Musicians Matter- Musicians Mental Health


Musicians mental health

This year I will cover a broad spectrum of musicians mental health and well-being related topics,  thoughts and services because ‘musicians matter’.

I will also offer my services, some self-development workshops or day retreats to focus on musicians, their craft and our place in the world. That said, Musicians Matter – Mental Health coincides with a greater focus by Makeshift and Support Act (The Heart and Hand of Australian music), supported by funding from the Australian government. They have upped the anti with education campaigns and training for Mental Health First Aid, which I just completed in a well-structured short course that can be done online. I have qualifications as a counsellor/ creative arts therapist and have also studied Creativity Coaching with Eric Maisel. These areas combined are a field of service I intend to specialise in, musicians matter support services, music lessons, musician mentor-ship (craft, production, release) and creativity coaching and mental health support and advocacy.

I’d like to start this year’s focus, by asking you to reflect on how important music has been in your life and to also reflect on how important it has been and still is, cross culturally all over the world?. Every culture has a musical history and legacy. Our known preoccupation with music-making goes back at least 40,000 years, as attested by primitive animal bone flutes relics.

Our ancestors erected marvels of architecture even in the megalithic age to amplify and focus the acoustic properties of site for ritual, ceremony and state change. Among the classical sciences of ancient Greece  (source of modern musical modes) were geometry, number, music and cosmology. These ancient sciences and understandings, are not unique to one culture; the understanding of symmetry, vibration, balance, harmony and form permeate architecture. As a natural result enabling creation of acoustically resonant spaces for human beings to engage in sonically, producing amazing results of space and ambiance. Music is a prime expression of the harmony of all things, it embodies universal principles.

2021 is still somewhat an unknown equation, in a post-Covid environment. 2020 was devastating for music and many other industries. Whilst I had penned my initial thoughts for this series the previous year, 2020 was on Self-production and Women in music.

In order for our favourite artist to produce the works we all love, there is a multi-phase process: creation, production and release. Each phase of music production has its inherent issues and challenges. Add to that the everyday lived experience in all of its complexity, that all human beings have to cope with existentially, and you get a very complex picture of the many variable contributing factors for soul distress or mental health matters.

Creativity and music-making is primarily driven by an inner impulse.

Of course, at a professional level it can become more about tailoring our work to a market, but I want to draw attention away from the product and process and back to the human being. In order for a hit to occur, in order for a record to be released, or a tour to take place or a sync license placement, you have to have a person or persons who are the source of the music. All else around us  are supports. The creative process can be as simple as a momentary flow (song can be out in its totality and structure in 30 minutes). Or it can be to a brief, involve arrangement and orchestration and a slower construction in a DAW or in Sibelius. It depends on the genre and style of the musician and the initial sketch, improvisation or crafting of what needs to be done, to bring the work to completion. Musicians Matter as they are the voice of the people, covering the full gamut of lived experience.

‘Mentally Healthy 2018 – A Study into The Creative Media and Marketing Industry’, revealed that those in the creative industries are 20% more likely to show symptoms of depression and 29% more likely to have symptoms of anxiety. 1 in 5 show symptoms of severe depression compared to the 12% national average. The study showed 61% of the creative industries show symptoms of depression. Stressors are known to be intense within the creative industries and include things like “personal expectations, pressure from others, multiple responsibilities, working when sick, employee responsibility, long hours, impact on family and friends, financial stress and isolation” (Never Not Creative Unlimited and Makeshift, 2018). The study also looked at attitudes towards mental health and showed the creative industries are supportive of people with mental health issues.

Mental health conditions include anxiety, depression, PTSD, grief and loss, drug and alcohol issues, schizophrenia, psychosis and more. According to Beyond Blue statistics:

  • 1 in 7 people experience depression
  • 1 in 4 experience anxiety
  • 1 in 16 currently are experiencing depression
  • 1 in 7 are currently experiencing anxiety
  • 1 in 6 are experiencing depression and anxiety
  • Females are more likely to experience depression/ anxiety with 1 in 5 and men with 1 in 6
  • 1 in 8 currently experience very high levels of psychological distress.

