On June 21st, let’s all “Make Music”, Australia

Out of all the places in the world, Australia is probably one of the very few where you don’t really have to encourage people to “make music”. With a lively and diverse scene, heaps of cool acts of all shapes and colours and a city that is one of the live music capitals of the world (Melbourne), the Land Down Under can be really proud of where things stand right now.

Sure, several issues still need to be addressed. And the pandemic has made some of them particularly visible. That’s exactly why it’s so important to celebrate moments where music brings people together, without any expectations of gratification or remuneration, simply to have fun.

PART 75 OF “AM I EVER GONNA SEE YOUR FACE AGAIN?” A RANDOM COLLECTION OF UNKNOWINGLY OBVIOUS FACTS ABOUT THE AUSTRALIAN MUSIC SCENE

To be fair, Make Music Day is not an Australian idea at all (shocking, right?). “Fête De La Musique” was started in France in 1982 and has expanded to almost every corner of the world since. Reportedly, every year on 21 June, the music literally takes “over 1,000 cities around the world”. Anybody who plays an instrument or sings can be a part of the celebrations. It’s not a formal festival, but different events and challenges are organised to encourage creativity and cooperation amongst those who “make music” around the globe.

Australia joined the global Make Music Day band only in 2018. But it looks like the movement is slowly gaining more traction in the country. Especially that it is backed up by APRA AMCOS (the Australian copyrights management organisation) and The Live Music Office. And the great singer Kate Ceberano is one of the official Ambassadors Down Under.

This year, the day will be celebrated offline and online (circumstances permitting). Some events will be held live, others will still stick to the virtual realm of a Zoom call or a workshop. If anyone’s unsure how to start, several useful guides can help music makers figure out all the logistics and give them ideas of events worth staging. And it’s still not too late to register your event if you’re keen.

The registry of the already existing projects is available on the org’s website, so anybody can browse through for more inspo. And you’ll be surprised how different the events are. There are sing-alongs, choirs, piano lessons, jam sessions, band practices… you name it. My fave one at the moment is Vocal Vibes – Women’s Barbershop Rehearsal that’ll go ahead in Ringwood in Victoria. Plus, some renowned music comps, like the Battle of the Buskers or the Battle of the Bands, are taking part, too.

For those who want to collaborate with other music makers overseas, there is a possibility to join global projects. For instance, you could swap songs with another artist in the world so that they cover your tune, and you deliver a rendition of theirs in return. Or you could raise awareness about household waste pollution and make an instrument from a found/recycled object by joining “Junkophonics“.

This year, 21 June is a Monday, so it’s a little inconvenient for organising shows and going out (wherever possible). The good news is the events don’t necessarily have to be organised on the exact day. Some are happening on the weekend before or even after the actual celebrations, in July. The most important bit is wanting to be a part of this global initiative and staging your event under their umbrella.

In 2021, things are mostly happening in New South Wales, but there are events all over Australia (except for Tassie if I’m not mistaken). The organisers claim that they are “now working to progress the Make Music Day Australia program and build greater awareness of the initiative on a national level.” I guess, after the nightmare the industry went through in 2020, everybody is eager to create and experience music again. So they shouldn’t have too many problems with that.

And to keep the hype going, they’ve also made available a branded post generator. The resulting imagery can then be easily shared on social media. It’s a clever idea to spread the word about the initiative in the place where it travels the fastest, the Internet 🙂

The best part of it all for me, though, is that you don’t even have to be a professional muso to participate. If you simply love music and want to connect with like-minded people on the day, you’re free to join in. Remember: music knows no boundaries. There are no formal qualifications or requirements to meet, either.

And if you’re an emerging artist, it’s always good to eavesdrop to see what’s happening in the music world elsewhere. And perhaps you could even get some unexpected exposure. After all, you never know who’ll be watching…

Cover image source: Make Music Day Australia FB page


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