On the Couch with Caerwen Martin

Caerwen-Martin-OTC-AARWho is Caerwen Martin?
Caerwen Martin is a composer, a cellist, an ensemble founder [SiloSQ], a photographer, a lecturer, a PhD candidate. I’ve got two awesome kids. Other than that, I have absolutely no idea – so much so that the first sentence was written by a friend.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
I would like to be kinder, more giving, and less In Need, in general. I’m one of those annoying Emotional types out front which is frustrating because I much prefer to be the Considered and Considerate type. It’s an ongoing field of study for me to change myself from the ground up although I’d have to say that being intuitive and Heart on the Sleeve has been very useful for my work. If I could just get the emotional stuff all out in my music and writing, then I’d never have to crack my heart open at someone ever again. Bliss.

Who inspires you and why?
Deep thinking people who can see into the heart of a matter inspire me; they look at subjects for long enough to see every aspect and they often arrive at conclusions others might have missed. These are the people I go to when I need a Golden Key to anything because they know how to put two and two together. Strong, loving people inspire me; these are usually the most vulnerable people I know who would never see this about themselves but invariably see these traits in others. Straight talkers with clarity and integrity inspire me because they trust what they know and they’re not afraid to be right. Kind people inspire me; they do most of the good in the world.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I’m an ambassador and speaker for BeyondBlue so I believe in being honest about my experiences in order to help people be more open about their own. No one can help you if they don’t know something’s wrong. Keeping silent and pretending all is well is Soooooooo unhealthy and ultimately detrimental to ourselves and others, too. I want to encourage people to speak their truth. Apart from anything, that gives me the opportunity to know them better and surely that can only be a good thing.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Croatia – hands down and I put that down to nostalgia. I studied and performed there in the late 90’s and it was the happiest, most carefree and joyous time of my life. I felt like I could do anything, so I acted with passion and without fear. And then Kosovo happened just over the hill, so I came home. My dream holiday is to get my besties together and sloth around the Dalmatia coast on a yacht. Now That would be bliss!

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
When I’m overseas I make a point of going to supermarkets because that’s where you find all the cool stuff that everyone there mostly takes for granted and in my mind, that’s where you can find the real cues to the culture of the place (my mother taught me to do that and I reckon she’s onto something). So, when my friends are visiting, I take them to my fav cafes and bars. Food is how people live and the food culture we have here is just so great. It’s got its own thing going on compared to what can be found overseas. That’s what I love so much about Melbourne.

What are you currently reading?
I’m reading a bunch of books about Tarot at the moment. I’m studying to be a tarot advisor. I’m defs not psychic or anything but using the cards to tease out issues and find new insight into tricky dilemmas has been really helpful for me and my poor, unsuspecting friends on whom I practice. Besides, it’s super fun and a beautiful way to connect with people!

What are you currently listening to?
I’m listening to a lot of mid/late 80’s American rap artists like Naughty by Nature, De la Soul, Public Enemy, Ice T, Dream Warriors, Eric B.  & Rakim, A Tribe Called Quest… the list is long. This music has been my Go To since it came out. But I’m also listening to Bonobo on repeat, mostly for the long play, cruisy vibe to get lost in and the top-notch composition technique used in the popular style. When you look a bit further into some of the tracks like No Reason (feat. Nick Murphy – I’m totally stuck on this) you can see how clever it is; it’s not just enjoyable music (and there is nothing wrong with that), it is also very well constructed and unashamedly ‘popular’ without selling out through marketing devices and tricks. I mean, some of those B.V. [backing vocal] harmonies… niiice!

Happiness is?
Seeing the people I love feeling happy. I could want for nothing more.

What does the future hold for you?
My future is uncertain. My goals are to complete my PhD in composition, write, play, teach, and raise happy kids but I have no idea where I will be if my hopes and fears don’t balance out. I await on the will of the Gods. Other than that, I make mental plans for anything that might occur so I’m ready to do what is needed of me when the time arises. Until then, I remain in a state of consciousness and alert.

Caerwen is a composer on Inventi Ensemble’s recently released recording Inventi Ensemble II – Women of the Earth. For more information, visit: www.inventiensemble.com for details.

Image: Caerwen Martin (supplied)