Raelene Bruinsma

Vocal Passion - Gigs, Recordings, Press Kits etc...

Her Story

quick edit promo .       . I was born in a suburb of Melbourne, where I lived on and off (mostly on, but there were a few notable periods of time overseas) until I moved to Perth four years ago.My mother, unsuccessfully, did every-thing she could to forget the moment I entered the world screaming for food; a habit I apparently never gave up. Consequently I was discouraged from studying ballet (“You’ll look like a baby elephant!”)

However, while I still love to dance with all my heart, my one truest love is music.  I studied recorder and flute at school, and then moved towards singing. I especially loved musical comedy as a child and so I used to unexpectedly burst into song for almost any situation, making music therapy, my first professional music occupation, quite appropriate for me.

Later, very ill with fibromyalgia and unable to do much with my arms, I realised I wanted to sing – not only as a therapist, but as a singer. It took a while to decide what sort of singing, but then I was initiated into the Kristina Olsen experience at the

Woodford Folk Festival and thought “Wow: you can do THAT with music.” I was a goner! What I loved about Kristina, in addition to her awesome musicianship, was her courage to be authentic onstage, and the way she shaped the specific music skills she had into songs that fitted her personality so beautifully. But she also did it in a way that did not seem self-absorbed, but rather courageous. So the singer songwriter thing it was to be! I retrained my voice for more contemporary singing (my original training was classical) and began to write songs.

The in between bits: I sang backing vocals with  the Melbourne Youth Choir for Marcia Hines in the televised Royal Command Performance for a newly wed Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and for Barry Manilow in concert the same year. I was an exchange student to the USA where I played in an “All State Honours Band”. After doing HSC (with two music subjects) at University High School, I busked my way around Europe playing show tunes on my flute. Eventually I graduated from the Faculty of Music at the University of Melbourne, specialising in music therapy. I have now worked as a Registered Music Therapist for twenty years.

But once I discovered the joys of writing and performing my own songs I knew that I must do it. This has taken me to the performers area at Woodford Folk Festival (where it all started). I’ve also had the honour to grace the stage at a number of other festivals including the National, Port Fairy, Mt Beauty Music Muster, St Albans (NSW)…..to name a few. I have toured the East Coast (Twice), Tasmania, and country Victoria, Western Australia, and played around Melbourne and Perth.

During that time I discovered an additional interest: storytelling for adults. I have told stories at Woodford, created a show for the Melbourne Fringe Festival (Venus Envy), studied with Brian Finkelstein, and become involved in Barefaced Stories and the WA branch of the Australian Storytelling Association. My recently submitted PhD gave me the opportunity to play with creative ways of combining the singing of original songs with different approaches to storytelling in performance. I am looking forward to creating tourable offshoots from my PhD performance, retelling 5000 year old stories about the goddess Inanna from Ancient Sumer (present day Iraq).

I feel like there’s still so much more to come, and I’m excited!

Raelene lives in Perth, Australia. She tours & is available for festivals, workshops, & country & interstate events.
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