According to Entertainment assist, the following statistics apply

  • 25% of performing artists, and most roadies have attempted or considered suicide, but none of the roadies surveyed had sought help
  • over a third of performing artists, 25% of industry support workers and most roadies and crew reported mental health problems
  • extensive mental health issues across the broad spectrum of the industry often as a result of bullying, sexual abuse, long and unrewarding working hours and a lack of appreciation for years of commitment
  • Entertainment industry workers do not know how to seek support, nor do they know how to talk about mental health with colleagues/peers they may be concerned about performing artists live much shorter lives, on average, than the rest of working community
  • Suicide attempts for Australian Entertainment Industry workers are more than double that of the general population.
  • The levels of moderate to severe anxiety symptoms are 10 times higher than in the general population.
  • The levels of depression symptoms are five times higher than in the general population.

I’d like to point out at this time that our current definitions of mental health or mental illness exclude spiritual dimensions of life somewhat, being primarily CBT-based psychological methods and therapies with D.S.M diagnosis, born out of the psychiatric model which focuses primarily on medicating. Different conceptualisations and approaches are necessary for different people. The Transpersonal, Shamanic and Creative therapies paradigms are very helpful for creatives. To me, rather than using the terms ‘mental illness’ I prefer to regard it as ‘soul distress’. The soul is the one that is incarnate, the soul is the one that is experiencing, the soul is the one who thinks and feels and is the living breathing being. We are in need of a redefinition of what it means to be a human being, within a broader cross-cultural cosmology and paradigm.

By nature, we are sensitives, driven by how we make sense of the world on inner levels. With sound, we give form to an aesthetic product of our experience, in the moment. We spend countless hours refining, recording and doing whatever we need to do in order to produce and share our work (largely unpaid, because we have to, it’s what makes us tick, from the heart. I have mentored amazing songwriter’s who have not released their work due to lack of know-how and negative industry experiences. Not all songwriters are known, not all share their work. I view the role of a songwriter and artist as a critical role of social critique and alchemy. We make sense of, we deal with lofty thoughts, complex emotions and our work has energy and intent behind it that moves people (part focus of my honours thesis) and is able to transform the lived experience, transmuting pain into powerful works of purpose and beauty.

In order to fulfill our role, we need support, social acceptance and standards that look after our well-being holistically. There is no base wage for a musician unless they are a music teacher or a session player. Income depends on either teaching, recording and release of work, or on working as a producer or engineer, or synchronization licensing and playing live. There is a huge disparity on income levels. There are door deals, bar takings and agreed rates. All is open to negotiation and a given venues way of working. With live music there are others to pay, like engineers. For production there are others to pay, studios, producers, engineers, distributors et cetera unless one is set up to take care of the lot by themselves and that is what is expected of the modern musician. To be a one-stop shop or a one-person production company.

This financial reality is further complicated by notions of success, both internal and external, and by people’s ability to set their own rates in alignment with perceived worth. It can take years and hundreds of hours of work to release music to a completed professional standard. It is very difficult to generate income off music without being an all-rounder. Streaming has reduced income and sales making a career in music much more challenging, but at the same time there are innovators who do well in the digital domain setting up amazing platforms for musicians to share music live. These facts affect a musician’s self-esteem and can affect our work capacity. We are often accused of being oversensitive or being in Ego, but neither are true, it is who we are, we care about what we do.

With all the work to do, we often do not have all the skills, this can cause immense distress, derail us and our intentions for our work. Most do it ‘for the love of’, with desires to succeed, but that success is defined by society in economic terms only, not by contribution to society, or the inherent worth of ourselves and work with its ability to touch people and enrich the human experience. Perceived worth and success are notions I will go over in another blog in this series, at this moment I just wanted to introduce the focus for the year and mention other focus areas, for Musicians Matter Mental Health.

Musicians and supporting industries are prone to increased mental health issues. For many this is an absolute reality, therefore this blog aims to:

  1. a) share my personal experience and those who are musicians in my network
  2. b) offer information knowledge and services to assist musicians
  3. c) to expand the conception and understanding of creatives, breaking down prejudices and stereotypes and changing paradigms of understanding
  4. d) to advocate for our worth, rights and needs in the current social environment, that has a long way to go in perceiving our worth and re-numerating accordingly.

If other industries were governed in the same manner as the creative industries, unions may very well be in uproar from protests on the streets. I recently saw one such protest in the U.S against SPOTIFY demanding better rates of royalty payments for musicians works and phonographic copyrights. Knowing this, I say ‘musicians’ matter’ and we need industry wide social change to support our valuable cultural creators. We all consume music; it is high time we value it and its creators accordingly.

