April 21, 2022

The sound of recovery

Might the sound of recovery be music? The floods of 2022 saw so much loss and devastation.

In addition to the tragic loss of life, the inundation of water saw homes and workplaces smashed, possessions ruined, gardens swamped, pets drowned and so many people’s mental health frayed and physical capacity stretched.

The floods also brought the sound of silence, courtesy of the loss of countless musical instruments. Lismore, Mullumbimby and other towns worst affected are known for their artists, musicians and creatives.

For those who play, a musical instrument is more than a tool. Their violin, piano, bass, djembe, ukulele – you name it – can be an extension of themselves; a piece of craftmanship that fits perfectly under their chin, in their hands or on their lap.

So too are the carefully collected things that accompany a musician, like sheet music, music stands, amps, leads and microphones.

So, though it might not appear seemly to consider the loss of an instrument in the face of so much devastation, losing a musical instruments can be far more profound than just the financial cost of replacement.

Enter, stage left, Resound.

Resound is a not-for-profit organisation aiming to replace instruments lost in disasters and therefore replenish the souls, education and livelihoods of those who play.

Originally set up after Victoria’s 2009 Black Saturday bushfires, the group have gone on to focus on the 2011 Queensland floods and the 2019-2020 Victorian and NSW bushfires. And now the 2022 NSW floods.

Lismore-based Northern Rivers Conservatorium lost all of its musical instruments, despite moving as much as possible upstairs before the flood hit.

Many of their students also lost their means to make music. Resound and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra is working with ‘The Con’ in an effort to link donors to musicians in order to be the sound of recovery.

The project is called ‘Resound our Towns’.

Does this strike a chord? Donations of instruments or funds are welcome: www.resound.org.au


Vivienne Pearson is a freelance writer whose writing lives at viviennepearson.com

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