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Cellist @ Dawn Patrol

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Recently, I was asked to play at the funeral of a local Mallacoota resident, Derek James Benson (or Jim to those that knew him well).

I didn’t know Jim or his family personally, but I find that a funeral always seems to bring about a deep sense of reflection on the value of music, of life and of living our one and only life fully.

This morning, the first sunrise after Jim’s funeral, I bicycled out to Bastion Point (Mallacoota) with a cello strapped to my back. This is a bit of a routine for me, each morning, weather permitting, I do the cellists version of ‘dawn patrol’ (as pointed out by local surfer Trindy) by the picturesque beaches of Mallacoota. Only this time, I was motivated to stuff a video camera, Schoeps mic and a Tascam DR 40 into my panniers to capture a ‘Naked Cello’ moment, at sunrise.
(Naked Cello = Solo Cello in Nature, good microphone, no effects.)

This is a tribute to the movement of life, in all it’s forms.

And a special mention must go here, to Vedran Smailovic, the real cellist of Sarajevo. He is a bit of a role model for me, for he represents all that is worthwhile about being a cellist. After witnessing a mortar bomb in Sarajevo that killed 22 people, Vedran performed the Albinoni Adagio each day for 22 days, to honour the lives of those killed in the attack. Vedran also played at many of the funerals during the siege and risked his life to do so. When asked by a journalist if he was crazy, his reply was simple –

“You ask me am I crazy for playing the cello? Why do you not ask if they are not crazy for shelling Sarajevo?”

I’m frequently asked the same question, am I crazy, riding a bicycle ……….

Heinrich Gill Cello 334, on loan from Whitehorse Music, Mont Albert
DR-40 Tascam hand held recorder
Schoeps CMC 6-U MK4 Microphone