On the Couch with Lior Albeck Ripka

Lior Albeck Ripka AAR On the CouchWho is Lior Albeck Ripka?
The Artistic Director of Festival of Jewish Arts and Music (FOJAM) and Cofounder of Hear Them Holler – an Artist Management and Events Agency.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
If I wasn’t in music and arts, I’d open a casual restaurant with only two or three options for seasonal meals, with lots of fresh herbs and microgreens.

Who inspires you and why?
Patti Smith, Vivien Goldman, Lou Reed, Deborah Conway and Malala Yousafzai. People who speak out, are bold, work hard and commit to their ideals and have tenacity.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Curate a progressive, cultural and humanist international music and arts festival that celebrates diversity and freedom through music and art.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Sinai desert, on the gulf of Aqaba, where you can stay in a hut and sleep on the floor, the food is delicious, the shacks are basic. No technology (when I was there 20 years ago anyway). There is nothing to do but read, sleep, swim, talk with friends, play music. The landscape is dramatic and rich with biblical stories. There’s a sense somehow when you are swimming in the sea in these sleepy villages, that peace could somehow be possible.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Pellegrinis, Melbourne Supper Club, a show at the Forum, Readings and the Botanical Gardens.

What are you currently reading?
Imperfect by Lee Kofman and Revenge of the She Punks by Vivien Goldman.

What are you currently listening to?
Purple Mountains by the late David Berman and Coney Island Baby by Lou Reed.

Happiness is?
Managing your expectations. Happiness is freedom for all and an ability to celebrate and connect, but when that’s too much to ask, pancakes on a Saturday morning, phones off, my kids dancing in the lounge room to good music and my husband has made me a tea.

What does the future hold for you?
Besides adventure, fun with my kids, good music, dinner parties, travel and some seriously good parenting, I hope that FOJAM becomes an annual festival where we can showcase incredible artists from around the world, and maybe tour them around the country.

Lior is the Artistic Director of the Festival of Jewish Arts and Music – which takes place at the Melbourne Recital Centre on Sunday 8 September 2019. For more information, visit: www.fojam.com for details.

Image: Lior Albeck Ripka (supplied)