Music is about way more than entertainment; it is a core expression of human being and the lived experience, just like all art forms. The stereotype of the rich rock star is far from the reality of most musicians, with the economic projections that go along with it. Should our regard for someones work and worth depend on financial or marketing acumen? If we can achieve a greater understanding of musicians, of their mental health issues, then all of society will benefit through the works we produce whether recorded or live performance.

If you are in need of any of the following services, please contact me as I set up shop options for my services

  • Music Lessons
  • Creativity Coaching
  • Musician Mentorship
  • Production assistance
  • Charting your path for a specific project

I would also urge you to consider doing Mental Health First Aid Training and being a support person and a change maker, you might just save a life. Mental Health First Aid is run by Makeshift.

Next blog focus ‘Musicians Matter- Personal Stories’



Boat on a River new release

Hello dear friends out their in the big wide world. I end 2020 with a gift and a new release.

Boat on a river is an ode to the masters of music of previous decades, an ambient electro rock song and music video that invites the listener viewer  to chill out, meander, travel the worlds rivers and go with the flow of life.

After a very difficult year for our global community Catherine Meeson’s new release is a gift to all to appreciate the beauty and simplicity of life.

“Life is but a stream

A waking dream’


Released to coincide with the great Jupiter Saturn alignment of the southern summer solstice 2020.

Lyrics and music Catherine Meeson © 2020 ℗ 2020

Recorded and Mixed by Catherine Meeson

Mastered by Gareth Hailey @

Drone footage Sean Geerling and Videoblocks stock

Will be available all major outlets

Catherine Meeson is a singer songwriter, composer, producer, creative director from Melbourne who blends electro, rock, synth and atmospheric cinematic tendencies together into powerfully emotive and highly visual music that will take you places. She has released 4 solo albums, Revolution Complete, Atmospherica, Contemplating Buddha and the electro orchestral concept album The Call of Oma, an ep length therapeutic soundscape Oriental Temple Gardens Complex, singles and features on a few compilation albums, and has received airplay in Australia and overseas. She has also created a few plays, movies such as Beggar Woman Walks by the Waters and By The Mandate of Heaven and engages in archetypal performance art celebrating the various faces of divine feminine wisdom.

Artist Website –

Youtube –

Bandcamp –

Facebook –

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Spotify –

Itunes –



Live Electronic Musicians of Melbourne- Covered Remixed Release

Simon Quinn of The Safety Word a Melbourne based dream pop, chill down tempo act says “As Melbourne was in the middle of lock down we thought it would be good to create an album that truly connected our members, in order to do this we put a call out to see who was interested in either covering or remixing each other”

Gavin Dwyer  debuted the whole double  album on Soundcloud on his show Outrageous, We are all super grateful for the support. See the link below, which features introductions from the artists on their tracks and the songs they contributed.  It was debuted on Saturday October 31st.

It is a double album that is very broad in scope as to what is termed electronic. The LEMOM collective has over 1.8K of members. It is a private group on Facebook, made up of Melbourne artists and artists from far afield.

“Born out of a need for like minded musicians looking to score a gig, L.E.M.O.M is a community focused group for all things live electro. What is live electronic music? In the year 2020 that can range from a Modular kit that would make NASA jealous, to a drum machine app on your mobile phone. We are here for anyone at any skill level and pride ourselves on our helpful community and engaged artists.

Our aim is to play a role in strengthening emerging electronic music communities, by promoting local artists helping them find like minded people to play shows with”.


The collective known as L.E.M.O.M (Live Electronic Musicians of Melbourne) are releasing their 2nd double compilation for the year. This time the organisers of the group decided to mix things up a bit. They thought that seeing as Melbourne was in the middle of a pretty intense lockdown it would be a nice idea to create a compilation that involved an element of connection. Each of the seventeen artists featured on this compilation has been paired up with another L.E.M.O.M member. The directive was to either remix or produce a cover of each other’s work. The artists where given complete creative freedom to deconstruct each other’s songs and recreate them as new works of art in their chosen style.

The compilation is split across two albums with the first being mostly instrumental or with minimal vocals, think cluby electronica spanning genres such as tech house, acid techno and breaks titled RED. The second album features the songs that have more of a band feel, spanning genres such as synth pop, indie dance and bedroom electronic titled BLUE.

The money raised from the sale of these albums will be donated to the Nillumbik Youth Theater who are a non-for-profit incorporation operated by youth to provide accessible and inclusive opportunities for people to create and perform theater and other art forms.

