Residency report: Heidi Lee Douglas, Megan Riakos and Shideh Faramand

Heidi Lee Douglas, Megan Riakos and Shideh Faramand,
Gunyah artists-in-residence May 2018

"Two weeks of clean air, the ever changing light on the water, a chorus of birds as companions. In some ways I wish I had spent more time exploring the beautiful outside landscape of the whole area, but for me time at Gunyah was a chance to be quiet with myself and explore the inner, creative landscape. Gunyah provided a fresh perspective to think deeply and clearly, and bring down onto the page the stories that have brewing inside me and asking to born or refined.
I was relieved to have these intense writing sessions punctuated by the passionate discussions and meals with my colleagues Megan and Shideh who had been thrashing out their own projects. Or to take an hour for by a head clearing walk in the forest on our doorstep. I made great headway on three projects whilst at The Gunyah and cried tears of gratitude when I left, because it felt like the generous community that created the Artists in Residence had enabled a new chapter of my life into existence.” 
Heidi Lee Douglas

Writing by the water, Gunyah artists-in-residence May 2018

“So many writers I know juggle a number of freelance jobs, projects and general life commitments. It means that without a hard-and-fast external deadline, it’s easy to get distracted by the never-ending ‘to do’ lists of life. But a writer’s retreat helps you to stake a claim on your time, compelling you to meet your page count and by the end of the retreat I was able to finally click save on the first full draft of my feature script Hidden Valley.
But Gunyah is not just a place of exile. For me it was a place to type away while overlooking the stunning North Arm Cove, a place to enjoy the last ounces of warm weather with a kayak on the water and morning runs through the bush and a place to share hearty dinners and inspiring discussions with fellow writers and friends Heidi and Shideh.
It reminds me that even though a writer’s life can sometimes feel like an uphill battle, it is in fact a pleasure and a privilege to be able to create and to do this in the beautiful Gunyah is the cherry on the top.”
Megan Riakos

Tree top view from writing desk, Gunyah artists-in-residence May 2018

"We each came to this sacred spot to focus on the task at hand. Each project different, but passion and determination the same. Such a rare experience but one we were fortunate enough to share. I can’t stress enough the importance of this opportunity … to step outside your daily life and to indulge ones artistic pursuits. It was a magical retreat … souls were nourished, and the presence of past artists felt in the walls.” 
- Shideh Faramand

Sky boat, Gunyah artists-in-residence May 2018

Phillippa Murphy-Haste and Patrik Jarlestam: upcoming artists-in-residence

Patrik Jarlestam and Phillippa Murphy-Haste after rehearsal in Malmo, 2016, Sweden. 

Phillippa Murphy-Haste is an accomplished clarinet player and multi-instrumentalist, who is based between Sydney and Malmö Sweden. Her practice reflects a broad range of styles and contexts - from jazz to contemporary classical, experimental, improvised music, theatre, inter-arts and cross-cultural collaborations, and music-related social justice projects. Phillippa has trained in classical and jazz styles, completing a Bachelor's degree with a double major in performance and education with Honours, and a BMus Jazz Performance from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music with a one-year component at the Malmö Academy of Music in Sweden. She has been awarded scholarships from The University of Sydney, The Golden Key International Honour Society, the Layne Beachley Aim For The Stars foundation, SBS Youth Orchestra, and the Australian Art Orchestra (AAO) to participate in a Creative Intensive with AAO musicians and world-renowned Carnatic percussionist Guru Kaaraikkudi Mani and his associates. Phillippa has played clarinet at the Sydney Opera House with the 13-piece Sydney Chamber Orchestra and BAFTA-winning multi-instrumentalist and Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds (Broadchurch); performed at Malmö Live (Sweden) with multi Latin Grammy-nominated Brazilian musician Joyce Moreno (formerly 'Joyce'); and collaborated with writer-director Shakthi Shatkhidharan (CuriousWorks, National Theatre of Parramatta) for 'A Counting and Cracking of Heads' at Carriageworks Sydney.  Phillippa has released three albums through Bandcamp with Micro Micro and Microfiche. 

Phillippa performing at the Fat Yahoozah album launch in 2015.

Patrik Jarlestam is a composer, musician and light/video designer based in Malmö in the south of Sweden. After his Master of Composition studies at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, he has worked with integrating his music into both light design and projected video. He composes contemporary art music that centres around conveying stories, sometimes balanced through the lenses of electronics, sound design and light choreography. Patrik finished his college degrees by composing Pieces for baroque orchestra (2010) and two short operas in 2012. The first of the two operas, Vi Brinner (We burn), was written for classical and folk music singers, classical musicians, folk musicians and early music players; responding to the Arab Spring uprisings. The second opera, Den 4444:e dagen (the 4444:th day), was written for classical singers and chamber orchestra based on 'The Girl in the Box' documentary.
Patrik has been commissioned by The Stockholm Saxophone quartet, Krock guitar ensemble, Ventus (acc/flt) and Tomomi Fukagawa/Maija Kauhanen (perc+kantele/song). His music has been performed at the Sonic Festival in Copenhagen, Västerås Concert House, Christchurch The Piano, Malmö Concert House. He has also written music and sound design for video games and short movies.

Patrik Jarlestam playing live at the 2015 Malmo City Festival, Sweden.

Phillippa Murphy-Haste and Patrik Jarlestam have worked and performed together extensively in Denmark, Australia and New Zealand. Their collaborations involve traditional compositions and instruments as well as video projections, electronics and digital media. They plan to use their residency at Gunyah to collaborate and compose music for their upcoming Sydney performance of clarinet, electronics and video projections. 

Phillippa Murphy-Haste at the charity fundraiser she organised for Hand in Hand for Syria,
with the band "Ash-Shams" and composer Patrik Jarlestam