I know it’s a little late, but here are some tidbits from our Christmas mail. The big news of course is that in May, we’ll be heading to the UK for what is planned to be our last tour (at least for now)
We hope you’ve had a great year with lots of music and joy! We’ve had an exceptionally busy and musical year with some big changes.
Cloudstreet started the year at Woodford Folk Festival, one of the largest and most fascinating in the country, and that’s where we’ll be to end the year too. We finally launched Clouded House, our CD, in Brisbane, after it had already toured the world. We played at the National Folk Festival, travelled to Western Australia for the gorgeously intimate Nanga Festival, played our local Neurum Creek Music Festival, and were the entertainment for a huge fundraising dinner for the Macgregor Lions, where they raised over $7000 for cancer research!
Each of us has been involved in Outside Projects too! Our main one is The Ceilidh Clan, our Scottish dance band, combining all of cloudstreet with Rebecca Wright and Donald McKay. We ran a series of Winter Ceilidhs, and hundreds of people can now dance the Gay Gordons without running into each other. So much fun, we’ll do it again next year. The Ceilidh Clan played the Valley Fiesta, and loads of weddings this year (such a great way to get everyone dancing), and Nicole called the giant bush dance at the Planting Festival, with 400 dancers in the mud.
Emma and Nicole’s other band, The Wish List, which also involves Rebecca, performed their schools show, The Secret History of Queensland. The show involves stories, songs and sandpainting. Somehow, Nicole was invited to do some live sandpainting to accompany a performance by the Kelvin Grove Wind Orchestra, and also put together a choir to sing with the orchestra. The Wish List is back in the studio now, recording some new fiddlesinging!
Nicole’s projects this year included directing Morningsong choir, new paintings in her studio (and in fact, a new studio space), learning how to Morris dance with Belswagger Morris and dancing out at the Abbey Mediaeval Tournament and Brisbane Festival, and conducting The Folk Choir. The Folk Choir collaborated with Emma’s project, The Brisbane Celtic Fiddle Club, and put on a mega concert, Flying Fiddles and Soaring Voices.
Emma has had an extraordinary year, producing a CD with her Scottish dance duo, The Black Bear Duo, with accordionist Iain Mckenzie. They’re recording again now too. She performed in the international tour of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in Melbourne, presented papers at music conferences in Canada and Scotland, and directed the Brisbane Celtic Fiddle Club and Junior Fiddle Club.
John has had the biggest year of all. He starred in the Redlands production of the play Reedy River, wrote an entire show about Queensland’s conscription stories from World War 1 and recorded a CD of it, Censors, Conscripts and Queensland which comes with postcard images from the State Library of Qld, all designed by John. And then he got a job. A really truly day job.
So in 2017, Cloudstreet is embarking on a Farewell Tour of the UK, and if you’re there, we would love to see you in May and June. Dates will be on our website soon. We will continue to do shows in Australia throughout the year.
Lots of love to you as the year changes over. We hope you have some quiet moments to watch the season and reflect on your year too.
Nicole, John and Emma