in a wildflower state (Western Australia, 2013)

In late 2012, after leaving Japan, I moved to Australia for the second time – this time to Western Australia for a couple of years…

in a wildflower state is a lost album – recorded in Perth WA, 2012-2014 – unreleased at the time.

The music here is rustic, reflecting the vast ancient arid landscape, overlaid with touches of Nyoongar and bogan sounds. It also includes appearances by Nat da Hatt, Cylvi M, and Renato Salvador.

Known as the Wildflower State, Western Australia covers an enormous area – the size of India, but with a population of under three million. Metaphorically, to be a ‘wildflower’ can also mean a wandering spirit or traveller (such as a kiwi expat on an OE).

This is a sequel to the double album After Maths & Sciences, made the previous decade in Melbourne and Sydney – a stylistic departure from my earlier recordings in New Zealand (travel broadens the mind).

Following that I had lived in South Korea and Japan, teaching English for a living and delving deeper into ethnomusicology – see – before moving to Perth.

The isolation and profoundly western setting of WA proved a different challenge from living in Asia; I loved the clean air and wide open spaces, warm sunny climate, endless surf beaches with spectacular sunsets over the Indian Ocean, and unique wildlife and vegetation.

But although the outdoor lifestyle kept me in good physical health, my mental health eventually suffered (hence the unfinished album and lack of live gigs there). I came home to New Zealand (via Indonesia) in late 2014, to rebuild a life in my own country.

For an overview of the period see Other Islands: 2012-2018.

It’s somewhat hard to believe my time in WA was a decade ago already… but then, Loose Autumn Moans is now two decades ago!


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