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An interview with Australian Author: Jo Buchanan


The year Jo turned fifty, she sold her house to finance her lifelong dream of exploring the sacred sites of Egypt, the Mayan jungles in Mexico and the Native American reservations in Arizona where she was invited to participate in ancient traditional ceremonies. After reading an article Jo wrote about her adventures, a travel agency in Queensland offered her the job of escorting groups from Australia to explore the world’s most sacred sites – a brand new career destined to last another seventeen years.Janice: Jo, we've known each other for many moons now. From that first random meeting I experienced your  nature as all accepting and embracing. Were there particular role models who embodied these qualities?

Jo:  My first role models would have been my parents. Back in the 1940s when I was a child, they ran what we call these days, a ‘soup kitchen’ at the South Melbourne Presbyterian mission. Not only did they supply food, Mum made lots of clothes for the homeless children and…

Growing a Positive Community Out of the Ashes. A letter from Elizabeth Walton

Now that we are through the worst of the situation, for the moment, on the far south coast of New South Wales, Australia, we are safe. And the good news is that solid rain is forecast for the entire south eastern region of Australia in the coming days, which promises to finally put this crisis to and end, a crisis that began in September and has continued to ravage our lands, our lives and our lungs. So our attention now can safely turn to recovery and rebuilding our communities. 
We are passionate gardeners and have planted a food forest of over 300 plant species at our home. This includes greens for daily eating, as well as tomatoes and pumpkins, but also fruit and nut trees and herbs such as All Spice, Cinnamon and Lemon Myrtle. What we are presently looking for is soil donations so we can collect plant cuttings to give to our friends who have thankfully saved their houses, but faced with the blackness every day of looking at scorched lands. 
Many people in our south coast region …

Part One: An interview with Australian Theatre Director/Playwright, Margaret Davis

Janice:  Margaret, you recently were in Vietnam working with students of theatre.  Can you share some of your experience with us?

Margaret: This was my second visit as Guest Lecturer at the Hanoi Academy of Theatre and Cinema working on plays by Russian dramatist Anton Chekhov with third year acting students. 
In 2018 we worked on The Seagull and in 2019 Three Sisters. These intensive classes form part of a semester on Western Theatre in which the students also explore texts by Moliere and Shakespeare. The Chekhov texts are difficult for acting students around the world because the style of naturalism requires detailed study of the text for clues about what motivates the characters. The Vietnamese style of acting is much more presentational - big on physicality and powerful gestures - with less emphasis on the tiny moment by moment shifts and inter-personal relationships that playing Chekhov requires. Also, Chekhov’s texts are a great way of introducing students to the system of acting…

A poem by John Davies

You might notice
The way that spaces
Surround each moment's gift.

How hurrying people adorn
A world That sighs with murmured wind.

Clocks will tick
Unheard behind
The pressure of today.

One day silent they sit
As cicadas cut the air.
How this now Can't ever be grasped No matter how you try.

You are void and open mind
Dancing throughout so called time.


I was born in Cootamundra in country NSW in 1955 but spent my formative years living by the ocean in Sydney's northern beaches, many hours spent walking on deserted windswept sand ,soaking in the vast beauty of sea and sky .

 I tried my hand at poetry in my teens and twenties , particularly inspired by Gary Snyder , but I lacked confidence to do much with it.

Now that I'm in my mature years I don't care very much what others think but I'm delighted if someone enjoys my ramblings, rough and unpolished as they are. I feel that poetry offers a vision of reality that is needed in these desperate hurried times, a vision…

Fare-welling Australian great, percussionist, Ian Bloxsom. Journey well Ian!

Fare-welling the gracious and gifted 'Blocko', Ian Boxsom.
Ian contributed to two of my first soundscapes 'llenoil' (MD the late and great Tony Ansell) and later Ian added his wizardry to my collaboration with installation artist Sue Callanan for ABC/Fm's The Listening Room, 'Red Rover Crossover'.
Thank you Ian for never placing a doubt before me of where we could take those pieces. Forever grateful for your friendship and support. Travel well on the wings of deepest condolences to your family and friends near and far, we all love you and will hold you close to our hearts mani padma hum om mani padma hum om mani padma hum

Janice Slater, December, 2019, Blue Mountains, Australia.

If you don't know of Ian's formidable contribution to Australian music, some of the following links will provide you with music to enjoy.
Crossfire live @ The Montreux Jazz Festival, the complete set Jim Kelly, Mark Riley, Greg Lyon, Ian Bloxsom, Ton…


A note on climate-change and music composition.

This morning ash and charred leaves fell as I put shade cloth on my vegie patch (while wearing a mask).

 I am living in a poorly insulated rental property which seems to heat up quickly and cool down slowly, and I have a chronic health condition (ME/CFS) which is exacerbated by the poor air quality. I don’t feel the need to ponder the intricacies of climate change and its causative impact on the current fire situation and impending heatwaves in my local area. This is not my area of expertise. But it appears (in addition to my somewhat disturbing subjective reality) that the science is in and there is no room for dispute. I will instead focus here on the relationship between music composition and climate change, as that is something rarely (if ever) considered.

What is the relationship between climate change and our current way of “doing” the arts in general and music composition in particular? I would have to argue the relationship is i…


Very exciting news to share with you that one of  my collaborations with Kirk Kadish ip(Arterial Flow) is up on NZ's fabulous music licensing company Music Vista's Windswept page. Title: Rain2