Tomerong Hall’s intimate environment lured in world touring Canadian to connect with the locals through music last Friday night.
On the 24th of March Canadian musician Scott Cook performed in the small communal hall of Tomerong bringing light to the attraction of intimate environments in rural communities compared to playing for city crowds.
His worldly music ambitions makes his decision to play in the small country village last Friday night particularly intriguing. His soulful honest tunes have moved hearts and minds across the globe in Chicago, London, Hong Kong and Sydney making Tomerong a peculiar choice on his international tour.
However, as house concerts and smaller festivals are increasing in popularity within the creative community the musical allure of Tomerong Hall to outsiders is understandable.
His dynamic tunes roused philosophical thought, appreciation of nature, and an urge to dance during his Friday night performance leaving an uplifted feeling within the community of Tomerong.
From being a school teacher in Taiwan to touring around the globe in an assortment of vans for over ten years Scott Cook has plenty material to be inspired for his authentic musical creation.
Topics including his personal and professional insight into the musical allure of smaller venues within the artistic community along with his intriguing lifestyle are delved into below:
So tell me about what brings you to Tomerong?
“Through Todd and Sivan (The April Maze)… so before I was a folk singer I used to live in Taiwan and a friend of mine (also a musician) moved to Australia. One of the first bands she connected with was April Maze so she kind of always planted their name as a bug in my ear over the years. I eventually was able to do a show with April Maze in Canberra around three years ago and they told me they were moving out this way… And I started to set things up for this current tour about 8-10 months ago.”
Personally do you prefer playing in larger cities like Sydney or Chicago or quirkier villages like Tomerong or Candelo?
“Well typically more people come in a place like this. Like Sydney I think we had about 20 I’d say for our one Sydney show… People in cities will not travel far, here however, I assume people will be from Nowra and Jervis Bay, but in cities it doesn’t work that way. In cities you don’t make any money usually… These are the types of places that you get better taken care of and have a more appreciative audiences and I actually have more fun because people in small towns are more likely to get involved than those in the city. People in the cities tend to be a little more uptight… here people put more hours in because they know this will be good for their community”
I’ve noticed an increase in popularity for house concerts and smaller festivals. Why do you think this is? Are smaller audiences easier to communicate with as an artist?
“It’s all a matter of people actually wanting to host you and primarily to begin with those were just fans who were like sure you can play in our living room… Nowadays I play at some more established ones. But yeah at house concerts you make more of a connection, way more people buy CD’s, you make more money and you’re taken better care of and you don’t necessarily have to promote it because your host is going to bring their friends… It’s a real good thing. House concerts are as close as you can get I suppose, I mean they strike a kind of middle position because you can get more people in a house but it isn’t removed like a big concert… You aren’t backstage, you’re eating snacks in the kitchen with them instead and then small venues are somewhere in between that.”
So what are some major cities that you have performed in?
“London, Hong Kong, Amsterdam… Never played Berlin, probably a million gigs and nobody would be at mine. Uh Nashville, San Francisco and Toronto is a big music town, it’s taken me a long time to build a following in Toronto but I have one now. But yeah the big cities are fun too. All those are beautiful cities.”
Did you ever have time to travel around those places whilst on tour?
“Yeah I spent quite a bit of time exploring Amsterdam. This time touring with the band is a little more tightly booked because we’ve gotta pay for their flights… It’s just five weeks that we’re here so we’re packing it in pretty tight. We’ve had days off and seen some of the national parks and stuff but when I come over by myself I will stay for three months living in the van… But yeah when I am by myself I take a couple of days to go off into the woods and not speak words for days. It is one of the things that is cheap in this country…”
And in the future is there anywhere you would love to go travel or play?
“I’ve never been to South America. I would like to see more of Africa, more of the South Pacific and I’d love to tour by boat…Go to isolated communities”