Song suggestion update Following some really interesting comments and suggestions regarding which song from 'The Tramp: The Music of Robert Aitken’ I should submit for the Vanda and Young song competition, I found the responses, regarding not only the music but lyric content, interesting and insightful with the following front-runners: the self-demanding tale in 'Hold [...]

I have decided to donate $50 to the Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Australia. Well actually, to the Vanda and Young Songwriting Competition to be exact. APRA AMCOS, of which I'm a proud member, tell us this is the world's most prestigious songwriting competition; 'It aims to support talented songwriters while raising much-needed funds for not-for-profit organisation [...]

I recall a chapter from my early teens, when I first discovered a Cat Stevens' song on the radio. There was something about his voice and acoustic guitar that held my attention over most pop songs presented in those informative years. It was not just his vocal / guitar combination that resonated in me; I [...]

With a little help from my friends: Edition 1 For the first twelve months following the dream that had inspired the development of my novel and CD The Tramp, I'd shared the concept with few people. I may have made passing comments, or played a song here and there, but mostly, the story of Robert Aitken and his [...]

I was heartened to read the reflections of someone who had purchased and read The Tramp, as a Kindle version of the novel, from amazon.com.au. " 5.0 out of 5 stars"The Tramp" Makes Compelling Reading By Amazon Customer on 6 March 2017 Format: Kindle Edition I found this book a compelling read and I was reluctant to put it [...]

“London, 1989: On the verge of musical recognition, tragedy tears Robert Aitken’s world apart. He turns his back on the city, the industry and the people he loves; walking away with little more than two guitars, a hat in a box and ‘the beast’ shadowing his every move. Over twenty years later, two ex-London music lovers have relocated to Australia. In an unlikely quirk of fate, they stumble upon a man bearing a nagging resemblance to the one who had vanished from London all those years ago, reluctantly performing to a few indifferent locals in a ramshackle pub in Tasmania’s North West. A bitter recluse, scarred by unceasing guilt and stalked by his unwanted companion, Aitken is compelled to relive the events he had chosen to forget, in the hope he can at last make peace with himself.”

Every song ever written has some meaning behind it, or a reason for its being. Whether a song is driven by fame, money or a message it doesn't matter, music is a product of inspiration. So, here is the inspiration behind my composition One Old Boxer from the CD Hard to Define: A number of years ago I opened [...]

Tiger Dreaming

The last captive thylacine died in Beaumaris Zoo, Hobart, on 7 September 1936. The creature’s death hardly caused a ripple of concern at the time, which is unsurprising due to Tasmania’s focus being how to drag itself from the clutches of the Great Depression.

Thylacinus cynocephalus, Tasmanian tiger or Tasmanian wolf was a marsupial, but due to convergent evolution they bore a striking resemblance to a medium to large dog. Being an apex predator their numbers were never high, but they were soon to dwindle dramatically due to fear, misgivings or, well, just plain victimization.

Branded a sheep and domestic fowl killer they were systematically trapped, shot and poisoned. When The Van Diemen’s Land company, and later the Tasmanian Government placed bounties on the creature, their survival prospects looked dim. Coupled with habitat loss, the introduction of feral dogs and a crippling disease, the thylacine appears to have sadly faded…

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