Red album features
Another Whiskey – Increment (Gary Franks Remix)
Dream Retriever – The Headmaster (Robodop Snei Remix)
No Time To Say Goodbye – Gary Franks (Increment Remix)
Fall In Love – Purple Zain (James Peden Remix)
Shuffle Up – Robodop Snei (The Headmaster Remix)
Atmospherica – Catherine Meeson (The Safety Word Remix)
Touch – Peter Nigido (Arcane Trickster Remix)
Project Sign – Arcane Trickster (Peter Nigido Remix)


Blue Album features

Emotion Overdrive – Ricky Summers (Leipzig Lab Cover)
Illuminated – I Hate Max (Robots In Love Cover)
Neuroplastic – Pixy Styx (I Hate Max Cover)
London – Robots in Love (Ricky Summers Cover)
Paradigms – The Safety Word (Catherine Meeson Remix)
Lullaby – Me In A Dream (Sleeplab Cover)
Neon Nights – James Peden (Purple Zain Remix)
Self Destruct – Leipzig Lab (Pixy Styx Cover)
New Years Day – Sleeplab (Me In A Dream Cover)
Outrageous Outro

James Peden Music has been promoting the community and artists from further a field with his new Australian Electronic Music Video show on Youtube. There have been 3 so far, featuring various LEMOM members, you’re in for a treat, be sure to check them out, in chronological order. James is open to submissions from artists. The quality of independent work is just stunning. We have a very vibrant community of talented musicians.

Be sure to keep your eyes and ears open for more work from all artists involved and support them on bandcamp, socials and youtube.

You can find all the artists involved below, check them out now and support the independent music community.


I Am Woman Watch Me Roar- Jasmine Lynch Melton Music

Welcome to the next installment of ‘Woman Who Rock in Music- I Am Woman Watch Me Roar’.

This week we meet Jasmine Lynch principal of Melton Music a local music school run by a husband and wife team, with the philosophy of ‘Music at an affordable price’. Jasmine studied Bachelor of Music at NMIT and in 2010 opened her music school with Dave her husband with young  children in tow. Jasmine has a passion for inclusion for people with disabilities and meeting students where they are at. The school offers lessons in all instruments and once Covid struck was quick to facilitate the school going online. Melton Music has won ‘Best Creative Industries’ award and ‘Best Access and Inclusion’ at the local Business Excellence awards. The school hosts individual and group music lessons, online and in the school, and prior to Covid had quarterly open mics and a mid year and end of year concert.

Introducing Jasmine Lynch

Briefly describe your role in Music? (eg songwriter producer dj, radio, manager, engineer, all rounder etc)

I am the owner/operator of Melton Music school. In this role I am a Music teacher/mentor, Vocal Coach, Principal and Events manager.

How long have you been engaged in your musical journey? 

Going on 18 years now

In what ways has unconscious bias (sexism or other) affected you personally? 

Honestly, it has strengthened my resolve. Being told something is impossible or that I can’t do it only drives me to keep going until I achieve what I’ve set out to do. I have never allowed myself to be defined by others. I know I am a unique individual and at this point it all washes over me “you’re just a girl” “you can’t open a music school now, you have a 3 year old and a newborn baby” at first were met with “I’ll show you” and now I don’t give them a second thought.

What do you feel women need the most to thrive in the current social and musical climate?

One word: Community. I can remember the first social group of like-minded woman I joined back in 2011. It was called “Woman in Business” We lifted each other up, encouraged one another, shared ideas, experiences and gave advise. We need to be collaborating together not seeing each other as competition. There is plenty of room in the Music industry for all of us. United as one we can achieve anything!

The Melton Music team at Business Excellence Awards


What has been the greatest obstacle you have had to overcome on your musical path? 

My greatest obstacle has been financial, specifically budgeting and managing cash flow.

When you work for yourself, especially in this industry, there are a lot of unknowns you have to account for. In the beginning I was a bit naïve, not really knowing how much of my income to put aside for those unforeseen circumstances and unexpected opportunities.

I learned very quickly you have to be willing to admit the areas where you need help and then find the right person or course to turn those areas from weaknesses into strengths.

What is unique about a women’s voice, and approach that is so desperately needed in music today? 

I have always believed men and women deserve equal voices in Music. We think differently than men, we have different strengths and weaknesses and insights. We ensure a more diverse and rich musical culture when we give equal value to both men and women’s voices in music.

Do you have any advise for young women or others in the early stages of their musical exploration/ journey? 

