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February 23, 2024

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An adventure of a different kind

Two years ago adventurer Emma Scattergood discovered that a journey doesn’t always involve travel. In 2022, Emma was told she had stage 3 invasive lobular breast cancer. 

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River to the sea

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Tamara Smith announces new Wollongbar preschool

Tamara Smith MP, Member for Ballina and NSW Greens Early Learning Spokesperson, has welcomed an announcement from the NSW government to build a new public preschool adjacent to Wollongbar public school.

A True Pioneer in Deep House

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Matcha Byron

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Man charged after dramatic hinterland police chase

A dramatic police chase from highway to hinterland bush in the early hours of the morning has led to the expected court appearance of a 26-year-old man today.

GemLife’s seniors’ housing estate (again) and more Ballina Council 2024 court action

A conciliation conference between the Ballina Shire Council and developers wanting to build a seniors’ resort-style estate in West Ballina is to happen in less than three weeks.

Murray Kyle has emerged as a highly respected and talented musician in the Australian roots music scene. He is a passionate and poetic songwriter who sings of the hope he has for humanity in these changing times.

He launches his new album Keystone at the Byron Community Centre this week.

Murray, you have become a multi-instrumentalist but what instrument do you most identify as the one which stirs your musical voice?

Well in the last few years I have returned to my first instrument, piano, and am finding the creative inspiration flowing there right now. Piano has the tones to journey into so many different moods and feelings,

and it’s hard to beat pulling the front off an old upright and bathing in the strings!

Tell me all the instruments that you actually play…

I play piano, guitar, yidaki, bansuri, hand percussion, jaw harp, ocarinas, a little violin, and more recently kamalan ngoni, alongside strumming the old vocal chords!

How do you approach songwriting – does the instrument you start on affect the outcome of the song?

I find as a writer that each song has its own journey. Sometimes I begin with a melody in my head and grab whichever instrument feels right. Others come through as rhyming lyrics, and the melody gets created later to carry it along. Most of my songs are inspired by an environmental or social issue or simply exploring a deeper awareness of this wonderful life path we are all walking upon.

What do you look for in a story?

I like to be inspired or moved by a story, and to feel the depth of the person who created it. I look for visual imagery in the words, and some well-crafted humour always lights me up too.

What are the stories that move you most?

Stories that help me to see my view of the world through a new lens, or a new awareness, are particularly magnetic for me. The ones that really touch me contain a reflection of deep respect for the earth and the indigenous spirit that maintains through this time on the planet right now.

What song or movie most recently reduced you to tears…

I just saw an amazing documentary called Home that was deeply touching, and thankfully ended with some positive solutions. I have also been revisiting a good friend’s music recently; her name is Carrie Tree and her album Suddenly Raining travels deep into the waters…

How would you describe your own music?

My music paints pictures of a potential harmonious world, and births awareness into the heart of our interconnectedness. While mixing my new album we decided my genre right now is Shamanic Soul! My music is a story of a journey and a destination, with a little groove along the way.

Have you always felt confident about what you do… do you ever feel the pressure to be more commercial, or more like another artist?

My confidence has grown hand in hand with experience through years or performing, but it hasn’t always been there. Like many singers I can remember anxious moments and stumbles at the microphone, but each one of those is a learning curve that you pick up and carry upon your way.

I try not to pressure myself to be anything that I am not, and I believe that the conscious heart music coming into the world right now will be progressively embraced and appreciated. As for other artists, I do find that I naturally gravitate into different styles by being influenced by people and sounds that I love and admire.

What piece of advice from a musician or mentor has stayed with you?

This also will change – Goenkaji

What advice would you give an up-and-coming musician?

Go into the stream of what makes you come alive, then get out of the way and be played and sung by the world. Do it for the love of life!

What are your aspirations as a singer-songwriter?

I love it when my music reaches people who are lacking a sense of connection in life. Bringing solace and healing into the storms of the human dance, and touching and inspiring people with positivity.

Tell me about this album – did you achieve what you set out to?

Yes! It had been more than three years since my last album release, and this one is much more produced and rich with textures and layers of sound. An amazing learning curve for me too, in recording and producing it all myself.

Mixed by Benjamin Last at Reel Spirit and mastered by Michael Worthington, it is a very local production, and features some of Byron’s most talented musicians, bringing through the feeling of joy and connection that I receive when I am deep inside the music in a live setting.

What should we expect for your Byron show?

A lush evening of sonic harmony to marinate in! I will be joined by Rebekah Ray (vocals), Laura Targett (violin), Walter Piccolruaz (percussion), Shai Shriki (oud), Robbie McIntosh (double bass), and Avishai Barnatan (ney)  sculpting the evening into a journey of sound. I will be making use of the beautiful grand piano at the Community Centre, and sharing a few new songs as well. Prepare to be touched and inspired !

Murray Kyle launches Keystone at the Byron Community Centre on Friday.   Doors 7PM / 7.30       $20 entry

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Police confirm two babies dead on February 11 in Mullumbimby

NSW Police have confirmed that at about 2am Sunday 11 February, emergency services were called to a home in Mullumbimby following reports of a concern for welfare.

Just what the doctor and nurses and midwives ordered

It seems like nurses and midwives are always struggling under the weight of poor patient-to-staff ratios. It is hoped that an influx of new workers could help ease the load. This will be a welcome relief for local staff.

Affordable housing summit next week

As the affordable housing issue shows no signs of easing in the near future, key figures in the housing, property, and finance sectors will come together to tackle the country’s housing challenges at the ninth Affordable Housing Development & Investment Summit

Lorikeets on the mend as paralysis season eases

A poorly-understood phenomenon where lorikeets in the region becoming paralysed and unable to fly is thankfully coming to an end for 2024, says WIRES wildlife vet, Dr Tania Bishop.