In My Natural Way: Tralala Blip interview – Crawlspace Magazine
Excerpt from the interview:
The new record is excellent but it’s the first I’ve heard of Tralala Blip. Can you tell me about how the band formed and what you’ve done so far?
Tralala Blip formed at the end of 2007. It started with me giving electronic music workshops for people with intellectual and physical disabilities. At that time I became aware of how bad existing music programs were for people with disabilities living in regional areas around Australia. At the time, music programs usually meant a singalong situation with a facilitator strumming their guitar while others sung along or banged a tambourine. When I witnessed this, I just got angry. It seemed lazy, patronising and was obviously boring for the people who were participating. I had a lot of gadgets at home from years of making electronic music and i knew a little about singing from my years as vocalist for Sydney thrash/punk band Massappeal. So I started taking the bits along to a disability service in Lismore and encouraged people to start composing their own original songs.
By around July 2008 the 12-15 members of this loose collective had written about nine original compositions. We decided to do what a lot of bands did around that time and start a MySpace profile. We also compiled the songs and released a CD-r titled Tralala Blip presents Soundbeam Sessions Vol 1.
By the the end of 2008, the disability service that we got together at every week informed me that none of the 16 participants were interested in continuing the project. Something did not seem right to me because i knew that some of those 16 or so people were developing very quickly and were very passionate about Tralala Blip.
Over the next couple of weeks I was approached by at least five people from the ensemble asking me why they were no longer coming to the hall to make songs. My response was “well according to the day service, you chose not to continue.” The look on these artists faces was total bewilderment. Something was obviously flawed in this services procedure regarding people making informed decisions about their choices. I was pissed off to say the least!
In 2009 we began operating independently of the disability service. We stopped operating as a program and naturally began functioning as a band. At that time, Accessible Arts in Sydney encouraged me to deliver some workshops so along with Jacqui O’Reilly of Accessible Arts we delivered workshops at ElectroFringe Festival Newcastle, Sydney Powerhouse Museum and Carriageworks Theatre Sydney. We became good friends with local sound art collective Sound Crucible and began doing regular gigs too. Our first gig in Brisbane was with Sound Crucible head honcho MuttBoy and was at a Disembraining Machine night at Alchemix Studio. After that gig, as we were loading gear back into the van, Joel Stern of Disembraining Machine asked us if we would like to record an album for their label. It took a couple of years but our new LP Aussie Dream came about from that initial conversation.
In 2011 we recorded a beautiful collaboration with Muttboy called Tralala Blip Meets Muttboy In Atlantis. That 12 inch on Blue vinyl is available through Sound Crucible.
We toured Melbourne and Bendigo for that record in 2012, playing with our friends Mad Nanna.
Through our association with Sound Crucible we came in contact with Lawrence English of Room40 records. Lawrence has been very supportive of us and has given us quite a few gigs in Brisbane over the last few years. We also recently released a cassette on his A Guide To Saints imprint. that cassette is called Submarine Love Songs.
Lawrence also work with us on a theatre work titled My Radio Heart. This work featured music by Tralala Blip as well as us performing as main characters in the show. My Radio Heart just finished it’s Sydney season last week.
Oh, and in 2013 Tralala Blip were invited to perform at Unsound Festival, Krakow, Poland. Which of course was absolutely amazing!