Words and music
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When thinking about Melbourne as a City of Literature, we should be celebrating the extraordinary literary achievement of our songwriters.
Diverse, imaginative and daring, they’re an eclectic and talented bunch. Four of our much-loved musical talents come together to compare notes on process, on craft and on inspiration.
Rebecca Barnard is one of Australia’s most respected singer/songwriters who led the band Rebecca’s Empire.
Clare Bowditch is a singer, writer, and master storyteller, who first began performing in Melbourne pubs when she was 16. Seven albums later, Clare has toured the country a million times and been awarded EG Best Female Artists (2011), Rolling Stone Woman of the Year for her Contribution to Culture (2010), Yen Young Woman of the Year (2008), and an ARIA Award for Best Female Artist (2006), plus half a dozen other ARIA nominations for her albums.
Stephen Cummings is a celebrated singer/songwriter and former lead singer of the Sports, who had the late 70s classic “Who Listens to the Radio?”.
Jess McGuire is a writer, broadcaster, MC, film reviewer, trivia host and DJ based in Melbourne. She can be heard each week talking about music documentaries with Myf Warhurst on Double J, and discussing a variety of topics with Raf Epstein on 774 ABC Melbourne's Drive program. For many years, she was the editor of pop culture website Defamer Australia, and was a former co-host on Triple R’s Breakfasters.
All of our lives have soundtracks. We cherish certain songs that have meant something to us in our lives, lyrics that have helped us through tough times and inspired us to do better, or think differently. Similarly, everyone has a shortlist of seminal books, or short stories, or poems that have made a difference to them – pieces of writing that have formed who they are.
Who do our favourite writers listen to? What do the musicians we admire love to read? In each event, our guest writer will highlight two pieces of music that have inspired their writing, while our guest musician tells us about two pieces of writing that have helped shape their musical direction. We eavesdrop on their exchange of treasures, and the conversation that ensues.