NADIA BUDIHARDJO & SOPHIE RECK
Western Australia has a diverse music sense influenced by its isolation from the rest of the nation, say participants in the State of the Art festival that’s playing out in central Perth today.
The festival is part of the WA Day long weekend celebrations that are running until Monday.
Festival programmer Luke Rinaldi says WA’s isolation has led to a unique sound.
“With that distance comes less ability to travel frequently to other parts of the country or over the world and with that comes the need to rely on originality, individuality and less on trends,” Mr Rinaldi says.
“Often people say that Perth is behind Melbourne or Sydney and that might be true but by the same token, it’s also because of less population.
“It also means that you don’t get stuck in those trends.”
The festival, featuring live acts on three stages, runs until 10 o’clock tonight at the Perth Cultural Centre.
A ticket allows punters to see internationally known Perth band Birds of Tokyo, and there are free activities including live street art.
“There’s a lot of bands playing today that people are probably fans of and they’ll be like,’Oh, I didn’t realise they’re from WA,’,” Mr Rinaldi says.
“I think that’s important, a bit of an awareness factor and also that a festival can sustain itself simply from WA [musicians].”
Mr Rinaldi says WA acts are supportive of each other despite the differences in their sound.
“Perhaps more bands of different genres will play with each other, which means there’s a lot more cross-pollination in musical styles,” he says.
West Australia Music Song of the Year Winner in 2014, Charlotte Viney, 15, of Claremont, is one of the acts performing free to the public.
“This is the first gig I’ve got,” she says.
“It’s just good to create awareness for people like upcoming artists, for them to get out there.”
East Fremantle singer-songwriter Claudia Tero, 14, who performs with her sister, Ebony, 12, is also playing for free at the festival.
Claudia says the WA music community is a close-knit one.
“I can’t explain it but everyone’s kind of getting ideas from everyone else and we’re all connected in that way,” she says.
Her proud dad, Stephen, says opportunities for WA musicians to be showcased are increasing.
“I was in a band when I was a teenager and there’s no way to even contemplate being able to play in this kind of venue,” he says.
MC Battle participant Eliot Keal, of Scarborough, says the festival provides a good showcase for local acts.
“We’ve got too much time on our hands and without too much influence, so music could grow over here,” he says.
State of the Art is now in its second year.