Back to All Events

What are we doing here? November artist salon

  • The Moat 176 Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne, VIC, 3000 Australia (map)

'What Are We Doing Here?' is a series of boutique salon style performances that collide words and music with ideas curated by the wind. Combined with the Moat's food, wine and bohemian atmosphere, we aim to create a space to breathe on the first Wednesday of every month.

This month Neil Pigot sings while John Thorn plays The Changi Songbook. Beautiful, well-constructed traditional Jazz, Swing and 30’s dance band songs that speak about hope.

When: 1 November 2017
Time: 8:45pm show time
Cost: $10 entry

Book for dinner from 7pm and get the best seats in the house.
Contact us on (03) 9094 7820 to book now!

Since we started our little Wednesday salon a year ago, we have enjoyed presenting a daft and eclectic collection of work each month. Plays from Pirandello, Arrabal and Melbourne’s Robert Reid along with the poetry and writings of Dylan Thomas and the 13th Century Persian mystic Rumi. Each salon has featured fabulous players drawn from our city’s vast and diverse music scene. From Sam le Man’s sophisticated jazz guitar to Hugh Jones’s classical harp, Japanese hand pan players to Sufi orchestras, and the original music of classical cellist Caerwin Martin.

We wanted to create a place that had something of the great artist salons of early 20th century Europe. A place where fiery conversations on the true meanings of art and life exploded in full voice fuelled by cheap wine accompanied by live music. 

All art starts with an idea that then goes on its own journey. Throughout the year, our little salon has found itself and become a place where words, music and the ideas they embody are still at the fore but in a gentler way than we envisioned. It has become a place where our audiences become enveloped in those words and that music, a place where we can experience stories and enjoy listening, a place where we can see something unexpected and intimate in an informal setting. Works that inspire, challenge and intrigue fuelled by fine food and fine wine.

For our final fling in 2017, 'What are we doing here?' will present a series of songs and poems that reflect the true importance that culture can and often does have in our daily lives.

The Australian POW story in South East Asia during WW2 is often simplified down to one word: Changi. In truth the POW story is a far more complex tale, a 3.5 year odyssey that involved the creation of a civilization behind the wire, a journey that saw Australian POW travel to every corner of Asia. 

And amidst the hardship that was the POW experience, a group of men worked tirelessly to provide hope. The Changi Concert Party. They produced 267 changes of program and created an astonishing amount of new works including a huge number of original songs that are a popular cultural time capsule of their experience. 

The Changi Songbook is a unique presentation of 15 of the original songs written by Slim De Grey and Ray Tullipan in Changi POW Camp between 1942 and 1945. Beautiful, well-constructed traditional jazz, swing and 30’s dance band songs that speak about hope, ingenuity, friendship and loss, inspirational tunes packed with humour and a deep sense of humanity. Songs that helped to keep men alive, art that did what only art can do.
Of course there will be a few little comedy routines direct from the camp to add to the fun.

'What are we doing here?' will return on the first Wednesday of each month from March next year with “Famous Letters” .

Later Event: 10 November
VI: Birthday Celebration