Experimental harpist Tamlyn Magee is readying herself for an intense two months of writing and recording in Melbourne.
The residency is part of a $17,766 Create NSW Fellowship announced in early November.
Magee, who lives in Candelo and performs and records under the name Anactoria, was one of only four regional artists to receive the prestigious fellowship, and one of only 20 state-wide.
The self-taught harpist, vocalist and songwriter will be using the residency to “hone and craft” her work with the intention of returning home with enough content to begin recording an album.
”I’m still trying to get it all straight in my head,” the slightly overwhelmed musician said recently about the fellowship announcement.
“All of this is still really taking shape for me.
“The residency is all about having the time and space to develop and the opportunity to play with sounds.”
The residency also comes with the additional benefits of guidance from leading industry professionals in upgrading performance skills, songwriting and marketing.
Magee said the three high-profile people she will get to work with include Georgia Fields – “a great musician on the Melbourne scene” – performance artist and poet Kendra Keller, and Fred Woller.
“Fred’s a really interesting guy. He’s a lot of things, but mainly a sound engineer and technical whiz with production,” Magee said.
“The grant is really about exploring my work and performance aspects further.
“I haven’t fully entered that phase [of live performance] so this will be about me honing and crafting a show that includes a lot of other elements as well as music.”
Magee said there’s “a pretty specific outcome” attached to the Melbourne residency and grant money.
“At the end of the two months I get seven days in the studio with 10 to 12 songs,” she said.
“The idea is to get them to the stage of really good demos. Then I’m looking to record an album through next year with local musicians.”
Magee said she wants to “challenge preconceptions” of harp playing as much more than a high-brow instrument for classical music lovers.
“I’m definitely inspired by Joanna Newsom – she plays it differently to anything I’ve heard before or since.
“To be honest, I could’ve taken up guitar or piano but I have an instinct to do things differently.
“The harp is very versatile and I come to it in a very tactile way.
“I can’t read music so it’s very good for me having it all laid out where every note has its own string.
“The electric harp is an extremely versatile instrument whose scope really only is limited by imagination.”