A unique singers' and musicians' companion, a go-to manual for help and support, a keepsake, a reference book - concept curated, compiled, and edited by two experienced, Australian based, arts supporters. Christine Sullivan is an international singer, recording artist, performer, and teacher, Monika Roleff is an arts worker, word and arts festival co-ordinator, writer, and author. Both are voice enthusiasts with a rich ancestral heritage in the field. The vision was to pull together a valuable tool in book format, using a selection of questions, anecdotes, quotes, and words of wisdom, directly from professional artists, technicians, musicians, and singers. The project provides an inspirational platform of experience-based advice for aspiring students, teachers, arts/music organisations, and the general public, interested in the life and journey of the singer. Primarily, it's a gift of words of wisdom from industry elders, and emerging talents from different musical generations, genres, and age groups, to be used by the reader as an industry guide. This is the first edition. Updated editions to follow.
Review - Leon Gettler - Freelance Journalist - Arts - The Melbourne Age/Herald Sun - The Singers Companion - Christine Sullivan and Monika Roleff. "This is a massively ambitious book. It gives the perspectives of singers and performers, crossing all ages and geographies. It gives them the platform to speak about their personal experiences in the global music/entertainment industry. Each singer and performer writes in their own style. Every artist has their own story and this tells us some of their crazy adventures. With questions and answers, they were asked about their histories, their influences, their approaches to music. They give tips to aspiring singers and talk about their own approach to their art. Each is different, every artist has their own unique story. Reading this book, it makes you feel you are reading about a giant family. Indeed, many came to their art because of their families. Like Monika Roleff and her paternal grandparents, grandparents and parents, Ruth Adele’s parents, Susannah Coleman-Brown’s father who was a poet singer/songwriter and artist, Mez Evans’ maternal and paternal grandparents who were great singers and musicians, and her mother was a renowned opera singer. For Justine Jones, it was her grandfather and father who was a drummer. While a lot of them share common ground and influences, they all have their own unique perspectives. Bridgette Allen’s influences are Shakespeare - for perspective of poetic prose, Maria Callas for relative pitch re: mezzo soprano, Carmen McRae for lyrical gesticulation, and Duke Ellington for an overview of band etiquette. Nichaud Fitzgibbon talks about learning from Mark Murphy, Sheila Jordan, Tina May and Kurt Elling and working with Pharoah Saunders at Ronnie Scott’s. Joe Chindamo, pianist, who has worked with so many great singers like Dame Shirley Bassey Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, OliviaNewton-John and Sofie von Otter, says singers and musical performers are one. Jazz Singer Linda Marks from Boston USA talks about the challenges facing singers: 'In our streaming era, if I spent ten thousand dollars to make a quality professional album, it is not clear how to make the financial investment back. It means I need to work two professions: one which can support me financially, and music. Our society does not recognize the work, time, and heart/soul a musician must invest to do their craft, and the compensation systems are not designed to pay professional performing singer/songwriters a fair wage.' Which results in some solid advice from Anita Harris: 'Don't. Work. For. Nothing.' All up an important book for singers and performers. It’s full of insights and advice letting everyone know they are part of a global community. That is where the real value of this book lies."