Quiet Tyalgum sounds good
IN THE shadow of Mt Warning, a musical spotlight is being turned to the picturesque village of Tyalgum as it prepares for its annual music festival.
While there would be many people who wouldn't know where Tyalgum is located (about 20 minutes west of Murwillumbah), a growing number of national and international musicians are making tracks to the village to be part of a truly unique event.
The festival, which began in 1991, now boasts an international line-up and 2018 festival directors Anna McMichael and Vanessa Tomlinson are in the challenging position of choosing just who plays there.
Based around Tyalgum's historic 110-year-old community hall which is renowned for its amazing acoustic qualities, the music festival boasts an eclectic mix of musicians and experiences over three days, starting this Friday and running until Sunday.
It's a formula that has not only worked in seeing the festival grow in size and stature but also in recognition of its place in the Australian music scene, winning the prestigious state award for NSW at the annual Art Music Awards in Melbourne.
The awards, recognising excellence in classical music, are presented each year by the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) and the Australian Music Centre.
"We have been recognised with nominations in the past but to finally be the NSW winner in this category is a great reward for everyone involved with the festival,” Ms McMichael said.
"It shows we must be doing something right and to gain such recognition on the national stage has given everyone a spring in their step leading up to this year's event.”
Ms McMichael, who has been with the festival since 2013, said the challenge was to provide something fresh each year and in 2018, there would be more mass events and large groups performing as well as the ticketed shows in the hall.
"We always try to have events which the public can get involved in which combine both the music and the location,” she said.
"Tyalgum is such a scenic and peaceful place and to have outdoor events compliments the location.
"We are receiving requests from artists wanting to come and play which is wonderful but also a challenge - trying to ensure they work in with our program of events.
"Those who do come and play love the location and the atmosphere.”
Ms McMichael said the Tyalgum Music Festival weekend was the village's busiest of the year and when combined with markets on Saturday, the quiet hamlet becomes a hive of activity with people everywhere.
This year, the ticketed shows in the hall will include guitarist Karin Schaupp, pianist Lisa Moore, Paul Dean and his clarinet, the Orva Quartet, a dynamic group of young men giving new direction to chamber music, the 15-piece Riverside Guitar Ensemble and the Australian Haydn Ensemble.
Adding to the program in the village will be the combined voices of the Voices of Birralee mass choir as well as Super Critical Mass - a musical performance devised by ABC Classic FM's Julian Day, featuring 100 of the Melbourne Museum's Federation handbells.
There will also be pop-up events, sound sculptures, storytelling, children's choirs, gigs in the cafes and the Tyalgum pub by local musicans as well as a range of activities to keep all ages entertained.
It is one weekend of the year when the tranquility of Tyalgum is transformed into a musical masterpiece and well worth experiencing.
For more information on the festival, visit www.tyalgumfestival.com.au