Symphony for Prisoners

Symphony for Prisoners


Interpreter -christa hughes

I was immediately attracted to this picture (and it’s title) as soon as I saw it.
My eyes were first drawn to the bright colours and light radiating
from the fish tank which seemed particularly dazzling in contrast with the beige,
almost as dull as Sydney’s current 50 shades of mediocrity trend but best let’s not go
there right now… breathe, unclench, moving on, and that dark, shadowy, yes there is a shadow,
figure right next to that tank. He? She? Clothes too loose and all too dark to tell.
Doesn’t matter either way. Dancing? Did the tank of captive fish bring on a spontaneous
“Yippee I’m free” dance? Or is the person reliving an argument complete with fist shaking , bellowing out the exchange of insults and seething that they didn’t follow through and strangle the bastard? Or is this someone having a manic episode? Is it the euphoric stage , the agitated stage, the psychotic and hallucinating stage? The bench. Is it a waiting room? Waiting to see a doctor, dentist or dealer (the fish tank)? Being prone to them high highs & low lows myself and not long before seeing this picture spending a few ghastly weeks in the Feedback Loop Of Hell (don’t go there) partly triggered by the dragged out aftermath of a toxic relationship, I found myself feeling all the above suggestions. A lot. I don’t normally write such blatantly personal songs and if I do I disguise them so heavily they become their own beasts so I kinda surprised myself by writing and recording a pissed off, ya ripped me of, kiss off song but better out than in and I’m getting too old to worry about what anyone thinks anyway but having said that let me shift from my icky stuff and add a neutralising and probably nerdy but I love it music note. The song begins with a sample of the 1947 recording of Early In The Morning, sung by prisoners at Parchman Farm, Mississippi State Penitentiary. Next music note is Ben Fink on guitar from a bunch of riffs he’d quickly come up with & recorded and sent me as suggestions for some new songs for our Loud Hailers blues trio. I ended up basing this on one of them, you’ll hear why. ”


Singer, performer, entertainer who first started performing in her teens with her Dad, Sydney jazz & boogie-woogie pianist Dick Hughes, belting out blues & jazz songs of the 1920s & 30s that she’d grown up listening to and is still deeply in love with. Has since written, performed and toured, locally and internationally, her own cabaret shows. Sung, cart wheeled, roller-skated and made merry mischief with local band Machine Gun Fellatio as KK (K for knickers n K for knockers) Juggy. She then became the Ring Mistress of Circus Oz. Was brothel madam Myrtle for the Porter/Mills opera Eternity Man for concert performances and Julian Temple’s Rose d’Or winning film version and Sex Therapist Bianca for Vic Opera’s How To Kill Your Husband and Other Handy House Hold Hints. Played the Dive Bar Diva in Hong Kong’s arthouse cinematography trail blazer Chris Doyle’s directorial debut Away With Words. Granddaughter of a spy and great granddaughter of a ventriloquist as seen in Brendan Young’s AFI winning doco You Only Live Twice - The Incredibly True Story Of The Hughes Family. More recently has been touring her kids show The World According To Farts and Other Extraordinary Sounds Of The Human Body, performing regularly with her blues trio the Loud Hailers, spotting whales and swimming in the ocean which, in Sydney, is beautiful in the winter months, it’s in Spring that it can get extra bloody chilly, especially noticeably so as the air warms up. It’s like the water is a season behind the air & land’s seasons and temperatures but that’s a whole other topic. Is easily distracted and just as easily (professionally even) slips into the role of distractor.

Find Christa Hughes on Facebook