Write out your vision for your musical journey, no matter how un-obtainable it might seem, then start planning out SMART goals: Specific – Measurable – Achievable – Relevant – Timebound. These goals will be the steps that will lead to your overall vision. Jasmine Lynch.

Melton Music is located on High st Melton, lessons run 3-8pm and bookings are always open. We can facilitate lessons in person at the school or remotely so it is open to anyone anywhere now. I am one of the teachers at the school doing voice, beginner piano and guitar. Thank you Jasmine, it’s a lovely community vibe with students of all ages and many different goals. You do an amazing job it’s a pleasure to work with you on all levels. There is so much research now about the benefits of learning to play music that there is no reason not to. Music is a totally holistic whole brain activity, great for well being on all levels. More about the therapeutic aspects of music another time.

My next blog will be a detour to promote Live electronic Musicians of Melbourne double album compilation which I contributed towards with a remix of a song called Paradigm and The Safety word did a remix of my tune from 2012ish Atmospherica, with only a few months left of 2020 I have a few more things to write about. Music is the Masterkey

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I Am Woman Watch Me Roar- Cheryl Janzen of Vague Notion


This weeks blog takes us all the way to the magnificent lands of Nelson, British Columbia to meet Cheryl Janzen, who writes, records, produces and performs with her husband Bevan as Vague Notion. I first met Cheryl on an Electronic artists network called Electronomicon on facebook managed out of Melbourne by Troy Masters, a worldwide collective of artists and independent radio folk.

Introducing Cheryl Janzen.

Briefly describe your role in Music? (eg songwriter producer dj, radio, manager, engineer, all rounder etc)
I am a flute player first, as I joined the school band in grade 3. My band teacher called my mother and encouraged her to get me into piano lessons as she saw that I had a natural affinity for music.  In my 20’s I attended a professional music college for flute but quickly discovered that I loved singing and performing more. I joined a rock band and I haven’t stopped since. Songwriting came later for me and with the advent of software that was accessible to the lay person, I began producing and songwriting with my husband and here we are today as Vague Notion.

How long have you been engaged in your musical journey?
From a very young age as you read above. My father was a musician so I fell asleep many nights to his band rehearsing in the basement. My 4 brothers all play guitar and sing and one of my brothers took me under his wing in my teen years. I was in his band as a vocalist and flautist. Fun times.

In what ways has unconscious bias (sexism or other) affected you personally?
In my years playing in cover bands I experienced both inclusion and respect and the opposite of that. One of the reasons I ventured into a duo act with my husband is because it is here that inclusion and respect are boundless [ beautiful that’s what we want, team work].

Why you are sharing this video?

This is the newest video made my me called Invisible Man. On Halloween we will be releasing a new video for our latest single…‘Shadow Talk’

What do you feel women need the most to thrive in the current social and musical climate?
A strong backbone! Never give up attitude.

What has been the greatest obstacle you have had to overcome on your musical path?
My own self loathing and doubt.

What is unique about a women’s voice, and approach that is so desperately needed in music today?
I think every person’s voice is unique actually. I think more than ever the world needs people being creative and sharing that.

Do you have any advise for young women or others in the early stages of their musical exploration/ journey?
Just keep going. Don’t give up. Practice, practice ,practice so you are honing your craft/gift. If you love it and it feeds your soul, keep going.


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Thank you so much Cheryl, for lending your voice, I wish you all the best with your new work and partnership, much success.

I Am Woman Watch Me Roar- The Voice of Womens Empowerment -Catherine Meeson


‘I Am Woman Watch Me Roar’ is a detour into the collective musical landscape, inviting the shared voice of my comrades to express on theme. The title of this blog hearkens back the powerful 70’s anthem by Helen Reddy, and also evokes a sense of a powerful lioness defending her children and pride (double meaning). Sadly Helen Reddy has just passed away, her work and this song in particular, inspired the blog interview focus,  a powerful anthem for womens empowerment. Born during the tumultuous world war 2 years to a musical family, she lived and worked musically through the revolutionary social/ political times of the late 60’s and 70’s.

This song was a beautiful example of lyrical potency self acceptance and spiritual vigour. I chose it because of its anthemic nature and the fact that it is essentially a call to arms for women and an affirmation of womens unique power.

