It has been a long time since I have updated my personal blog, so i’m going to be covering my year spent living in Wollongong, my 6 months living in Newtown and my recent move even further south to Kiama. 2015 for me was a year of significant internal and external change. But first, here are some things i’ve done since my last blog post (in Jan 2015)-
-I made about 1500 new friends (on Facebook at least)
-Became a DJ,
-Was interviewed by Armin van Buuren live on his radio show ‘A State of Trance’,
-Owned 3 different motorbikes,
-Worked at The Department of Immigration, a whiskey bar, Home Nightclub, Bondi Council and Newtown Social Club,
-Lived in Redfern, Marrickville, Wollongong, Newtown and Kiama,
-Went to some awesome festivals and events (Psyfari, Dragon Dreaming, New Psycle, Psydways, Subsonic, Atlantis, Godskitchen, Genesis White, Genesis Black, Pure Trance, ABGT150, Above & Beyond Acoustic and wayyyy too many more to mention)
As well as a whole bunch of other things I have probably forgotten to cover or will cover below.
So first things first- my year living in Wollongong. After having spent a year in Canberra, I decided it wasn’t really for me. First of all, Canberra is just so dull and lifeless and always either too hot or too cold. You are either surrounded by the grey empty streets of the city or the barren dry countryside. The residents are either massive bogans, political snobs (who go to The Australian National University because ‘it’s the best uni in the country’ (whatever that means)), or occasionally chilled country people. It’s not easy or exciting to get in and out of Canberra, with the only option being a 2.5 hour bus ride down the world’s longest and straightest road. The campus communities I lived in were not really as vibrant and as fun as I expected either. Lastly and most importantly, I didn’t really feel like a Bachelor of Arts was what I really wanted to study, and just went into it with the mindset of ‘I might as well study something’. After doing some research and moving back in with my parents in Sydney, I decided that it was time for me to actually study something I was interested in.
Another dreary day in Australia’s bustling metropolitan capital
After moving back in with my parents for a while and doing some research, I decided that I wanted to study something i’ve always had an interest in- Digital Media. I found a course at University of Wollongong that focused on film, animation and media and I enrolled and started getting ready for the next chapter of my life. The thing I liked about the course at Wollongong was that it was half TAFE (like a technical college in England) half university, so in essence half theory half practical. Straight theory had always been a little dry for me and that is a part of the reason that I didn’t like the bachelor of arts at ANU in Canberra. I also liked the idea of moving somewhere new and starting a new life, as well as being by the coast and living in another campus atmosphere.
So the year started rolling by and I moved into my campus accommodation and started studying. The south coast as a place is much more interesting than Canberra, it has some of the most beautiful scenery i’ve ever seen and to get back to Sydney all you need to do is catch a 1.5 hour train (a journey I would soon get used to). The campus atmosphere was also more interesting and I made some good friends in my stay down there. There was still a strong ‘high school mentality’ amongst the campus, which is not surprising seeing as most people were still fresh out of high school. My course was and still is quite interesting, we spend our time either filming in the studio, animating, editing and doing media studies lectures.
Friends from my uni course
Friends from my campus
From about July onwards I met a group of friends who were as into trance events and partying as I was, and I seeing as I get into most of these events for free, there really wasn’t a reason for me not to go. So, when I wasn’t studying I was on a massive partying bender, going to every event I could for almost a year. Bush Doofs, house parties, trance events, festivals, Blueprint parties, Deeper Than House parties, clubbing and kickon after kickon, you name it. Even though I probably fried my brain more than I should have, I had some of the most incredible, intense and enjoyable experiences of my life surrounded by friends, music and fucking good times. I managed to meet some girls while this was all going on and although relationships have never been a big fixture in my life, when they have come along they have been incredible and a great opportunity for me to learn more about myself along the way. I have also had the opportunity to run my own psytrance events, DJ and help organise and promote for trance events, which has been an awesome side gig which is not only fun but earns me some good money (there’s actually a big announcement regarding this topic coming next week).
The Trance Family
Psyfari 2015, where the year long bender began
The Trance Family again
Rabbits Eat Lettuce Bush Doof Crew!
After my year in Wollongong, I decided that it was time for me to move back to Sydney, but still continue my studies in Wollongong. This was a crazy time for me as I was still partying just as much, but also travelling 12 hours a week on the train to Wollongong and back, as well as working two jobs and studying, my schedule was completely full. Newtown is an awesome place to live and if anyone is considering living in the city, it really is the place to be, especially living on King Street. It is so vibrant and full of culture and there is always something going on, not to mention the lack of lockout laws too. Plus there is no shortage of awesome food and interesting people. I had a nice 6 months there and I got to look after the world’s most adorable kitten, but eventually life took another unexpected turn, as it tends to do it.
A&B Acoustic – Meeting Tony
Kickons at Bunnings carpark ft. hitech
During my time in Wollongong and Newtown I had been sporadically producing trance music with a friend Chris who I met down there and slowly progressing with it. Eventually we came up with the idea of forming a duo and committing some more time to it. It quickly became more than just a hobby and I reached a crossroads where I decided that I would have to move to Kiama and actually commit myself to it if I actually wanted to make it. It is not as crazy of a dream as you might think however. I already have the advantage of running a community of 30,000+ fans called ‘Trance Music Appreciation Society’ which I have been building since 2008 and through this I have made so many industry contacts and connections. I have been listening to trance religiously since 2007, I have been making music since I was 12, and have recently started getting experience DJing too. The way I see it is, if anyone’s going to make it in the trance scene, we are!
All of these experiences i’ve had at events over my lifetime have been so incredible, what a gift it would be to make music and help facilitate this for other people. To be the person who is providing the opportunity to experience happiness through music at an event. To share the things I have felt throughout my lifetime and reproduce them through sound and stir emotions deep within people. This is why I have decided to commit to this.
Psytrance Crew Kickons
And that brings us to today. I am living down in the beautiful south coast, surrounded by rolling green hills and stark cliffs, committing at least 4 hours a day to learning the art of music production. I start off with an hour of piano practice (i’m learning the song ‘Greensleeves’ at the moment), followed by a program called ‘Syntorial’ which progressively teaches all you need to know about synthesisers. Then I move on to a program called ‘TrainYourEars’ which trains you to recognise frequency changes across the audio spectrum, then finally onto tutorial videos that outlinine how to use Logic Pro 10, the program we produce in. Any spare time and time on the weekends is spent building tracks, but at this stage the most important thing is learning the fundamentals so that we can apply them most effectively.
Apart from that I have just got a job at a cocktail bar down here, I have 3 semesters to go until I finish my degree and in the meantime i’m going to make some fucking good music.
And who could forget my oldest friends from high school
DJing – The best job in the world
I’m so glad that i’ve been able to finally find an avenue that resonates with me that I can pour my time and creative energy into. I feel so driven and motivated to be the best I possibly can be and learn as much as possible. I used to think that the outer path was seperate from the inner path, but i’ve come to see that they are intrinsically linked and that if you find your outer path, your inner will naturally fall into place more easily.
Reflecting on this past year has reminded me just how incredible my life has been so far and i’m just overwhelmed with nostalgia and gratitude for all the amazing people i’ve met along the way, the places i’ve been to and the experiences i’ve had.
All I can say is that this life has been a true gift and if I was to die tomorrow, I would die knowing that I really have squeezed everything that I possibly could have out of this life (hopefully I don’t die tomorrow though).
So, stay tuned, hopefully this next chapter of my life turns out to be an even bigger success!
[Sorry if this post seems a bit compacted, trying to fit a whole year’s worth of stuff into one post is a bit of a challenge]