to it here: Still Morning.

Meanwhile, on the train to work, I can now practice accordion silently! Amazing what we can get from teh app store these days...

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"Accordion" app means I can practice on the train using my ipad

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Home-ness - January, 2018

This past decade, each January is spent at "home" in Australia for a four week flurry. Cramming a year of catching up with friends and family and completing required property maintenance into that month isn’t possible. But I still keep trying to square that hole.

Studio practice is one of the things that just has to go by the wayside....So my instruments are put to bed for a whole month - cause there just isn't the time to play them til I'm back into my routine in my Swiss "home".

HAPPY 2018 to you - I hope it's full of experimental, expansive, exciting and enriching moments .

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My instruments put to bed for my annual leave

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Sapperlot - December, 2017

Thrilled to have joined a women's impro theatre group in Zurich. Sapperlot needed a musician and I happened to be in the right place at the right time. Lucky me. Gas working with these gals. Many different forms and nuances in the improvisations. And there's even a nice littel grand piano in the rehearsal space.

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film score for "Little Theatre" - November, 2017

I was asked to score the music for a short film, "Little Theatre presents" which is an intriguing artwork. Jeff Stewart, an Australian artist and writer has created a miniature theatre set to capture the charachters and themes of four of his monologues.

The miniature theatre is generally performed in intimate spaces for small audiences. Now it's been made into a film by Anthony Petrucci, with Stuart Grant narrating the monologues - recorded by Oscar Grano.
It's an honour to have been part of this project. Looking forward to it's premier in 2018.

 

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"Little Theatre presents" short film by Jeff Stewart
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Celtic Origins - October, 2017

Three out of four of my grandparents' family branches stem from Cornwall. Visiting the areas where my ancestors hail from during this month, has been a long time coming. To walk their respective village and coastal paths, breathe in the sea air and the landscapes where they lived gave me a profound sense of place.

It was richly inspiring. Much music is bubbling up. I keep hearing so many melodies and trying to catch them before they whisk away again.


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Cape Cornwall
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Never knowing what's next - August, 2017



An impromptu ensemble for a gig in Ticino (Italian speaking part of Switzerland) was great fun. Never ceases to amaze me that three musicians who havn't played together before, (nor share a language) can create music that works a charm!

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Maia, MArc and Helen
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Something fishy - July, 2017

 

Loved being asked if music from my first solo piano CD could be used for a film about fish...
You never know when your music is being heard; something comforting in that.


by Pete Lambshed
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Travel Pack - May, 2017



Whether travelling for a gig up the road or internationally, it's remarkable how many instruments can fit into a bag... The tone colours in this travel pack are pretty comprehensive.


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Australasian Playback theatre Gathering - April, 2017

During a trip to Australia this month, I joined the quite wonderful conference "Under Our Southern Skies" which operated using the Open Space Process. The conference, the process and the people made for a nourishing, inspiring and thoroughly enjoyable event. We even hooked up with the concurrent European Gathering and sung for each other - technology still amazes me.

I love experiencing the nuances and differences between interpreters of playback theatre. There's definitely an Aussie flavour that differentiates playback from the many European expressions of this fine art form.

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Part of the "Open Space" process as
explained at the Hobart hosted Australasian PT Gathering, 2017
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impro trio for playback-theatre - March, 2017



It's been two years since I was warmly welcomed into the "Naerrischen Alten" joining two other improvising musicians. Here we're co-creating a sound-track for the the acting troupe on stage (also improvisers)... And each of us (actors and musicians) are responding to a member of the audiences' interpretation of an artwork.
Quite complex.
A whole array of interconnectedness.


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Maia, Martin and Helen
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evolving ensembles - February, 2017



It's always a priviledge to work with other artists in our respective fields to create something together. BUt there's nothing quite like the joy of improvising with highly focussed people who manage to stay connected with each other throughout a piece of work.

This ensemble of theatre makers are called Die Naerrischen Alten. They are such a pleasure to work with.
And the combined skill set and experience amidst this (largely retired) group is mind blowing.
Lucky me!!


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warm fuzzies - 'tis the season to be jolly' - December, 2016


At the end of each semester all my private students are invited to present two pieces they've been working on at a soirée workshop. After each student takes centre stage, presenting their works, they sit on the comfy chair to accept the 'warm fuzzies' from their audience coleagues (the audience members tell the performer something they liked). So the performer takes away a posy of the goodness they've shared via their musicking. Puts a smile on my dial every time :-)

Hoping you get some warm fuzzies during the Silly Season, and can share some around with loved ones or perfect strangers. Have a good one.

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Photo credit: Gavin Whitner ‘Sheet Music Art’  https://musicoomph.com/
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