“Oh yes, I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained
If I have to, I can do anything
I am strong
I am invincible
I am woman”


R.I.P HELEN REDDY thank you for your contribution to music, culture and the human journey. This week I will speak on theme, so far I have featured Zoe Ryan, Jenni Dagley,  Seraya, Lacunae Glow,  Taylar Paige, Melody Moon, Elaine Nolan, Bek Davis, Symmetrix, Elenor Rayner, Ivy Lucille, Becki Whitton (Aphir) and Anya Trybala (Ninoosh). More women have been invited to speak on theme and hopefully we will feature a few more before years end.

I also have blogs coming on various topics such as Musicians Mental health and creative therapies, the benefits of martial arts for women, and the power plays women endure regarding their sexuality/ sensuality and its abuse.


Briefly describe your role in Music? (eg songwriter producer dj, radio, manager, engineer, all rounder etc) 

I am an independent singer songwriter composer performance artist and producer, I take care of everything, music videos, promotion etc. I have been an avid student of all things music sound healing for 25 years and am developing a body of work to share with others in the form of practitioner training. I started studying audio engineering and sound production late last year, to refine my skills, fill in my gaps and get a firm acoustic and technical science foundation. At this time I am largely a studio recording artist, but I do love to do live stuff and can’t wait to rock out big time with my band. I have a band as well with my partner Sean and Mark called Symbols IN soundS

How long have you been engaged in your musical journey?

I started writing songs in high school, I had been writing poetry and was an avid pop lover growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, so had role models like Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Annie Lennox, Whitney Houston, Heart and Abba.

My first music teacher put a guitar keyboard and a mic in my hand, put us into high school bands, we ran with it. I had a girls rock band called The Stormers that  toured around Vic, we did Battle of the Bands, recorded made music videos etc. It was heaps of fun. I still have the tape of the recordings of the second song I ever wrote, a teen girls fantasies on the experiences of love and relationships.


In what ways has unconscious bias (sexism or other) affected you personally?

Unconscious bias comes from fear, from repressed projected self talk in many instances, from a superiority mindset and from a boys club mentality. Things that have been said to me, like if a woman wants to get anywhere in music, she needs to fuck her way to the top, which is just disgusting and makes me furious. There is lots of inference on skill and ability because women are not seen as having technical acumen or knowledge, even if they invest time and energy to acquire skill. I had many people beat me down tell me to stop wasting my time, get a real job etc, comments like “you call that music”. A lot of the affect for me has come from social values and negative experiences and internalised resistance that I have encountered. There is also this sense of the dumb blonde, that really annoys me.

What do you feel women need the most to thrive in the current social and musical climate?

Women need to be recognized for their uniqueness, as  many of the women who have spoken so far have said. We need equal opportunities, for those who choose to work with us or other creative partners to team up with, there needs to be a fundamental respect of who and what we bring not a desire to shape and mold and bend us to anothers will or ideas, or to exploit our sexuality and sacral energy (the divine feminine creative force). We need platforms for our voice, and powerful leaders and mentors, and quite possibly organisations that advocate for women in music and womens issues. We need a safe space and honourable men to empower and enhance our capacity to offer amazing perspectives and musical works. We need brothers in arms who stand proudly by our side as equals.

What has been the greatest obstacle you have had to overcome on your musical path?

Self doubt and my inner demons due to severe trauma. The belief that I am not good enough and don’t stand a chance. Also the safety issue, physical and psychological safety.

What is unique about a women’s voice, and approach that is so desperately needed in music today?

Women are sensitive creatures, we are the deep feelers, intuitive, we bare sons and daughters and carry the future of the human race in our wombs. We carry the seeds for not only biological life but amazing creative vision. Women have always been likened to the muses, and the muses of Greek mythos are women. Many Goddesses of historical cultures are patrons for the arts, of  beauty and music. It is not a new path to us, we have long been temple priestesses, healers,  oracles, soothsayers, bards, minstrels, prophetesses that transmit culture, warning, story. Our words allow the people to feel, our musics echo the heart of the people, the unheard. Through our intuitive gifts we can express the things others struggle with, we can bring the Shekinah presence, the divine feminine to bare in all that we do. We are intimately connected to the earth and the heavens and understand the cyclic nature of all things. In music today we need this divine feminine goddess energy/ archetype in all her permutations; as creator, destroyer, mother etc to be a  catalytic social force. The world, (excuse the French) is totally fucked. We can see what does not work and bring the transmutational archetypal force to change and shape culture. We can and will hold to account.

Why you are sharing this video?

