Community & Business

12 May, 2024

Great yarns, the aim of a new music project

New music project by two well-known local groups, is set to showcase the region and share the unique stories of the Warren/Gilgandra region and its people. Photos in article.

By Harriet Gilmore - Warren Star

Great yarns, the aim of a new music project - feature photo

New music project by two well-known local groups, is set to showcase the region and share the unique stories of the Warren/Gilgandra region and its people.

Warren Chamber Music Festival is teaming-up with DUST Music, featuring Golden Guitar winning musicians Greg, Bonnie, and youngest sister, Millie Storer, together with Frances Evans, to write and record songs based on local stories and folklore.

To this end, the group will host a range of “storytelling sessions” in local establishments in Collie, Warren, and Nevertire, where the musicians hope to entice some good local “yarns” and other stories, before turning them into songs and recording an album with renowned Australian producer, James Gillard.

Accomplished local fiddler with DUST Music and founder of the Warren Chamber Music Festival, Frances Evans, is incredibly excited, after funding was recently secured, to be getting the project off the ground.

“The power of a shared story, unites small communities,” Frances said. “A story and a song has the ability to bring people together to reflect, think, share, and remember,” she added.

No other creative medium offers as many human emotions and experiences, she believes. “Music is evocative, emotional, innate, and is universal.

“Music-making and art-making, is an uplifting experience for people, and facilitates social cohesion and greater well-being.”

She is looking forward to bringing the stories of hardship and survival to life through the lyrical power of music. “The impact of hearing true yarns spun into song and shared, remembered, archived, and treasured, will have a great impact on the communities of the central west,” Frances believes.

“We are already predicting that stories of drought, flood, fire, survival, mateship, endurance, comfort, and courage, will be just some of the significant themes addressed,” she said.

Award-winning musician Greg Storer said that Frances Evans first came-up with the idea of having a story or yarn night, at the local watering holes during one of their jam sessions at Ellerslie Lane.

Greg said he hopes to get ample content from the stories gathered at the sessions, that they can then cull and use the best songs to create an EP or album. “Yarns and stories preserved for prosperity from around the district on a CD,” he said in describing the initiative.

“We have lined-up James Gillard to produce the songs,” Greg added. This producer, he revealed, has a long and storied history in the Australian music scene.

“James is a very well-known Aussie musician and performer, and has played mainly bass guitar for the likes of Mondo Rock, Lee Kernaghan, The Flood, Jimmy Barnes, and for just about everyone,” Greg enthused. “So, it’s going to be a very exciting project to be involved with.”

The group has secured $13,000 in funding from the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) and Outback Arts’ Country Arts Support Program (CASP) to get the project off the ground.

“Big thanks to Frances for compiling grants, and FRRR and CASP for their generous support,” Greg said. “Pressure is on now to write some cracking songs and get them recorded. Looking forward to it.”

The new project also includes the addition of a new family member to DUST Music with Greg’s youngest daughter — and sister of Bonnie and Pip — Millie to join the ensemble.

Millie is currently completing year 12, but recently opened with her original songs for Australian music legend, Ian Moss. “Millie’s beautiful voice will feature on the upcoming EP to be recorded in October/November 2024,” Frances added.

“It’s fantastic to have Bonnie and Millie involved as well,” Greg said. “Pip is going to Canada for a while, so she won’t be contributing unfortunately,” he explained.

Now the funding has been secured, the group will be getting together this week to start locking in dates for the “yarn” sessions at the Collie Hotel, Nevertire Hotel, and Warren Golf Club.

“We want residents of all ages and from all walks of life to come along to the sessions,” Frances said. “So watch this space,” she concluded.


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