Our four ArtKeepers are making themselves right at home at HOTA. It’s time to get to know them a little better.
Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and sound designer Fletcher Babb crafts stories through songwriting.
Keep reading to check-in with Fletcher Babb.
#Meet Fletcher Babb
Your Challenge: Summarise the start of your art career in 10 words or less.
FB: Put down my flute and plucked a nylon stringed guitar.
What inspired you to create a project using the Nerang River as stimulus?
FB: The Gold Coast is traditionally defined by its amazing beaches, but its rivers and creeks are equally vital, especially The Nerang.
As an artist I am inspired by stories and a sense of place and the Nerang River is teeming with potential.
Ngarang-Wal, Mogumbin, Been-goor-abee, Talgai, River Barrow, The Nerang - it’s a river with many names and many more stories, some of which I will explore and share through music and lyrics.
You recently helped design a National Songwriting and Music Industry Program for songwriters with disability or who are d/Deaf, can you tell us more about that?
FB: This was one of those opportunities I jumped at. I've been completely deaf in my right ear since contracting the mumps when I was two years old. Interestingly, I have never really considered myself disabled growing up, finding my own practical ways to get around my disability, especially when it came to music. But more recently (perhaps as I get a little older) I have started to be more conscious of my deaf side, especially with the music and production work that I do. So, I was really pleased when I was chosen as part of a group of six disabled songwriters to help design a national songwriting program through APRA/AMCOS and Access Arts.
The whole process was mind blowing – even though I had my own experience to draw on, it opened my eyes to all aspects of inclusivity. We looked at all the ins and outs of accessibility for artists and musicians, listened to artists tell their own stories and considered how we could design an effective and stimulating songwriting program for a wide range of accessibility requirements. I learnt so much about my own arts practice and how I would design my future creative projects with accessibility at the forefront.
Which part of HOTA’s ArtKeeper program excites you the most?
FB: The financial security is the most wonderful thing. In the past I've felt like I have been “indulging” my creative projects, questioning the financial benefit and my responsibilities as a partner and father.
This project is a deep dive into the rich culture of the Gold Coast and I cannot just simply scratch the surface. I am thrilled to be afforded the time and space to work on my project, allowing me to research and develop, make meaningful contacts and consider the larger story of the Nerang River.