I am sharing Come Back because Oma the central character is a powerful Goddess mother type figure who speaks not only for herself but on behalf of all life, calling us to remember and reconnect. It is off my last album The Call of Oma and was very well received. It also embodies everything I talk about doing for yourself, I made the costume, did the make up, scouted the location, paid for production, edited it, produced everything. I had my partner Seans help behind the lens and he did a friggin awesome job having never done anything like that before, working under my direction. This was done with my phone, use what ya got!

Do you have any advise for young women or others in the early stages of their musical exploration/ journey?

Just do it, express what you want to express, the way you want to express it, nurture your own visionary/ revolutionary capacity, be  yourself in all your glory, be fierce, be proud, back yourself, do what it takes whilst preserving your integrity and honour. Learn self defense to protect yourself against the sleeze bags and those that might seek to exploit you. Learn about human nature, learn how to read situations, empower yourself with knowledge. Remain humble, develop a strong core, listen more than you talk, take advise, accept rejection and criticism as normal and keep going no matter what. Don’t expect anyone to do anything for you, do it yourself  fully exploit your resources and fund yourself, create the best work you can, so that when others do come along and like what you are doing you have a solid foundation you have a much clearer sense of everything involved in a musician/ engineers journey, and you can appreciate the many hours and varied skill sets it take to bring work to finished production and release. If you have done those things yourself you are also more able to understand and communicate with others in the creative industries who you may need to employ to help you, graphic designers, cinematographers, editors, make up artists, etc etc.

Love self no matter what, regret and self judgment are killers, assassins of thought. Develop potency and really look after body mind spirit, stay healthy so you can be the best you you can be.

Don’t worry about others notions of what success is or looks like, decide what it is for you and get to work. It’s a long haul to leave a legacy, but worth it. It is a great gift to create magic out of the aether and gift it to others who then receive its gifts. Music is Magic of the highest order. Good luck.

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Catching Stardust-The birth of a Song-Women Who Rock Series

Welcome  February 6th 2020. The Call of Oma launch was a success it is receiving airplay around Australia and there will be more interviews coming. So far  we have had feature interviews on 97.9fm and Radio Adelaide’s Out of This World. More news on that into the future. You can purchase the album The Call of Oma at all digital outlets or go here . Today we begin a new journey.

The  video below details the spontaneous song writing process as a whole, in video document format from the beginning to end, (less than thirty minutes). Features the song ‘Stardust’ a song exploring the feeling and vulnerability of new love and the fragility of the heart. It will be released as a single in 2020.

Lyrics and Music by Catherine Meeson © 2020 ℗ 2020

All Rights Reserved

A Sonic Sanctuary production February 5 2020

Contains stock footage from

‘Catching Stardust’ is the first in a series of Blogs and Vlogs on ‘Women Who Rock’ in music (title inspired by Marilyn of the Red Church) for 2020, which will explore women in music and issues of craft as well as issues affecting well-being and sense of self from a women’s perspective. They may contain surveys and interviews with others and will also be a shout-out to influential and powerful women of music through recorded her-story. Sure, to be provocative and forthright.

‘Catching Stardust’ honours the song writing process of not knowing  and going with the flow of ones muse. Stardust was the second tune I wrote by the embers of an open fire, camping out in Lerdederg state park, whilst my boyfriend slept. It was 11th March  2019.

As a form of documentation, I literally set up the phone and recorded the whole process by firelight. It is in D# alternative tuning, (something my boyfriend has introduced to me). Before this I wrote a very long riff based instrumental piece called Resurrection Codes which was also captured. Video documenting allows one to see exactly what one was doing in the moment. Once upon a time I captured my songs on tape recorder and still have a box of tapes. Years later it became phone voice recording, now occasionally I do it on video. I always drew my chord charts and progressions down.

Stardust captured the feeling of new love, vulnerability and the fragility of the heart. As with most improvisation-based tunes, I noodle till I find something that resonates with how I am feeling in the moment, then I’m off on The Windcatcher (my magical mythical musical ship), we set sail and traverse the fields of time and space through sound. I voyage through feeling, melody, harmony, rhythm and form as the song is crafted/ birthed through me. Lyrically it presents as essentially a folky tune (psychedelic folk ambience) that has been developed as a demo and was submitted to the APRA professional development competition last year.

Many people have an opinion about how to write a song and what it has to be. A formula for the genre, a set structure, the rules of harmony and form. All those things are nice but they create limits if one is rigid about it. We all know the essence of popular music form through listening to it all our lives. There is no right or wrong way. Someone will always want to change what you did or how you did it, or they will change where it wants to or could go. But you know what? It’s your song, your way, your muse and voice. There is only ‘what is’ in the moment of creation. Finding ones own voice and style is essential in a world of wannabes. All one can ever truly be is oneself. Therefore, cultivate uniqueness, that is following the dao of your own unique unfolding on the river of life.

