Out of the darkness

Singer and songwriter Rhys Wood.
Picture: Andrew Ritchie        
       www.communitypix.com.au  d450494
Singer and songwriter Rhys Wood. Picture: Andrew Ritchie                www.communitypix.com.au d450494

Wood will join other vision-impaired musicians at a Retina WA fundraiser concert Blinded by Sunset in Scarborough this Sunday.

The Warwick musician said he turned to his passion for music as a career option.

“I knew there was a history of the condition in the family; it really made me focus on those musical skills that I knew I already had and pretty quickly I made a living out it, so it’s worked out well,” he said.

Rhys said his condition, pathological myopia, forced him to make some huge changes in his life.

“I had to make a positive out of the situation because I didn’t feel like I had that many options,” he said.

“At the time, it was quite tumultuous to go from being a driver and a worker in the city, which you just can’t do if you can’t see much.

“It is degenerating but it is very slow; it has gone downhill in the last few years.”

Rhys said he enjoyed a successful music career and released his debut album Thoughts ’n All in 2013.

He also won the WAM Song of Year in the world and folk music category in 2011.

“I try to present honest music with real thoughts, real instruments and real musicians,” he said.

The Aranmore Catholic College music teacher said pathological myopia was a condition that changed the retina shape.

“My brother and I were born with short sight but unfortunately because it is so severe, it changes the shape of your retina.”