The Soldier’s Wife project is on the road again, this time with a run of workshops and shows around regional Queensland.
Over the past 18 months, a small group of Queensland songwriters have embarked on a truly remarkable songwriting journey – to tell the stories of women whose partners have served in conflict over the past 60 years.
The depth of experience has been extraordinary, with those wives’ partners having served their country in conflicts from WW2 until the present day in deployments through Asia, the Pacific and The Middle East. The songwriters have talked to almost 100 women – aged from 25 to 104 years old. From varying backgrounds and conflicts, their stories all have similar themes of love, of loss, of upheaval through varying deployments, of fear for their partners whilst on deployment, of anger for the way their partners have been treated from some conflicts and suffering through their partners PTSD (and often through the children’s PTSD that is passed on) and their strength in raising their children – often on their own.
Those wives opened their hearts and bared their souls – talking about their experiences. From there, each of the artists went away and turned those stories into a group of personal, passionate and inspirational songs.
The aim of the project was simple – to give these women the opportunity to share their stories while raising the community’s awareness and understanding of their personal sacrifice and commitment. Through song they are able to be completely open, honest, and anonymous. It has been a deeply emotional experience for all involved.
The songs have since been performed live at a range of venues including the Brisbane Powerhouse, Woodford Folk Festival and most recently a sold out performance at the Sydney Opera House and Canberra Street Theatre – giving audiences the chance to hear these powerful stories first hand.
Now The Soldier’s Wife will be touring regionally in Queensland throughout May and June 2016, incorporating songwriting workshops and performances in Cairns, Townsville, Roma and Pomona. This has been made possible by the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund, which supports sustainable cultural development in regional, rural, and remote Australia to give artists and communities’ better access to opportunities to practice and experience the arts.
The artists involved represent a mix of vast songwriting experience and emerging talent. They are: one time Australian Music Prize nominee and vocal powerhouse Jackie Marshall; North Queensland based Roz Pappalardo (best known as one half of Women in Docs, Emma Bosworth, country blues artist Kristy Apps, regional artist, Melinda Wells, recent Cairns based Queensland Music Awards winner Leanne Tennant, project coordinator Deb Suckling (Lucy Star Satellite) and very special guests.
This project has also received assistance from the Anzac Centenary Arts and Culture Fund.
REGIONAL TOUR DATES 2016
May 5 and 6: Free songwriting workshops for families of military personnel: 10am – 4pm @ CoCA
May 7: Performance
Centre of Contemporary Arts,
“The Space” 96 Abbott Street Cairns
May 19 and 20: Free songwriting workshops for families of military personnel: 10am – 4pm
May 21: Performance
ROMA: Roma Cultural Centre 57 Bungil St, Roma
Friday June 10th: Performance: The Old Majestic Theatre,
5 Factory Street, Pomona 8.00pm. Tickets
June 22 and 23: Free songwriting workshops for families of military personnel: 10am – 4pm
Saturday June 25: Performance
The Old Courthouse Theatre 31 Walker Street, Townsville City