Aussie. Student of the world. Dreamer.
Aussie. Student of the world. Dreamer.
Somewhere between childhood and now, people often lose their touch with that ambitious, irresistible desire for adventure, the true, unforeseeable kind that gets a story or two out of your life rather than just a set of statistics and a pay day. While people have adventured plenty since being a child, something subtle in the underlying zeal of their perspective has waned, that ounce of naiveté, a child-like quality that allows for the spontaneous and the uninhibited, a sentiment you should wish to rekindle. It is never to late to feel that fire burn again inside once again. I have felt the wonder and excitement of formulating new dreams and projects without letting the ego interfere or concern for what others may think. I have started to soften up my calloused mind, to loosen my filters and preconceptions and let the child within be again. While exploring distant places may be a part of this renewal, I am most excited about what lays right at my doorstep, forays into the woods, creative nights in the studio, moving cities and vagabonding over the high peaks. With the onset of winter a whole new world reveals itself to the senses. A quieter yet harsher environment, with more involved consequences but higher rewards. Naiveté does not imply carelessness. Rather, it demands a shift in perspective from the automated, learned view of what a place has to offer. It allows for curiosity and letting oneself be surprised by what the mountain may reveal. I can never know a place too well. I should never put limits on a place’s depth. If I keep searching, if I keep being awed, my sense of adventure will forever be renewed. And, that is a feeling worth revisiting again and again.
Rad! The ukulele is such an accessible, humble instrument. I would encourage people to step away from their computers and televisions and make some music of their own, preferably with friends, all possible with the Uke! The best way to practice for a completed beginner is just to buy or download a song book with tabs, and just play songs until they start sounding good. Try and pick easier songs with chords like C, G, D, F, A or Am. They should be easier to pick up! And after a while you can start fingerpicking. But most of all just have fun. That’s what the ukulele is about, enjoying music.
I work as an economist, that is where the majority of my ability to adventure comes from, and also from being a musician and everything that entails like royalties, performances, etc. When I was seventeen I was slightly lost and had no direction. After years of studying formal classical piano, it seemed like a terrible career choice, so I decided not to go to a school of music for university. If it was music, it had to be in a rock band, and rock bands have plenty of spare time in the day, so I still needed to study something. I wanted to study something that would provide steady income, but also helped people. Throughout my life I have always been moved by people facing poverty. Poverty confused me, and I needed to understand it. How can we be so rich across the world, and so full of excess that we consume more than we ever need, and yet people die from lack of clean water, lack of food, lack of shelter? It infuriated me that people would die from preventable reasons. I started to read about the topic, just in general, and it evolved into reading works of social policy and welfare, and it led to economics. The first real economist that made sense was Jeffrey Sachs. I fully encourage anybody interested in the problems of poverty to read ‘The End of Poverty’; it is a great gateway into the issues. So I went to university and studied Economics, with a focus on development economics and also econometric’s (which is the combination of statistics to economic data). It is hard to say what I am now; am I a musician who does economics for fun, or am I a traveller who likes to study economics, or perhaps an economist who plays music while travelling? I do know that I am very lucky to be in my situation, so I will continue to try and live like to the fullest possible. The principles needed for hard work are very similar across both the academic, artistic, and physically pursuits, and I find it somewhat creates a synergy. I guess my biggest dream would to still be able to tour the world for a couple years in a band of massive proportions, but the chances of that are slim. It doesn’t stop me dreaming though :)
Hey friend. The pictures on your blog are amazing, I just spent far too long going through you journeys. The portraits are so authentic and real. In the next few years I am working towards going on a full year of travel, right across the world. That is the big plan that I am building for. I still have places I want to do this year. Currently I am going to New Zealand in April, the North Island. After that I hope to spend some time in the Australian Alps over winter. And at the end of 2014 there are a few possibilities, including going to Africa, or possibly exploring the South Island of New Zealand. Pretty exciting things happening in the future.
