Catherine began song writing in high school. She was given her first guitar at 13 and got shown the basics, the rest she learned from books, watching others and using her ears. She had an all girls high school band called The Stormers. With maybe a dozen official guitar lessons she is mostly self taught. She always dreamed of having a four track to explore and realise her musical inspirations, but in that era it was not meant to be. Various periods of writing and inactivity (“life’s what happens when you’re busy making other plans” J. Lennon ) meant the 90’s only saw a few public solo performances in singer /songwriter mode. In 2000, Cath was introduced to computer software and MIDI methodology and glimpsed the possibilities of the medium. Motherhood came, and in 2008, she did a few short courses in music technology. The compositions and arrangements she had heard in her mind for so long, became a possibility realized. By 2009 she had bought some software and created a basic home studio set up and was off playing, creating sonic fantasy lands, electro songs and soundscapes. Catherine returned to study music as a student majoring in voice. In the last seven years she has developed a distinctive sound and has written a lot of work across two DAW’s incorporating traditional electric instruments, bass, guitar, percussion, synthesizers and samples (see discography). Stylistically it captures many essences, she defines it as ethereal wave, neo psychedelia & progressive electro folk/ rock .
Catherine’s music has been described as “atmospheric”, “otherworldly”, “ethereal”, “relaxing”, “trancy”, “cinematic journey music”, “like nothing else- unique,” “like being in an omnisphere travelling round the universe” “immersive and spacey” “mysterious ambience- portal to another world” “dynamic, rising and falling through seasons from organic folk-infused ambience to strong synthetic beats and luscious guitar textures”. Guitar and vox has been said “Like PJ Harvey on acid” “Like nothing else, unique” “Definitely ambient” “like Kate Bush, Patti Smith, Crissy Hynde & Annie Lennox” “Enchanting” & with ” Metaphysical Melodies”. Stylistically one can hear, elements of old English folk, pop, electronic synthesizer music, rock tinges, progressive 70’s, ambient, minimalism, new age, 80’s & 90’s Indie and alternative influences, and even operatic tinges. Others have referred to it as progressive cinematic indie rock and synth prog, or progressive electronic, gothic and folk pop or like 4AD artists such as Cocteau Twins..
Catherine composes both songs and soundscapes which she calls ‘journey music’. Often dreamlike, conveying the mythic and archetypal realms, her musical journeys tap rich symbolic worlds, which provide rich layers of association for the listener. She has a love for the psychedelic and musical surrealism. Lyrical themes include environmental matters, spirituality, relationships, mythos and story, politics and sacred activism, with shades of light, dark and all in between. At times, melancholic leanings and existential angst can also be heard, clothed in metaphor. These are expressed through both voice and instrumentation. Typical musical features include down tempo beats, use of effects, arpeggios, ostinatos, melodic bass lines, memorable guitar riffs and chord progressions, haunting vocals, ethereal sounds, synthesized instruments, atmospheres, nature sounds and sampling, arranged skilfully in her compositions.
In 2010 she released an album (largely instrumental) called ‘Revolution Complete’ and in 2012 she completed a Bachelor of Creative Industries degree majoring in music and performance art. In 2013, she completed honours, with a thesis titled ‘An Approach to Soundscape Composition Incorporating the Therapeutic and Moving Elements of Music and Sound’ and was awarded ‘The Most outstanding Arts Honours Award’ for 2013. She released her honours work ‘Oriental Temple Gardens Complex’ and her second album ‘Atmospherica’ In 2014. Her third album ‘Contemplating Buddha’ was released in 2016. I Am (Song of the Earth) was released on Earth Day April 22nd in 2017 as a single and video work. It is an electro orchestral concept work, off the forthcoming ‘The Call of Oma’ album due for release in late 2019. The second work off this album is a music video called ‘Come Back’, it was released June 8th 2019 an ode to the oceans on World Oceans Day.
She has dozens of pieces and many ep’s & albums yet to complete. Her live presentations feature the use of lap top and additional instrumentation- keyboard, guitar, percussion and voice. She feels very strongly about incorporating and embodying a conscious musical ethos and the cross over possibilities between music therapeutics and popular music composition and performance. In 2014 she launched her own music label Sonic Sanctuary, releasing Atmospherica.
Catherine has been influenced by an extensive body of musical work. Amongst her favourites are the melodies and harmonies of The Beatles, the music of the 60’s , 70’s and 80’s, the music of Catherine’s childhood. Pink Floyd’s experimental ethos, long extended improvisations and instrumentals, epic songs and use of samples and all round psychedelia made a lasting impression. The Church with their jingle jangle guitars, melodic interweaving and brilliant lyrics provide endless inspiration. Catherine’s electronic bent is heavily influenced by electronic pioneers such as Tangerine Dream and Jean Michelle Jarre, with their otherworldly soundscapes and progressive elements, as well as 80’s pop and new wave. Other influences include the film composer John Williams, Enigma, Enya, Lisa Gerrard, The Cure, Crowded House, most artists of the New Wave/ New romantic era, 80’s alternative and independent, classical music, world music, new age, pop, rock, soul, funk, grunge, some metal, punk, a diverse range of musical genres and artists. Catherine has performed at open mics, Renaissance Festival, Big West Festival, Maitreya Festival, My Aeon , The Pixie Collective Gallery Launch, The Goddess Within fundraiser for sex trafficked women/ children, Aphrodites Bordello fundraiser @ Kindred, & Synergy- Radiant Hearth and Djerriwarrh festival and more.
