re-volution

back on deck again after a lovely, rejuvenating break at ‘Wordfordia‘ – that’s the ephemeral tent village which appears each year around a folk music festival, for a week just after Christmas at a rural place called Woodford, then disappears again as quickly as it came…. sort of Australia’s contemporary answer to the Woodstock of an earlier life in another country …

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This was my first time at Woodford, and made me feel both very old and very young at once… I went because my 13 year old daughter has been at me for a few months about it, since she found out her ‘favourite singers in the whole world’ were to perform there… while I’m very glad she’s so passionate about music of a certain kind, reminding me of how I felt about Dylan, Baez, Mitchell, Guthrie, Melanie, Cohen etc, but it is a big ask to go there from where we live, it’s over 1,000 kms… I opted for a road trip rather than a flight, because they’re fun, and good for our relationship… lots of quality music to share in the car, lots of quality talk and good laughs… memory making stuff.

Well anyway to cut a long story short, it was a delightful trip and the festival was fabulous. What made me feel very young again, and included in the atmosphere at the festival is perhaps best summed up in a line from one of the songs on a Gregory Page cd I bought while hiding in the festival music shop tent from a random torrential downpour that ended the oppressive heat of the first part of the day and began the rather more pleasant cool of the late afternoon and evening… on the journey home a few days later I was being regularly reminded by him that “it’s never too late to be the person you’re meant to be” … and that just felt so right. After the main event for us – performance by Julia Stone (in which her brother Angus also appeared, yay) – we stayed for Kate Miller-Heidke, whose first number (politics in space, or space politics or something) includes the line “the 60s was 50 years ago, get over it” – which made me laugh out loud, and feel old…

Other flashbacks included an appearance by Bob Hawke (former prime minister from the 80s) who spoke (disappointingly lamely, but the guy is over 80 now so I’m a bit forgiving) about our relationship with China, and then a comedy debate with a very good Kevin Rudd impersonator…  then on Sunday the current pm actually appeared at the festival… it was all bit surreal – not because the festival was therefore a bit political, but because it was incorporating politicians rather than just slagging off about them. Somehow I can’t quite imagine a sitting president appearing at Woodstock in 1969… but it didn’t (surprisingly, to me) make the whole thing a conformist sell-out, it struck me as rather more intelligent, engaged, and just being part of critical public debate. It was rather good.

Also spent a day at GOMA exploring the Asia Pacific Triennial… Again making me feel old in that I’ve been to most of these and the first one was 20 years ago. Good grief, seems like yesterday. But more important – the show was fantastic and images are as alive in my mind now a week later as the day I saw them – perhaps more so, as they become more part of the daily re-woven patterning that constructs the coherent sense of narrative we call understanding, thought and identity…

wish we could have stayed away another week at least – but can’t leave the dog with neighbours for too long, and oh yeah, there is that thing called a job to be getting back to… but yay – there is also that emergent community online I have just started engaging with 🙂 Time to get back to cyberspace and meet up with all my new pals in edcmoocland! yay

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