Hey buddy, I really enjoyed recording that song. Thanks for checking it out. I think it is cool just to say that sometimes what turns out to be a seamless performance of a song, actually takes effort behind the scenes that is not considered. For example, with the Yiruma Ukulele song, I had to transpose firstly from the piano to ukulele, which itself is a task, and that took a few weeks. And then I had to be comfortable with an arrangement that sounded great. I remember I was also just hanging out, having dinner, and I saw the amazing sunset slowly happening. Quickly jumping into my studio to get my ukulele and video camera, I climbed onto my roof hoping that the sun would hang around a little longer, and then frantically setting up the equipment to try and get the best angle. It was all really fun though. I am just trying to get at, sometimes I am really confused over the difference between talent and hardwork. Piano being my main instrument, people can often go ‘ I wish I was as talented as so and so’, and it gets me thinking. I have spent at least one hour a day since I was five practicing music, and at times in my life it was three hours or more for months on end. Maybe I am not that talented, maybe if another person had spent that amount of time, they would be performing way more complex music pieces. And sometimes I wonder if I could have been doing something more productive with my time, because its an awfully large amount of my life dedicated to an art which can be seen as a selfish form of self expression. Thoughts for another day. Thankyou again though for enjoying the song x
Thanks for the kind words, friend. Australia is a great place to travel; it is definitely a unique experience that cannot be found in the world. You can read about how much I love it here all over my blog. However, there is potentially a bit of a negative, depending on how you want to see Australia. It can be difficult/expensive to sometimes travel to different cities as everything is so spread out. We don’t have an efficient rail system like in Europe, and although bus’s do travel frequently, it can be annoying. That is why I think if you are travelling along the coast line the best mode of travel is to rent your own car. If you are just coming to visit one area, like the Gold Coast or Sydney, then you should be fine. Cheers
Thanks for the kind words friend. You have also asked such an important question that I have been thinking about it over the last week. There may be no bigger journey in life then to ask, what is the significance of it all? Let me start with a subject whom I can answer with certainty, what is a student of the world? I created the phrase three years ago when I realized life was more about questions than answers. It was like a moment of clarity when I found that it’s not how much we know in life that matters, but how open and organic and authentic we are in the journey and the treatment of fellow people along the way. A student of the world, to me, is someone who wakes up every day and has a sense of childlike wonder and amazement about the possibilities that will come across over the next fourteen hours. Having both the grace to treat everyone with respect, yet resilience and strength of mind to not be overcome by the negativity in the world. A student of the world forgives and then forgets the discretion, slow to anger, quick to listen, and thoughtful in response. A student of the world approaches debate and discussion with an open mind, yet will not retreat on the morals and values to which they hold most high. A student of the world is creative, loving, adventurous, but most of all, generous. They continue to question the status quoi, and refuse to be shaped by rules and regulations for which only benefit the few, and hurt the masses. All these and more are what make a student of the world. So you ask me what the most important thing in life is, and the answer is only something you can find. The most important thing in life, to me, is people. Having the ability to meet people and leave every person at least slightly better off than before we met. Helping people to be happy and find peace, and reliving them of any emotional, physical or mental suffering they may be experiencing. Kindness and compassion. These are all important. As for the depression, anxiety and poor grades you are currently experiencing, I am sorry to hear that, but you can overcome it all. There are so many avenues for you to explore. I found being able to talk to someone on a regular basis about everything you are going through really helps to deal with issues. Whether that is family member, or a friend, or even a counsellor, it helps. I have also found for the hard times in life counsellors can really help, and as they are professionals they can work through steps and routine that will help with anxiety and depression. There is nothing wrong with speaking to professionals either; I have seen them when I have had major life crises. Every day is a new day as well my friend, so try and live like a student of the world as soon as you wake up. Focus on the daily positives and develop resilience to the negativity. Before you know it, your life will start to feel more free.
Hello there spooky fox. Another Ukulele lover, yes! It is the happiest instrument in the universe. All smiles and good vibes, except when you are trying to learn how to play that damn E major chord. Good luck with that chord by the way :P Many options with uke’s, it depends what country you live in regarding prices, different brands may have been imported or made in the same country, and imports can get pricey. I would have to say though, do two things. The first thing is to play different types of uke’s, to see what feels good for you. A uke that I may really dislike, you may fall in love with. My second advice is, to spend enough to make sure the uke is good quality. People like to go cheaper, but what happens is, they will outgrow the instrument within months, and then have to buy a better uke anyway, ending up spending even more money in the process. You don’t need to spend heaps though, they are a cheaper instrument compared to others. Good luck and let me know how you go :)