Andrew West Griffin (right) with Steve Kilbey of The Church (left) in Dallas
|Peter Koppes (left) talking with Andrew West Griffin (right)|
When my youngest son and his girlfriend moved down to Canberra last Christmas I said to my son that now I have a good excuse to visit the nation's capital city and with my new car go on a road trip from Brisbane to Canberra (I eventually tagged on Mount Kosciuszko, as well once I knew I could walk it without little hardship), an Australian city I had never been to before.
My son asked when do you plan coming down?
I thought that was a good question and that if I didn't commit to some date I would never really make the effort to get down there, so I said to him when The Sharks (our favourite NRL team) play Canberra I'll come down for that weekend and spend a few days down there exploring Canberra, as well.
|Down among the Shark fans in Canberra April 2016.|
|The half-time score on the Canberra scoreboard.|
That football match set the timing for my trip to Canberra and nothing else.
I sent a message to my American friend Andrew West Griffin who shares an interest in/and of documenting synchronicity like I do and writes about it at The Red Dirt Report.
I told him I was going to Canberra soon and would take some pictures to show him of the city his great-great uncle
Walter Burley Griffin had designed.
And since we were both fans of the rock group The Church I think I even joked that I might even run into Steve Kilbey down there, since it was Steve's hometown (although I think he lives in Sydney now), just to make Andrew a little envious ;-)
Andrew is the guy who alerted me to Steve playing a solo show in my hometown at Lefty's in this old post -
A Synchy Evening with Steve Kilbey
The week I'm getting ready to travel down to Canberra Andrew sends me a photo of himself with members of The Church he ran into in Dallas that week...of all places.
"(attn. Darren) Talking to Peter Koppes and Steve Kilbey of
The Church at Sons of Hermann Hall in Dallas. .
Kilbey suggested I do the dishes wearing a Masonic apron owned by my late, great-great uncle Walter Burley Griffin, who designed his hometown of Canberra, Australia.
The first time I ever saw 'The Church' play live was on Christmas Eve 2011 in my hometown of Brisbane.
"The Church" on Christmas Eve...The Band That Is
The last time I saw them play was in Iggy Azalea's hometown of Mullumbimby -
The Mullum(bimby) Music Festival 2014 (Part 2)
|Walter Burley Griffin (November 24, 1876 – February 11, 1937)|
|Overlooking Lake Burley Griffin at sunset (and a green orb too?)|
|My youngest son walking in front of me to the Natioal Carillon after the game.|
|National Carillon, Lake Burley Griffin|
|The green room of 237?|
|A weeping willow on the banks of Lake Burley Griffin.|
|Looking across LBG to the flag on top Parliament House.|
Barnaby Re(d)-Joyce-ing Over the Depp's Video?
|My son's dog, Frodo.|
The carillon I found interesting though.
Does that pattern remind you of something?
I'm only kidding, but that will probably give some wild conspiracy sites something more to write about.
It was a shame when I got to see the National Carillon it was closed for tours, but you can do a virtual tour here at this link-
National Carillon Virtual Tour
and you can even play a virtual one at this link -
Play the Clavier
When I found out Canberra holds concerts where guest musicians play the carillon I thought wouldn't it be great to hear
'Under the Milky Way' played on this thing while looking up at the stars on a clear Canberra night?
The Church – Under the Milky Way: an accidental Australian anthem
"As for what the song’s about, Kilbey tells Guardian Australia: “It’s not about anything.
Like all my songs, it’s a portal into your own mind where I give you a guided meditation.
It’s a blank, abstract canvas for people to lose themselves in.”"
I can't help thinking of Pete Townshend's 1971 version of his 'Lifehouse' idea when I now look at the photos I took of the National Carillon, "In the world the album is set in, pollution is so bad that the populace are forced to wear Lifesuits, suits that could simulate all experiences in a way that no one would have to leave home.
The suits are plugged into a huge mainframe called the Grid, similar to today's Internet, but which also contains tubes for sleeping gas, food, and entertainment; supposedly, someone could live out tens of thousands of lifetimes in a very short period within the Grid.
The Grid is controlled by a man named Jumbo.
The story begins when a farming family in Scotland hear of a huge rock concert called Lifehouse occurring in London, a sort of post-apocalyptic Woodstock.
Their daughter, Mary, runs away to join the concert. They don't wear Lifesuits because they are supposedly out of the pollution's range and they farm the crops that the government buys to feed the Lifesuiters.
Bobby is the creator of Lifehouse. (Bobby was also the tentative name of the project for a time.) He is a hacker who broadcasts pirate radio signals advertising his concert, where the participants personal data are taken from them and converted into music, quite literally "finding your song".
At the climax of the album, the authorities have surrounded the Lifehouse; then the perfect note rings forth through the combination of everybody's songs, they storm the place to find everybody has disappeared through a sort of musical Nirvana, and the people observing the concert through their Lifesuits have vanished as well.".
Being an outsider and first time visitor to Canberra myself I think that journalist is just some cranky bloke with a chip on his shoulder, because I think that video does sum up my experience of spending four days in that city.
Any city has it's less glamorous parts and what promoter in their right mind is going to throw that stuff into a sales pitch to get people to look at their city?
Having said that, I didn't see too many bad sides to the city while I was there and that video is a pretty good summery of my experiences of Canberra...except for the snow.
And that song sure suits a mystical city like Canberra.
I can't wait to spend some more time there soon and hopefully hear a musical rendition of 'Under the Milky Way' drifting through the night sky from bell reverberations.