Young Far South Coast ‘SongMakers’ craft new tunes at The Crossing

Thelma Plum, JD Fung, Dean and Annette Turner and students from Narooma, Bega and Eden High Schools taking part in SongMakers
Thelma Plum, JD Fung, Dean and Annette Turner and students from Narooma, Bega and Eden High Schools taking part in SongMakers

Bushland on the Bermagui River has been the setting for an artistic collaboration between local teens and two of Australia’s most talented people.

Thelma Plum and Jean-Paul (JP) Fung last week led 16 senior students from Bega, Narooma, and Eden High Schools in a two-day music and song retreat at The Crossing.

Thelma is an Indigenous singer-songwriter from northern New South Walse, a graduate of the Music Industry College in Brisbane, she released her debut EP ‘Rosie’ in March 2013, which was followed by ‘Monster’ in 2014.

With Triple J Unearthed, National Indigenous Music Awards, and Deadly Award wins as a springboard, Thelma has continued to draw attention and audiences. She is currently wrapping up a national tour with West Australian band San Cisco.

Jean-Paul is a Sydney based writer, producer, and mixer who has worked alongside Birds of Tokyo, Daniel Johns, Jet, Cold Chisel, Josh Pyke, and more.

These two mentors came to beautiful Bermagui under the banner of the SongMakers program supported by music royalties body APRA AMCOS.

“They led the students through a songwriting process that had them engaging their senses and taking notice of their feelings and emotions,” explains Annette Turner from The Crossing.

SongMakers is an intensive, real-world program centred around being creative. Australia’s best songwriters and producers help students to create and record new music.

For two days, students are immersed in a hothouse collaborative environment and given unparalleled insight into the forces that drive the contemporary music industry and the creative processes required to cut through.

“Songmakers usually go into schools but I asked them to come south and run the workshop as a camp because it’s a challenge getting 16 senior music students from any one school on the south coast,” Annette says.

“With the support of the Yuin Folk Club it all came together and four brand new songs are the result.”

These new sounds will debut at The Crossing Winter Band Night at Quamma Hall on Saturday, July 1.

Boasting about the experience on Facebook, JP said it was two-days of nature inspired songwriting and production.

The About Regional community has been given a sneak peak at one of the songs!

A tune called ‘Escape’ crafted by Hayden Ryan and Dayna Lingard (Narooma High), Mabel Ashburn and Mia Edwards (Eden Marine High), and JP Fung

*Students shouldn’t be blamed for the amateur looking video clip – that’s Ian!

*Thanks to Annette Turner for the photos used

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