2010 ‘Revolution Complete’– Avatara and the Eternal Presence Orchestra (project name) mostly electronic instrumental album of ten tracks, available at Bandcamp and via the artist. Radio Adelaide’s Steve Sokvari in ‘Out of This world’ said “It sent me back to a time, a long time ago, when enlightenment was everything”.
2014 ‘Oriental Temple Gardens Complex’– Honours Soundscape work inspired by acoustic ecology, music therapeutics, interfaith perspectives, ancient philosophy, sound studies and Ethnomusicology. Awarded the ‘Most Outstanding Arts Honours Award’ for 2013 by Victoria University. Featured on The Art of Bleep on 3PBS fm with Evan Carr.
2014 ‘Atmospherica’ – 11 track album of songs and instrumental soundscapes in electro acoustic mode. Featured on 3PBS Art of Bleep and other shows, Radio Adelaide Out of this World , 97.9fm Living in the Land of Oz, and 3RRR.
2016 ‘Contemplating Buddha’ – A 12 track album of ethereal wave, electro progressive folk rock and neo psychedelic songs and soundscapes using more samples- released in March 2016. It received airplay around Australia via the AIRIT program and some International airplay on terrestrial and internet radio stations in the USA and England. It was given fantastic review on YEAHIKNOWITSUX music blog.
2017 I Am (song of the Earth) released 2017 single and music video
2018 Mr Big Man a power punch punk inspired protest song about Adani Carmichael coal min released in 2018 as a single and on youtube as music video
2019 By the Mandate of Heaven movie of the play By the Mandate of Heaven, released on Youtube on World Day of Social Justice.
PERFORMANCE ART SACRED THEATER TECHNICIAN / MUSE
Catherine has performed highly ritualistic, sacred performance art works that honour the faces of the divine feminine, the earth and all our relations. As an archetypal alchemist she feels it her sacred duty to be a vessel for symbolic and mythic transmission and acts of social, environmental, political and spiritual intention. Interactivity and intimacy is a core feature of her presentations as artist and audience journey together into the numinous, veil between the worlds in a living movie of life.
Events include her performance as Beggar Woman in Beggar Woman Wails for the World of Women (available on youtube) at Embracing spirits mixed arts ‘The Goddess Within’ which was a fundraiser for the Art2Healing Project art therapy/rehabilitation program to assist victims of sex trafficking. She has also performed as Grace guardian of the Grail in Grace and the Grail at Acts of Love which was a fundraiser for the St Kilda Gatehouse and organisation that also helps women who are recovering from street sex work.
She has made a site specific performance art movie Beggar Woman Walks by the Waters and recently hosted her own original one women devised play By The Mandate of Heaven as two characters the female boddhisttva and the male Minister from the Imperial courts of Weights and Measures a play exploring our relationship with and to the natural world and specifically the Industrial era and nuclear technologies taking us into some deep territories and out the other end to empowerment for change. This work was made into a movie and released in 2019. Available on Youtube.
Out of By the Mandate of Heaven was birthed Oma the ancient clan mother of the north, central character for I Am (Song of The Earth) and the forthcoming The Call of Oma concept album due for release in 2019. The public met Oma as part of I Am (Song of The Earth) launch at Ceres Brunswick on Earth day 2017.
More information can be found on the Performance Art page with links to Youtube clips of the said performances. https://www.catherinemeeson.com/visual-art/performance-art/
As visual artist her works have been featured donations for fundraisers for Spiritual Unity of the Tribes Inc the work Guardian Ancestors Say Look Hear! in 1988 as part of the sacred gatherings, and also for Friends of The Earth in support of indigenous solidarity the work Reconciliation is In Our Hands in 1997.
Other work as a visual artist has been in community arts work with children and some adults (wearing another hat).
Of late explorations of film and digital media and methods have become incorporated into her work. As time goes on; aspects of set design, costume making, and prop making have been explored and become necessary ‘to communicate’ the work. She dreams of one day having her own production company or at least working with a team!
One day she hopes to publish many years worth of poetry and prose and also collections of essays on various topics. Until then one can seek out her writing in her lyrics, poetry and prose featured in performance art, movie and on her page https://www.catherinemeeson.com/visual-art/the-word/ which is regularly added to with additional prose poetry in a long descending scroll.
COMMUNITY ARTS ENGAGEMENTS
Catherine’s other arts engagements include work as a music & drama teacher and as a community artist with a focus on arts health.
‘The universe is vast and deep: we are no different in our capacity as creators; of the domain in time and space’.
CONTACT DETAILS BOOKINGS AND INQUIRIES
Catherine Meeson – Phone : 0421 850 297