Seascape Studio owners Jenny and Nathan Lee host monthly "Open Mic" days on the verandah at their residence in Nanango

January 14, 2013

On the second Sunday of every month, Nanango-based musicians Seascape open up their backyard to musicians … young and old, learners and professionals.

The “Open Mic” sessions offered by Jenny and Nathan Lee on their back verandah provide an opportunity for musos to use professional sound gear, microphones and mixers, and build confidence playing in front of an audience.

And people travel from all over the South Burnett – and beyond – for the opportunity.

When dropped in on Sunday, there were singers and players from Ballogie, Maidenwell, Wondai, Caloundra and Kallangur … as well as Nanango residents.

“People just come along and put their names up on the board if they want to have a go,” Jenny said.

They can play whatever they like: country, rock’n’roll, even heavy metal if they so choose!

Jenny and Nathan are building a musical community around themselves, based on a genuine love of performing.

“We just like to support local people. We give them an opportunity to get up an play,” Jenny said.

Seascape is more than just Jenny and Nathan performing as a duo. The couple also has a recording studio, PA equipment for hire and does event organisation.

They formed Seascape Studios about seven years ago in Mackay but relocated to Nanango a few years back.

The number of musicians who show up for the Open Mic sessions varies.  Their last session, in December, attracted 80 people and went late into the night.

Nathan said Seascape work in with Tony and Gavin Cisneros, and Paul Harrison, who hold a GT Jam session at the Royal Hotel in Yarraman on the fourth Sunday of every month from 2:00pm to 6:00pm, to provide a fortnightly opportunity for musicians to build their skills.

“Our real objective is to provide a platform for new and upcoming musicians,” Nathan said.

“To give them an opportunity to play with professional PA equipment in front of an audience.

“They gain two main benefits: networking with other experienced musicians and a better understanding of audio technology.”

Rowan Edwards, from Wondai, and Tori Somers, from Nanango, are both regulars at the Open Mic sessions and both are hoping for careers in the music industry; Rowan plays rock with his band Frontline Runners while Tori is more a country girl; she'll be heading off soon to busk at Tamworth
Steve and Helen Bush, from Durong
Singers Bobby Ricks and Valerie Mathews
Darren Lancer, from Tingoora, and Keith Edwards, Wondai, on the verandah
Jane Erkens, from Nanango, is becoming a dab hand on the bodhran (Irish folk) drum; her niece, Julie Dean, from Caloundra, plays soprano sax, flute and keyboard
Chris Holdsworth, 15, and his dad Allan travelled from Kallangur for the Open Mic session; Chris is learning to play guitar and Allan is back on stage after a break of almost 30 years
Craig Menere, from Kingaroy
Shirley Damper and Billy Tea
Julie Dean improvises on sax while Seascape (Jenny and Nathan Lee) play on their verandah