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Byron Shire
October 18, 2021

Interview with Toni Childs

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Toni Childs

Looking Back to Move Forward: Toni Childs Retrospective For Bees

It’s All a Beautiful Noise and Citizens of the Planet | City Hall in Lismore | Wednesday 3 April |  7.30pm | $63.80 – $68.20

The legendary Toni Childs presents a special two hour performance as she celebrates the 30th anniversary of her critically acclaimed album Union.

Toni will be performing hits and fan favourites from Union, House of Hope, The Woman’s Boat and Keep the Faith in the first hour of her show. The second hour will be an introduction to Toni’s new music, from two very special albums It’s All a Beautiful Noise and Citizens of the Planet. Next year she takes her remarkable new project to the world.

Tell me about It’s All a Beautiful Noise, it’s such an ambitious project, why did you want to create a show that has you working in so many other ways, as well as performing? 

The music for All a Beautiful Noise is vast and epic and it has inspired me to stretch myself as an artist and to do things I never thought I’d ever do.

It’s music that made me want to sing at the top of the world – and we did! A trek in the Himalayas took us to Poon Hill, where we gave a sunrise concert at 10,000ft. It’s music that made me want to give an underwater concert to whales and dolphins, and create a 360 degree museum installation with Film Graphics and BioQuest Studios – to shine a light on what can be done to repair the Great Barrier Reef.

The music from All a Beautiful Noise inspired me to create a new kind of concert experience with lots of hi-tech audience engagement, like a pop-up set of the natural world, all to inspire people to protect our pollinators. The music inspired me to want to create a non-stop visual experience by working with an incredible creative hub called Tigrelab who are based in Barcelona, Spain.

I’ve had a decade taken out of my life due to environmental impact: mercury and chlorine in my drinking water, and allergies to sulphates in toothpaste, shampoos and detergents. This toxic overload put a strain on my thyroid, as Graves’ Disease. This life experience has made me sensitive to what is happening to the bees, pollinators, birds and insects on the planet.

I wanted to create a performance that, in a profound and playful way, would inspire rural audiences around the world to protect our pollinators.

I love the term ‘Pollinator’. What does it mean to you?

We are all pollinators. What we buy we grow. We are actually corporate farmers – if we don’t buy it, it won’t grow. We are part of the ecosystem and we hold a tremendous amount of power in our ability to choose where we spend our money.

How have you been preparing for your upcoming world tour?

2021 is when we begin touring 17 countries. We plan to rehearse for 4 weeks in Barcelona in September and for 2 weeks in Melbourne, with audience previews later this year. This will give us the time we need to massage our production and to package all our sales materials for the show.

Where are you wanting to go – what are you wanting to happen?

Together, I would like us to make the honey bee a protected species. If we protect the honey bee, we protect all the pollinators – including us.

What should people expect from your local retrospective?

This is a celebration of the 30th anniversary of my album Union. I thought this would be a great time to do a Retrospective of my life’s work. The Toni Childs Retrospective is a two hour show and much like a retrospective in an art gallery. If you’re a Toni Childs fan you will hear the music in the first half of the show from 30 years ago, ending with an intermission. The second half is about present day music from It’s All a Beautiful Noise and Citizens of the Planet that will not released until 2025.

The profit from my retrospective tour will fund remaining costs for All a Beautiful Noise: the animations, sets, hi-tech audience engagements and rehearsals. Pollinating my show by buying a ticket you help me grow an inspirational movement to protect our pollinators.

Toni Childs at City Hall in Lismore on Wednesday 3 April. Tickets at lismorecityhall.com.au with show starting at 7.30pm | $63.80 – $68.20


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