Sure you can refine songs later, re arrange them , adapt them etc, but in my experience  ( I can say this because I have been writing songs now for 33 years), they come out mostly complete entities; a chord progression and a vocal lyrical melody that stands by it’s own integrity. One does not need to agonise over it or get all intellectual about it. It’s a different process to writing to a brief or modern electronic based song writing, this is the old school way of instrument and words. It’s organic, with the flavours and tools of local space time, i.e. the feel and the instruments/ resources at hand.

You don’t go to school to learn how to write songs, you just write them. You go to school to learn composition, but degrees for song writing, that will get you a bunch of rules to break and a bunch of formulas and other peoples processes. Then you still have to do your own thing. So play, experiment, make mistakes, follow your ears, follow your feelings as they express.

This video is very raw and very real,  it features me being eaten alive by mosquitos, tripping out on the sounds of the night and being in awe of the stars. It features mistakes, bum notes and the real process I go through  to find /develop and create a song. I feel I don’t create it, I just follow it as it emerges, I am just the person it comes through. Like the universe wishing to express itself. I follow the feeling, rhythm, the flow, the melody. The lyrics come as to be expected. My hope is that this video demystifies and normalises the song writing process. This took less than thirty minutes to write.

As far as what is it – to fix it in a genre, I guess I would call it folky, psychedelic folk, as it has been developed and uses fx pedals. The structure is pretty standard. Intro, verse, bridge, chorus, verse, bridge, chorus, outro. The instrumentation so far is simple, acoustic guitar with fx, bass, guitar riffs on the ricky, programmed beats and vocals, main and back up. It was a time-based completion for APRA ‘s professional development award program, (which obviously I was unsuccessful at). I also entered Resurrection and Standing there two more singles I hope to get out this year.  I will develop Stardust further and refine the parts for the single release, it needs tightening up, the vocal placement and vowels need to be bang on. It is very characteristically ambient, spacious and relaxing. It is a beautiful song that I am happy to say Marty Wilson Piper liked 😊 in a recent mentoring session. Marty formally of Australian rock band The Church is my favourite guitarist alongside Pink floyd’s  David Gilmour.

The purpose of this recording now is me reviewing my 60+ gig of video recordings from my phone, clearing my archives and storage and seeing what is worth developing and producing to completion. Not everything gets developed. The archives feature song ideas, improvisations on guitar, voice, bass, and piano, captured out there in the world, at work, or where ever I was at the moment. I am assessing my focus for the year and where my energies will go and what is realistic. I will aim for 3-4 singles, with a possible 3- 4 month turn around for each, that should be doable, but depends on work, funds and life.

As mentioned at the start of the blog I have a new series I will write about this year, aiming for one a month called Women Who Rock’ series. Look out for those as we journey along, and look out for my invitations to questions of relevance on Survey Monkey.

In ‘Catching Stardust’, I am inviting people into my process, I have always been pretty open about it blogging my albums creation and development of all my work.

I am promoting my services as a Creativity Coach (arts based coaching). If you are interested in Creativity Coaching and want to know more, click on the link below to my page about Creativity Coaching. The basic premise is that artists and creatives have unique sets of problems that need to be tackled and we may need the services of a whole bunch of allied health persons and professional arts industry allies, a Creativity coach can help you figure out what you need to be the best you, you can be as you bring your work into the world.

Creativity Coaching is offered via skype, phone, email or in person. There are one of rate deals of $60 an hour (skype, and follow up email). And a 4 session package deal $220 (4 skype sessions, follow up email, 2 15 minute phone check ins). In person sessions will incur additional travel costs. Payment method is via the Paypal button on the weblink (secure).

Creative process is something I am an expert at and could be invaluable in assisting you to be all you can be. Make it happen in 2020. No matter the issues affecting your creative work, or sense of self in the world a creativity coach could be exactly what you need.

To this end my qualifications are  Adv Dip Music, B.A.I (Hons- music composition), Adv Dip Transpersonal Counselling & Art Therapy, Creativity coaching training with Eric Maisel, spiritual healing modalities. Professional development at Film Summer School (Melb Uni) and currently enrolled in part time Audio Engineering studies.