By Angela Norval
To hear the amazing sounds that far North Queensland-based singer, looping artist and violinist Katisha Adelaide can create, it is interesting that one of her clear childhood memories is her first piano lesson at the age of seven.
Katisha grew up in a family that loved music in an amateur, hobby-type of way and she was a child who wanted to do everything, playing piano, guitar, ukulele and anything else she could get her hands on – even her neighbour’s old piano accordion.
Katisha also sang, did theatre and danced, but when she was 16 discovered ‘her’ instrument – the violin.
“One day I simply decided that I wanted to play, so I saved up my pocket money from doing jobs around the house and bought my first violin off eBay,” she said.
“Being 16 when I first starting playing the violin, in the world of strings is pretty old; but I have never looked back.
“My dad is Swedish and after graduating from high school, I was lucky enough to spend two years living and studying music in Sweden.
“It got me excited about all the possibilities of the instrument and gave me so much invaluable experience and enthusiasm.
“After returning to Australia, my dream of studying at the Queensland Conservatorium in Brisbane came true and during that time I started experimenting with electronics.
“Since graduating, I’ve really been finding my niche in live looping which not only allows me to do something different but also gives me the chance to both sing and play the violin.”
Now having just released her debut album, Katisha is travelling around Queensland hosting children’s workshops and live performances and presenting the violin in a way that no one expects.
For Bundaberg, it starts with a Community Music Workshop on Friday 23 April from 3.30pm to 4.30pm, which allows participants aged between 7 and 17 who play any instrument to create a new piece of music by getting the opportunity to explore basic improvisation, composition, ensemble and performance.
There will also be another workshop on Saturday 24 April from 10am to 11.30am at a location to be advised.
Katisha invites workshop attendees to share the stage with her at the album promotion concert on Saturday evening at Fairymead House.
For more information or to make a booking, call Katisha on 0478 640 337.
The album release concert Home is Not So Far will be held from 4pm at Fairymead House and is BYO chairs.
It costs $15 per person or $40 for a family and tickets are available at the door or via www.trybooking.com/BQLIG.
Katisha performs using electric violins and a looping pedal, which allows her to layer recordings of herself live and create soundscapes and backing tracks to sing along with.
“It’s something that not very many people do and one of my favourite things about performing is seeing people realise that the violin is not a ‘boring’ or ‘old-fashioned’ instrument but actually has potential to do just about anything!
“I also enjoy using multiple other instruments, including piano and percussion, to create interest and different sounds.
“Some of the songs I do are originals, some are covers and I try to ‘dip my toes’ in as many different genres as possible.
“Performing for a live audience is one of my favourite things to do; it gives me a rush like nothing else.
“I grew up in a regional area in far North Queensland so I know from experience how hard it can be to find the opportunity to get involved in music when there are limited options.
“I am very passionate about the idea of bringing music to regional/rural areas rather than just the big cities.
“I am often lucky enough to have a wide age range in the audience for my concerts but there is something special about having young people interested in what I do, especially if they are budding musicians themselves.
“I have so many great memories of watching/listening to musicians or performers when I was a child that have inspired me and getting the opportunity to be that for someone else is an absolute privilege.”
Having visited Bundaberg previously, Katisha is excited to return and perform at the beautiful Fairymead House alongside some of Bundaberg’s young musicians.