On the Couch with Mikelangelo

Arts Review On the Couch MikelangeloWho is Mikelangelo?
Mikelangelo is a man for all seasons – a singer, a songwriter, a performer, an artist and a gentleman.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
If I wasn’t writing music, performing and touring, I’d be a visual artist making books for children. The books that I loved as a kid are still some of my favourite books today.

Who inspires you and why?
My partner, because she has so much get up and go and is beautiful in every way. My band, the Black Sea Gentlemen, have been together for 15 years and our creative collaboration, trust and friendship continues to grow all the time. My Mum and Dad, they will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in January and they are still as vibrant and in love as when they met.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I would eradicate fear and shame, from the personal to the global. If we learn to accept ourselves rather than give in to our doubts and fears, then we are able to treat other people with love and respect.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I don’t get as many holidays as I would like, I am busy touring and doing live shows. That said, I’ve just spent the better part of a week in Boat Harbour on the north west coast of Tasmania staying right by the ocean. The water is so clear and clean and the landscape is stunning. It’s definitely a place I will return to.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
I’d take them to my local strip in North Fitzroy. It really is a village, everyone knows each other, the vibe is very relaxed and the cafes are great. It’s not a place I’d take people to dazzle them, but rather to make them feel at home.

What are you currently reading?
I’m currently reading the script for the Kate Mulvany play Masquerade. I co-wrote the music for the show with Pip Branson, and we haven’t performed the play since May, so I need to relearn my lines!

What are you currently listening to?
I’ve been having an Ennio Morricone renaissance, his classic Spaghetti Western soundtracks are just so good! Morricone composed for hundreds of Westerns in Italy in the 1960s, he was an unstoppable force. There are some amazing pieces of music to discover beyond, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly and other classics. A song I’ve been listening to on repeat recently is called Lonesome Billy, it’s got great lyrics as well, I think I’m going to have to cover it.

Happiness is?
Feeling truly loved.

What does the future hold for you?
The new Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen album After The Flood will be released in 2016. Our last album came out in 2009, so it’s been too long! I have put out 4 albums in the meantime, but I’m super excited to have a new one finished with the band. It’s been a sheer delight to record, with everyone contributing fantastic songs – they are a very talented bunch of Gentlemen. Looking forward to taking the album on the road, the new songs are going to go down a treat.

Mikelangelo is an award-winning singer, musician and composer based in Melbourne. His diverse projects are highly acclaimed and strongly collaborative, spanning atmospheric rock and full-blooded folk, through to large-scale works for theatre. He co-founded Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen with Philip Moriarty and David Branson in 2000. The group have gone on to release three critically acclaimed albums and tour the world from the Sydney Opera House to Budapest to London’s West End.

As a solo artist, he has toured widely nationally and internationally and in 2014 was nominated for Best Male Artist at The Age Music Victoria awards alongside luminaries such as Paul Kelly, Archie Roach and Goyte. He was also nominated (with co-composer Pip Branson) for Best Original Score at the 2015 Helpmann awards for Masquerade.

This year Mikelangelo has undertaken extensive solo tours of theatres and halls with his one-man show, CAVE-WAITS-COHEN and his lauded solo album, City Of Dreams. He has also worked with arts and social innovation company Big hART on two productions – Blue Angel at the Tasmanian International Arts Festival and Ghosts In The Scheme at the Canberra Theatre Centre.

Mikelangelo and the Black Sea Gentlemen will be performing in Masquerade as part of the 2015 Melbourne Festival: 22 – 25 October. Mikelangelo will be performing his one-man show, CAVE-WAITS-COHEN throughout November. For more information and performance dates, visit: www.mikelangelo.net.au for details.

Image: Mikelangelo