On the Couch with PJNoack

PJNoack AAR On the CouchWho is PJNoack?
He’s history’s greatest monster, but also a composer and pianist, as well as a creative producer in the arts and disability sector from Melbourne. Enjoys fishing, but hasn’t done that since 1982 and is also big on history as a thing to be studied, enjoyed and learnt from. Beer and wine are most welcome.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I try not to live with regret and I can’t complain too much about life; I couldn’t possibly. I live modestly, but I’m very aware how incredibly privileged I am. I enjoy myself and largely get to do what I want and  I’m eternally grateful for that. If I were to have the opportunity to be a different kind of artist, I’d totally be a sculptor. Sculptors can do anything.

Who inspires you and why?
A lot of the time I have to inspire me because there’s some kind of half-ignored deadline looming this hour and I’m one of those people. And, to be honest, I think inspiration is in fact something that comes from within a lot of the time. But individuals who inspire me – and there are too many to name – are people who know themselves well and proudly have their own thing going on.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I do my best to advocate for my LGBTIQ+ community as well as for those of us who have lived experience of mental health issues. Intersectionality is an opportunity for all of us to move forward, so I embrace that kind of thinking and like to prompt others to perceive those kind of crossovers and connections. On the other hand, I disparage, despise and reject the “political spectrum”. It’s just political astrology and an odious distraction from real issues. Ugh.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
That would be one of Lisbon, Rome, or Streaky Bay in South Australia.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Oh without doubt one of the many top quality pubs in the inner north of Melbourne. Not only hanging in there, but thriving! It’s a culture worth supporting because it in itself supports and enlivens various and diverse communities, not least our legendary live music scene.

What are you currently reading?
I mostly read non-fiction and at the moment I’m reading about Catherine the Great of Russia, arguably the most powerful woman ever so far, as well as a book on Queen Anne of Britain who was an entirely different kind of woman but still badass in her own way. As far as fiction goes, I’d like to mention here that I read two thirds of Moby Dick before something shiny enough came along.

What are you currently listening to?
A blackbird. I know they’re not natives and they should be wiped out in this country with extreme prejudice, but their song is captivating to me. Musically speaking, it’s mostly electronica at the moment.

Happiness is?
I don’t even know and I very much doubt that people who have “achieved” happiness are anything to go by. But I guess the best I can say in response is knowing that I’m alive. A lot of people don’t!

What does the future hold for you?
Old age and death ultimately, but in the meantime more musical projects, helping wherever I can and good people hopefully.

PJNoack premieres Preludes and Nocturnes at the Hare Hole (Hares and Hyenas) as part of the 2019 Midsumma Festival: 6 – 8 February. For more information, visit: www.midsumma.org.au for details.

Image: PJNoack (supplied)