Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Living Music’s highly effective youth mentorship program has been operating since 1999 under artistic director Andrew McSweeney, himself a singer/songwriter/producer. Mentors like indie hip hop producer Julez (discovered byTriple J’s Unearthed in 2008) help fledgling artists build confidence and see new possibilities through self-expression, enterprise, teamwork and accomplishment. The standard is high. McSweeney and a range of other muso mentors like Pete Satchell (Dallas Crane), Thomas Butt and MC Pat Marks (Pataphysics) have helped nurture great songs from Living Music Showcase: Choice As contributors like nineteen year old Big Bear, whose ‘Back Then’ - so honest it shocks - is moving and melodic with its straying piano, strings and beats. Lil Darcy’s audacious ‘One In 7 Billion’ (featuring Toxman and Julez) throws up lyrics like ‘shark’s meat’, ‘fresh allegations’ and ‘voice box is under persuasion’ over organ grinder keyboards and loping horns. There’s a big slice of Islander R&B from various participants; stories that reach out with humour, honesty and verve. Living Music Showcase: Choice As also features film and projections, with participants in the thick of it, getting skilled-up. Fourteen-year-old Lil Darcy: ‘When I was in Parkville [Youth Justice Precinct], which is like a boys’ home, they gave me the number for Living Music. It’s a good program. I’m pretty pleased with my producer Julez; he’s the best.’ Other mentors working on Living Music Showcase: Choice As include writers Simon McSweeney and Rebecca Lister, Dan Ryan kicking in with film and visual arts, and movement expert Dominique Miller.

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