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Regional Arts Development Central West NSW

Micro Grants stories: Martyn Cook gets techinical

Celtic harpist Martyn Cook used an Arts OutWest Micro Grant to buy equipment to move teaching online and to create a site featuring soothing harp music.

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).

Martyn received a $500 grant.

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.

What did you do with the funds from your Arts OutWest Micro Grant?

With the funds from my Arts OutWest Micro Grant, I was able to purchase an iPad, iPad case, iPad screen protector, and an iRig recording connector which allows me to record my harp directly into the iPad, prior to uploading the video onto YouTube.

What were the benefits gained from your Arts OutWest Micro Grant and how did it help you or others during the Covid-19 crisis?

The benefits of the Micro Grant were immediate and amazing!

The upgrade in home technology to a recent model iPad has enabled me to participate in online meetings, online teaching for students of all ages who were in lockdown and to perform on the harp and record educational videos for the students at the school where I teach woodwind. In short, to operate easily and successfully across three different platforms.

In the half term break I will be recording and posting the first of an ongoing and hopefully widely followed series of music videos featuring tranquil compositions of mine set with beautiful images and harp footage.

Ultimately this grant has enabled me to join everyone else in the 21st century and dispensed with the frustration and stress of trying (in vain) to operate with an outdated system that can’t support modern requirements.

I would like to make Arts OutWest aware of my gratitude, the difference to my ‘technical life’ is wonderful.

About the artist

Martyn Cook is a full-time musician and has been playing the Celtic Harp professionally for over twenty years and has significant experience in different genres of music; (He also plays Clarinet, Flute, Saxophone and Trumpet), principally with Jazz Daiquiri and the The Kate Woolfe Trio.
Between the years 1983 and 2000 he was a musician in the band of the French Foreign Legion playing clarinet for eighteen months before switching to the flute and piccolo. He was then posted overseas where he played euphonium for two years. Upon his return to France he resumed service with the band as solo flautist.
Prior to his army service he played electric bass with a ten-piece dance band and used to ‘sit in’ with the local jazz bands where he lived in the South of England.
At school he played clarinet for four years obtaining a Distinction in his Grade V Exam, and a Pass of 138/150 in grade V theory. Martyn teaches on the Lithgow music therapy team at Mitchell Conservatorium of Music.

Learn more about Martin Cook’s work on his Facebook page