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Music and sport

There are two things that I love in life: music and sport. If you had to think of the profile character for each, they wouldn’t necessarily overlap. I mean, get a picture in your mind of an athlete and then a musician. They’re almost contradictory. For example, I don’t wear my skin-tight trisuit when I’m performing on stage and neither do I go swimming and cycling in denim jeans (although it may feel like it on some days… but that’s probably a fitness issue).

But there is one common thing that both music and sport do very well: they bring people together.

I have started to think about triathlon as a multisport alongside how I approach the arts. Let’s start with the former.

The wonderful thing about training is that no matter where in the world I am, there are similar groups of people in each type of sport. Whether it’s the midlands of KwaZulu-Natal, the coast of the Western Cape or the south-east end of Malaysia, there are swimmers, and there are groups of cyclists, and there are running clubs. And in each discipline, I have had the privilege of meeting a wonderful array of characters who have taught me about the world.

The arts is similar. There’s the recording industry, there’s the performing arts of theatre and concerts, and there’s the multimedia world of podcasts, cartoons and animation. And in each field, I’ve learned so much and been able to meet so many amazing, creative and insightful minds.

In both cases, the multi-pronged approach allows you to reach more people.

The advice I was given when I left school was to “have a finger in lots of pies”. It has served me well. Some like the approach of having a specific vocation, and a specialised skill set. The joke in my world is that there’s often a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none label that comes with spreading yourself. But even then, I find that the specialised skill set emerges.

Triathlon emerged because a couple had a love of different sports and back in 1977 on Valentines Day, after beers and banter with friends, Ironman catapulted the emerging sport into prominence.

Likewise, the most popular concerts in the world are a combination of lights, sound, performance, visual elements and skillful musicians.

As I begin work on the next album on Patreon, I also begin the work of designing the show to go alongside it: a multimedia fiesta that combines my love of cartoons with music, and merges it with performing. It brings together art forms that I love to barrage an audience with a variety of sensations – visual, auditory and sensory – that will hopefully maximise the reach. No one should go home bored, in other words.

And somewhere in there, is a thesis.

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