It is rather delightful when you hear a beautifully raw account of life in Tasmania.
But that is exactly what I received when I caught up with lovely local songstress Rachel Taylor.
Her story is a great reminder of the perseverance of dreams through trials and tribulations.
Rachel has been a singer all her life – with her professional career starting when she was just 14.
Fast forward to August 2014 and Rachel has just finished recording her first studio project, ‘The Green Album’ – A collection of original music created with the philosophy of sustainable living.
This included using borrowed/second hand instruments and recording equipment, and ensuring a majority of the CD packaging was recycled card with sustainably sourced soy-based ink.
Even the Adelaide studio was renovated from an old warehouse using recycled timbers and mud-brick.
“The studio I recorded at is pretty amazing. Mixmasters has had people like Jeff Lang, Eric Bogle, The Audreys, Ben Folds, and Amanda Palmer… the desk used was salvaged from a studio in Sydney that recorded several INXS albums, so it’s all pretty mind blowing!!”
To assist fundraising activities in getting the project off the ground, Rachel launched a Pozible campaign with her goal of $4500 reached after only 7 days.
‘The Green Album’ will be available in November and can be purchased on iTunes and CD Baby – or you can contact Rachel directly through Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube. For a bit of a snippet visit https://www.facebook.com/rjtvoxmusic?fref=ts.
Aside from recording, gigging or teaching music, she can be found directing community choir, the Tasmanian Song Company, drawing upon her wide experience performing in major theatres, festivals, and clubs around Australia, to create an exciting concert programs.
So got a voice, live in Hobart and want to use it? Why not contact The Tasmanian Song Company? http://www.tasmaniansongcompany.org.au/.
Here is Rachel’s take on My Island Home.
Where are you from?
I was born in Launceston, grew up in Blackwood Creek, and came of age in Hobart.
What is the craziest thing you have done?
In the eyes of many others, especially those outside of creative industries, my whole life is completely crazy! But what I personally think is the craziest thing; I once got so burned out that I thought I should give up music. That lasted nearly 3 months before I realised exactly how crazy it was and came back to my calling.
What is the first thing a stranger would notice about you?
My smile, or maybe my laugh? I read somewhere that children laugh hundreds of times every day, but adults less than ten times a day on average – I think that’s sad, and attempt every day to up that average for the adults.
What do you do?
I make music: I write songs, I sing and play a few instruments, I collect and tell stories, and I love the connection with people and humanity that all this gives me.
What are your top three places in Tassie?
Can I only have three? The Western Tiers because I grew up in the foothills.
Hobart because to me it is the most beautiful town in all the world.
The Franklin River for it’s beauty and isolation.
If I can sneak in a fourth, Freycinet Peninsula for the views and the swimming.
If you could do anything/go anywhere in Tasmania where would you go?
Something I’ve never done and wanted to do for years now is the abseil over the Gordon Dam – it’s 140 metres, completely frightening, and can you imagine the views on the way down? Wow!
What do you love about Tassie?
So much!! I love the forests, rivers, and beaches. I love all the boutique food and craft products available. I love the high percentage of creative people and music lovers who live here. I go away for long stretches at a time, but I will never fall out of love with Tasmania.
What is one thing that people wouldn’t know about you?
I’m a fairly positive person, so most people are surprised to learn that I struggle with depression. It’s unfortunately common, but so rarely talked about so a lot of people get confused that you can be depressed without seeming sad all the time.
A major goal for me was to be off medication by my 30th birthday – it ended up being a few weeks later than that in order to do it safely and effectively, and was a long process involving counselling, diet, and exercise plans as well as fallback positions if I wasn’t one of the lucky few who actually can function well without medication. This doesn’t mean I’m “cured” and I’m so lucky to have amazing support from my partner, family, and friends. I’m really very lucky and can’t express my gratitude enough.
What do you do in your free time?
You mean other than making music, listening to music, and writing music? Read, watch movies or TV series, knitting, travelling, lots of stuff that everybody does! At the moment I’m really enjoying QI, hosted by Stephen Fry.
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
Speak fluently and understand all languages. I learned Japanese in school, and have unfortunately forgotten a lot of it. I’ve also had a go at learning French, Spanish and German through the Michel Thomas tapes – but if I could have a babelfish like in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (by Douglas Adams) that would be a dream come true!