Striking a positive note

Tari JeffersManjimup-Bridgetown Times
With a desire to learn violin, voice, piano and a desire to learn guitar, Llewellyn Cully has been passionate about music since she was in Year 1.Picture: Tari Jeffers
Camera IconWith a desire to learn violin, voice, piano and a desire to learn guitar, Llewellyn Cully has been passionate about music since she was in Year 1.Picture: Tari Jeffers Credit: Tari Jeffers/Manjimup-Bridgetown Times

A young woman of many musical talents, Llewellyn Cully has made it her mission to entertain people to the best of her ability.

The Manjimup teen has been musically-inclined for most of her life, starting young when she began learning violin in Year 1.

For a few years, she was in an orchestra in Manjimup, before that closed and started up in Northcliffe, where she continued playing.

Not content with just learning violin, she began piano and then took up singing from Year 8, through to last year.

“My love of singing began when I went to boarding school and I joined the choir there and the whole atmosphere of singing with other people had me loving the whole thing,” she said.

“I love playing, making people happy, that’s kind of my thing.”

While Llewellyn has fallen out with regular violin lessons, she does go out to her old violin teacher’s house sometimes, where they play together.

“I can still pick it up, I got to Grade 5 violin — I’ve done theory exams and practical exams for it,” she said.

Piano, however, is now the fixture in her life and is something Llewellyn said she played every single day.

Growing up, Llewellyn’s older sister played piano and she urged her sibling to teach her.

Fur Elise was a song she always struggled with learning when being taught by her sister, but after taking professional lessons, Llewellyn was able to pick it up.

She has also performed in eisteddfods and Catholic Performing Arts with her piano-playing.

“This year however, I competed with song, rather than piano,” Llewellyn said.

“I’m told when I sing that I have a very big range and can also perform a lot of different styles.

“I like old stuff, but also like putting my own spin on new stuff.”

Llewellyn does not just play covers however, as she has also written and performed some of her own originals.

She has performed several of her own songs in public, including the opening of the Sandra Donovan Sound Shell and a performance in Margaret River just two weeks ago.

“That gig in Margaret River was also an assessment for my Certificate III in Music Industry,” she said.

“My lecturer put me in for a half hour slot at the start.

“It was stressful, but it was still the best thing.”

About 100 people turned out for the event, which also involved photography students taking photos and cooking students preparing meals for the night.

As part of her set, Llewellyn performed both piano and song pieces, including two of her own originals.

In her capacity as a songwriter, Llewellyn said she was almost embarrassed to say she did not have a song book that she used to write lyrics, but instead used her phone.

“My phone notes are full of lyrics,” she said.

“But for my 18th birthday not long ago, I was given a journal, so I think I’ll start using that.”

Llewellyn described her songwriting style as “emotional”, giving examples of songs relating to coming-of-age, love and domestic violence.

Coming up, Llewellyn has a gig at the So My Fest, a festival targeted at the region’s youth, in Pemberton next month.

Looking forward to her future, Llewellyn said people would be surprised to know she does not intend to study music professionally, but instead intends to study nursing and midwifery.

“I want to heal people, body and soul, I guess,” she said.

“And in moving to Perth, there will still be opportunities to pursue music in some way.”

Despite not wanting to pursue music professionally, she said she was also keen to learn guitar as well.

Llewellyn thanked her parents for all their ongoing support over the years, in taking her to lessons and encouraging her passion for music.

“I would encourage everyone to give music a go, it’s a lot of fun,” she said.

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