Mental Health Musos Go Pro In Wagga Wagga

Wed May 20, 2015

In a first for the Riverina, a group of local musicians with mental health issues have produced an album with original material written and recorded in Wagga Wagga.

The music group first formed late last year when two of the regions foremost not-for-profit mental health support groups – RichmondPRA and Schizophrenia Fellowship of NSW – created an opportunity for local people with mental health issues to come together and play music as a social and therapeutic outlet.

Over a dozen individuals decided to participate, jamming for three hours every Friday afternoon at Turvey Park Anglican Church.

In a short time it was apparent the talents of the artists were beyond loose jamming, and suggestions were made that they try their hand at recording.

Most of the participants wrote and recorded their own material with the help of local sound engineer Tim Phillips who volunteered time for the project.

The result is a CD called “Voices”, a collaboration of songs with a mixture of style and influences. The lyrics and themes revolve around hope, relationships and mental health. The album is dedicated to anyone who is affected by mental health issues and for all those who are on a recovery journey.

The CD is now on sale at the local RichmondPRA and Schizophrenia Fellowship of NSW offices and Allison Music. The artists are also looking for air-play opportunities locally and elsewhere in Australia.

“This is an unforseen outcome from such humble beginnings,” Lisa Crivellaro, cofounder of the music project said.

“The biggest win of all are the bonds and friendships that were made as the music group grew into something bigger than first anticipated.

“The process of writing, performing and recording together has been an exciting and therapeutic journey for all of us.

“There was a lot of doubt in the beginning, but our self-belief and self-esteem grew each time we gathered and before long we decided to take the plunge.

“We’d like to try and make enough money from sales to recoup the costs of making the album and to reimburse the artists for their contribution.”

RichmondPRA Riverina Manager Lex Burgess said the achievement has set a tremendous example for anyone in the community who lives with mental health issues.

“A key of most mental health recovery journeys is engaging in meaningful activities with others in the community,” Lex said.

“On that front the music group has excelled and demonstrated the rewards that come from immersing in creative pursuits.”

Frank Goodyer, community development officer called on the community to get behind the CD.

“Everyone who recorded and participated in the music group deserves every bit of recognition that comes their way,” Sound Engineer Tim Phillips said.

“What they’ve achieved in such a short time is admirable and inspiring.

“The best thing people can do to applaud this courageous initiative is buy a copy of the CD.”

EDITOR NOTE:

Voices will be launched at 2pm on 22 May at Sunflower House in, 4 The Esplanade Wagga Wagga.

Further information:
Lisa Crivellaro 0468615016 - RichmondPRA
Tony Martin 0478316520 - Schizophrenia Fellowship of NSW