I'm really stoked to be working on a new piece commissioned by the Camerata of St John's to premiere on their tour of regional Queensland next month!

But first, their concertmaster/artistic director, Brendan Joyce, and I headed out to Charleville, to meet some of the locals, explore the area, do a few interviews for the local papers and radio, and gather some ideas to use in the new work.

And since I like taking photos so much, well...

The landscape was nice…
but it was already getting dark by the time we landed…

I wanted to take some photos of the stars... but it was overcast and I had none of the right gear...

there were heaps of empty cattle trains

I snuck into the train yard...

 

But the highlight of the trip was something completely unplanned...

We were tipped off that we should meet a local named Joan Houghten, who had been playing piano in Charleville for the last half a century. 94 years-old, smoking like a chimney, and sharp as a tack; she told us stories of her life, how she met her husband playing piano at parties after the war, and let us look about her home, which was a step back in time.

She even played us a quick little tune!