4 May 2023

Songwriter shares stories of Aussie landscapes, resilience and hope

| Chris Roe
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Canowindra-based singer-songwriter Nerida Cuddy. Photo: Supplied.

Canowindra singer-songwriter Nerida Cuddy is preparing for her first southern tour and is looking forward to sharing her lyrical brand of folk music with Wagga.

“I’ve been writing songs for about 30 years, and now that my kids are a bit older, I’ve been a bit freer to travel around and play music so I’m really enjoying it,” she said ahead of Friday’s gig at the Curious Rabbit.

The former teacher says the Australian landscape has had a big influence on her music.

“It’s always been a pretty deep part of my life and spirituality, and I find great comfort and great meaning in Australian landscapes, so a lot of my songs feature that imagery,” she said, reflecting on 30 years of writing and performing that began in outback NSW.

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“I did my first teaching out in Broken Hill and that’s where I really started some writing in earnest,” Nerida explained.

“There’s something about those wide vivid lands that really appeals to me anyway and got a lot of creative juices flowing.”

Although she admits that the move from the red dirt to the lush countryside of the state’s Central West two decades ago was an adjustment.

“I actually had a writer’s block for almost two years,” she laughed.

“The green rolling hills just weren’t yet connected to me.

“I think maybe I was too happy, but thankfully I’ve learned to write happy songs since then, and funny songs and the landscape has grown right into my heart and soul over the last 20 years.”

Nerida Cuddy

Nerida Cuddy shares stories of resilience and hope. Photo: Supplied.

As well as the land, Nerida said she weaved threads of resilience and hope into her lyrics and shared human stories that reflected on the good times and bad.

“With the last album I made, called Woven, people have said it’s an album that has got comfort in it and, and resilience and hope even though some of the stories in the songs are sad stories,” she said.

“Suffering is a part of our lives in a big way for a lot of people and I don’t like pretending about that, yet at the same time, I just see people living with such strength and such goodness of heart in spite of what they’ve been through, and that’s something that really inspires me.”

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With a background in English literature, Nerida said she loved to use words to paint a portrait.

“A lot of my songs are very poetic and I have at times just performed the lyrics as poems in the right place,” she said, before adding, “I also do love it when people have a good time, so I’ve written some songs that people do seem to find amusing.

“I’ve just written one about the fact that I only have a 32-gig memory and I’ve tried to squeeze in 64. So I like to laugh at myself a lot too!”

Nerida is performing at the Curious Rabbit on Friday night at 7 pm and you can find out more here.

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