Ami Williamson appears at the Fairbridge Folk Festival happening at Fairbridge Village this Friday-Sunday, April 25-27.
The daughter of legendary country singer John Williamson is not your typical ‘rip rip woodchip’ off the old block. Having been singing backing vocals on her dad’s records since eight years of age, Ami Williamson is an established performer with her brand of indie-folk and cabaret mix.
And while many people who grow up in a musical family tend to learn their craft by osmosis, Williamson has taken a far more formal approach to music.
As well as having studied drama at a high level, Williamson graduated with a Bachelor Of Music from The Sydney Conservatorium Of Music, and won a scholarship in opera to further her studies in Germany with the world renowned baritone, Thomas Quasthoff.
“A lot of musicians who I know, if they were brought up in a musical family, they very much stick to the musical genre that they have been brought up with,” offers Williamson of her musical upbringing. “They don’t tend to venture too far. I really have gone a long way from what my Dad does musically, and then have come back through and found my own way.
“Mum always wanted me to do opera as she thought it was an easier road than writing your own stuff. That is one way of looking at it, but I think that it is pretty hard to do well in any form of the arts, really. Unfortunately my parents aren’t very shockable, so opera wasn’t an ‘up yours’ to them in any way.”
When Williamson reflects on her time in Germany, it is more about the mastery of the language that she recalls instead of the musical exploits. Williamson feels that she received a first-hand insight into the romantic notion that Australians have about learning another language as we don’t have a direct neighbouring country where we can just cross borders and pick up a language like the Europeans do. It wasn’t all about the language, though.
“I fell into a drama crowd more than a music crowd, so I was going to lots of really cutting edge theatre. A lot of the stuff that I saw in Berlin was trying to be as cutting edge as possible in theatre techniques and acting. I like to think I bring more of a wow factor than a shock factor to my show. There is no nudity, but I am on the border of fringe, I reckon.”
For her widely heralded One Woman Show which will be presented at Fairbridge, Williamson aims to give an entertaining and well-rounded theatrical experience.
“I try to make sure that people laugh and are moved by some of the music and hopefully the lyrics may be provocative enough for them to think about something differently. I try to present what I would like to see when I go out. I don’t want to see the same thing for an hour and an half so I try to provide some variety. I want to be moved and I want the experience to be emotional and at the same time thought-provoking and inspiring.”