Saturday 14 April Nexus Arts will be playing host to a very special gathering of musicians and music lovers, as Nexus Live presents This Country. Featuring a magical line up of some of some of South Australia’s finest ascendant Indigenous songwriters; Corey Theatre, Nathan May and Jessica Wishart, sees them joining forces with alt-country darlings The Yearlings.
This intriguing collaboration sees The Yearlings reimagining the young artist’s original songs, creating new material to be performed for the first time on the night with a full ensemble band. Nexus caught up with one half of The Yearlings, Robyn Chalklen, post-wedding celebrations, to discuss the joys of collaboration and working with Indigenous musicians.
I think the way we all approach music… is an organic kind of way, we are all pretty happy to let the song dictate the instrumentation.
I think collaboration in the local music scene is… very important. I believe it keeps things fresh and vibrant, there is so much learning to be done by allowing yourself to listen to what others have to offer.
Listening is the biggest asset a musician has… I think it’s good as a musician or an artist to be placed out of your own comfort zone at times. Listening to and working alongside culturally and linguistically diverse artists allow us to develop our musical palette, and in time your own music evolves somehow.
I played the guitar for Jimmy Little… for five years during the late 90s early 00s. Working with him gave me access to many collaborations of this sort, from playing with Aboriginal tribeswomen in Western Australia to the stages of the Sydney Opera House and performing in the Kakadu for Aboriginal communities – the learning was vast.
The singers, Jessica, Corey and Nathan… are all incredible, they all have their own individual style and grace. They don’t overdo anything and their poise is beyond their years. It’s an honour as a musician to be let into another songwriters landscape, to try and find a sweet spot where you’re playing will elevate what the singer or storyteller is saying. The band we have is sensitive to the music, and I believe people who come along will be in for a joyous night’s entertainment. Not only that but it’s a one-off performance – the audience will see the three singers playing individually with the band and then all joining together for a group collaboration set of songs at the end of the night. It’s going to be great folks, wish we could get on a bus and take this show on the road!