On the Couch with Tilarni

Tilarni AAR On the CouchWho is Tilarni?
She is a woman who loves God, life and music. Who has strong values and beliefs that have been formed along life’s journey seeking purpose and destiny, like most people I think. Looking back I realize that each event that I’ve experienced is not a destination point but an opportunity to grow and discover more about who I am and what I can continue to do.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I love what I am doing now. I don’t think I would change anything about it. The choices I have made have brought me to where I am now. I believe I’ve done my best in seeking whatever guidance and advice I’ve had available to me to get to this point in my life. We all have a pathway to walk in and the resources available to us are all we have to go with. Sure there’s been some disappointments and really difficult times, everyone has to go through them in one way or another. Each experience, in life whether good or bad, has taught me and prepared me for each of the steps I’ve taken long life’s journey.

Who inspires you and why?
There are many kinds of people who inspire me either from an ethical perspective or from a musical perspective. Some of them are Smith Wigglesworth, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, Richard Branson, to name a few. These men and women are people I admire; visionaries and overcomers that demonstrated great faith and resilience to persevere through obstacles in fulfilling what they had in their hearts to do.

From a musical perspective there are quite a few, having grown up in a musical family, and exposed to both traditional church music and the music of the late 70s and 80s. My parents had a covers band, and I thought my mum was a fabulous singer. I loved hearing her sing jazz so I started to listen to my mum’s music idol Ella Fitzgerald. I really resonated with her singing style and other legendary artists like Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick, Barbra Streisand and Stevie Wonder. I started to develop an appreciation for many styles of music that had its roots in gospel, jazz, soul and R&B.

My contemporary influences have been Whitney Houston, Chaka Khan, CeCe Winans, Crystal Lewis, Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys and Celine Dion. Whitney remains the most iconic influence for me, as I know her influences were my influences too, like Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, her mum Cissy Houston and cousin Dionne Warwick. She loved God, and was passionate about her music and faith, and was always willing to say it like it is at any press interview.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
There are many humanitarian needs in the world today and so much opportunity is available for us to give from our resources and make a difference. Preventing or helping eliminate the abuse of children’s lives is one that is high on my list. There are children being sold as slaves in certain countries and human trafficking that rip my heart.

On an immediate personal level, I feel the necessity to start from a central point which is family and individuals in my circles that I am drawn to help and make a difference whether it be helping with financial resources, counseling, praying, lending a helping-hand, to make another person’s life just that little bit better. As a professional vocal teacher, I get great satisfaction educating and helping singers with my acquired knowledge and qualifications. As a creative person, I like to give my audience an uplifting experience and enjoyment from the music I make.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I love to holiday in places where the weather is warm and tropical and has a beach.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
There are a variety of attractions to do with nature, shopping and the arts here in Melbourne. Most people like either one of these. All of which I would enjoy taking them to. So it will be whatever my friends are into, that would help me choose.

What are you currently reading?
At present I don’t make time to read novels but have books on the shelf that I would refer to for guidance like educational books that assist me in vocal pedagogy, or excerpts from the bible for spiritual well-being, or parenting, cooking or healthy living.

What are you currently listening to?
The albums of Whitney Houston’s music that inspires me for my current show in tributing her. I listen to a bit of everything from contemporary Jazz artists like Esperanza Spalding to current Pop music, and some musical theatre stuff so I stay current for my students, and my craft.

Happiness is?
Doing what you love to do and having the love and support of family around you.

What does the future hold for you?
I hope that The Celebrating Whitney Show will be a success. That I will have the privilege to continue to make music. That the decisions I make now will continue to lead me into a life that brings meaning to others and one that I feel is purposeful.

Tilarni stars in The Celebrating Whitney Show at Chapel Off Chapel on Saturday 17 November 2018. For more information, visit: www.chapeloffchapel.com.au for details.

Image: Tilarni (supplied)