Hitting the right note

Claire Edwardes.
Claire Edwardes.

PERCUSSIONIST Claire Edwardes has a message for people about to experience one of her concerts for the first time: expect the unexpected.

�You don�t have to understand it all, a lot of it is about how it makes you feel,� she said.

�It�s like going to an art gallery � you�re not always going to like all of the art, you just need to keep an open mind.�

The innovative Sydneysider, internationally acclaimed for her theatrical performances, began her foray into music with the piano at just five.

Towards the end of primary school, she longed to play with other musicians so auditioned for a community swing band.

With no position available on piano, she settled for the xylophone.

�And that�s where my passion for percussion began,� Edwardes shared.

�Then when I got to the end of high school I had to decide whether I would focus on piano or percussion.

�I went with percussion in the end because I felt it was my calling.�

A master of many contraptions, Edwardes specialises in the marimba, which resembles a xylophone and hails from Africa.

�It�s not very common and people often mispronounce it. There is a town in New South Wales called Merimbula and people often think that that is what the instrument is called,� Edwardes laughed.

�I�ve been doing a few kids� shows lately and I try and educate both parents and children about the correct name for all of these instruments.

�Even just the difference between a glockenspiel and a xylophone is a tricky one for people to remember.�

Juggling motherhood and a busy concert schedule isn�t always easy for Edwardes.

Luckily, her two young daughters, aged four and six, appreciate their mother�s passion.

�Being a professional musician means my work takes me away from them a bit, especially lately, and that�s hard for them,� the percussionist said.

�But they are very proud of me and understand what it is be a musician, which is quite special because it�s not a normal career.�

Edwardes performs in the Time Alone concert this Sunday at The 12th Totally Huge New Music Festival.

THE ESSENTIALS

What: Time Alone

Where: Callaway Music Auditorium, UWA, Crawley

When: Sunday, May 24

Tickets: www.trybooking.com