I founded QuasiTrad Music in 2014 to actively encourage participation in celtic musical traditions in Victoria.
The highlight of the Quasitrad calendar is the annual camp which brings some of the world’s finest traditional musicians to the state for workshops and performances. The camp honours the traditional way of learning music by providing a environment open to all players, teaching the music by ear and enjoying a great community atmosphere.
I come from a background focussed on classical music, obtaining VCE distinctions in both performance (piano, violin) and theory. But my musical direction changed profoundly one evening when I “discovered” an Irish jam session. I was entranced and a little envious of the creative freedom the musicians were enjoying. No sheet music, music stands or formal rehearsals needed, they simply sat down together and played music. My appreciation of the very social nature of the genre, the subtle complexities of the aural style, and the fact that the music has been shared and developed over generations and across borders, has made me a passionate convert to and advocate of traditional celtic music.
My “light bulb” moment came as I was planning further music studies in Quebec, Canada. I realised that instead of spending money on taking myself to Canada, I could instead use the money to bring an artist from Canada to Melbourne. The same amount of money could benefit many people, not just one person. This was the beginning of QuasiTrad Music Melbourne and its annual residential music camps. I chose the name “QuasiTrad” to pay hommage to the organisation’s origins, being a hybrid word of “Quebec” and “Australia”.
QuasiTrad Music has now expanded to run not just annual camps but also regular jam sessions and ensembles, children’s holiday programs, concerts, dances, and workshops. I also teach beginner and intermediate folk piano and fiddle. QuasiTrad has worked with a stellar line-up of international and local artists, including Liz Carroll, Pascal Gemme, Yann Falquet, Laura Risk, Les Poules a Colin, Vishten, Rachel Aucoin, David Boulanger, Declan Simpson, Pria Schwall-Kearney, Kit Joyce, and Kate Burke. The organisation has collaborated with The Boite, Community Music Victoria, the National Celtic Festival and Cygnet Folk Festival.