Micro Grant stories: Nerida Cuddy making new music
Canowindra singer/ songwriter Nerida Cuddy has spent the last few months sharing new songs online, with the support of a Micro Grant.
Arts OutWest provided $21,000 in micro-grants to assist 23 individuals and organisations in our local arts community during the Covid-19 crisis (more here about the grants and recipients).
The grants were small amounts for things that, in ‘normal’ times might seem small, but have allowed recipients to continue or build on their artistic practice.
Nerida received a grant of $1000 with the plan to purchase an easy, good-sound set up – in order to make improve audio quality to continue delivering songs online.
What did you do with the funds from your Arts OutWest Micro Grant?
I used the funds to buy a whole set-up of equipment/programs to improve my capability to produce short films featuring my songs (and now, poems) filmed live and ‘en plein air’. These were added to personal funds to make the whole set up work in the end (which was a bit of a journey in itself).
To date, I’ve produced four published songs, with a few still in the editing stage. One was general, one was a kids’ song for COVID hygiene with the kids from my school, and two are under the banner of a new playlist/blog called WIDE OPEN AIR SONGS that I will continue on with long term.
I’ll also use the equipment next week to allow the kids I teach at school to perform the songs they’ve been working on for the wider school community.
The timing for the micro grant was great as I got the last piece of equipment on the day I was leaving for a residency at the Corridor Project and this greatly added to what I was able to experiment with and produce during this time.
What were the benefits gained from your Arts OutWest Micro Grant and how did it help you or others during the Covid-19 crisis?
Adding the film gear has given greater quality and interest to my films. The sound gear has been quite helpful especially in windy conditions. (Things will get even better once I’m through this initial huge learning curve!) The songs continue to be well received on the CANOWINDRA What’s On page (as well as my own social media). The DAB AND SNEEZE song, produced with the kids at St Joseph’s Eugowra, was watched 450 times in a week, including promotion by the Western Area Health Covid Response team.
I’ve enjoyed filming in beautiful locations, and recently made “Women of the Bush” at a very decayed house that is about to be demolished. The owners really appreciated having this keepsake of their family’s history.
Personally, I’m growing in my identity as an artist and musician. Being able to self-publish easily, with reasonable quality, and to quickly connect songs with audiences is strengthening my confidence and creativity.
I have been contributing to the COVIDEO FOLK CLUB, which has been incredibly affirming and responsive (over 4000 members mostly in the UK), and has led to me being invited to join a zoom weekly folk club from Bristol, be part of their upcoming festival, and do a paid online gig with a Scottish folk club in September.
At my Corridor Project residency, I began experimenting with ideas for publishing poems using film, audio and animation.
Overall, the timing has been very good, as due to personal circumstances, I am a lot more free to pursue the music side of life. It feels like the micro grant has been one of the factors stimulating and equipping me to grow in my creative process, and in my ability to produce work that connects with audiences – even internationally. This has been very exciting and enjoyable.
About the artist
For Nerida Cuddy, there’s a richness in the extremes of Australia’s landscapes & experiences begging to be expressed – & she paints in the vivid hues of the bush. From the abundance of a country op-shop to the bitterness of grief; from the hopes & fears of motherhood to rants against materialism; Nerida’s songs celebrate the goodness of life and the value of reality. Warm vocals, rich guitar and catchy songs; Nerida is enjoyable to listen to.
“She’s a composer & musician with not only an ear for music, but a social conscience and a sense of humour.” (ABC Central West)
Follow Nerida on Facebook (you really should)