Diploma of Music students at the Denmark campus were treated to an afternoon immersed in folk, country and blues when singer and song writer Darcy Hay came to visit.
Touring the region after playing at the celebrated Nannup Music Festival – and winning the Festival Director’s Award – Darcy took time out to talk to the students, play guitar, sing and listen to their music.
“We chatted about various topics such as song writing, the touring lifestyle and the evolution of music, and I told them how the process works from writing the song until it’s released,” Darcy said.
He then held half-hour sessions with each of three groups of students, who recorded his songs.
“I was massively impressed with how enthusiastic they were,” he said.
“They enjoyed the creative process and sound engineer work.
“I couldn’t praise them more highly for their attitude.”
As for their musical and technical abilities, Darcy said the students were well developed.
“The audio fidelity in playback was crystal clear and very professional,” he said.
The enjoyment of the afternoon extended to the visitor himself.
“I felt very refreshed to be with a bunch of people who were keen to be there,” Darcy said.
“And I was struck how many women there were – women are underrepresented among audio workers and sound engineers, so they could be the hotshot female recording engineers of tomorrow,” he said.
South Regional TAFE Music Lecturer Chris Edmondson said the students had learnt a great deal from the visit.
“It’s wonderful for the students to meet and learn from an accomplished WA song writer with the enormous value-added opportunity to record Darcy’s songs in the TAFE studios,” Chris said.
Student Kim Johnson summed up the mood of the group.
“Recording Darcy Hay was a confidence booster for our diploma group because it demonstrated that we have learnt to quickly and efficiently set up and record a travelling musician to a professional level using the TAFE facilities,” Kim said.
“Darcy was a softly spoken, thoughtful song writer, who was fully committed and practiced in his performance, and drew upon local cultures.
“Thanks to our enthusiastic and well-connected lecturer Chris, it was a worthwhile and satisfying part of our training.”
Photo: Jack Harrison, Kim Johnson, Jay Cook and Darcy Hay prepare for a recording session.