Based in picturesque Hobart, Tasmania, Meyers & McNamara are an energetic and joyfully unrestrained duo. Marrying classical folkloric melodies with achingly intricate arrangements, they have delighted audiences from some of Europe's liveliest bars and music festivals to the wettest, coldest and darkest street corners.
Klezmer, Balkan, and pan-European music together with original compositions and experimental electronics. This project brings together Rachel and Dave's shared love of melodic lyricism, minimalism, experimentation, and improvisation.
Musicians: Rachel Meyers and Dave McNamara
Photographer: Jonathan Wherrett
Tasmanian musician, composer and musicologist Rachel Meyers' career spans world, folk, experimental, and early music spheres, and has developed within the fields of performance, academia, community cultural development and music education. She completed a Bachelor of Music at the University of Melbourne, and studied violin under the tutelage of Leonid Zeyde, and music composition with Dr Stuart Greenbaum.
As a multi-instrumentalist, Rachel has recorded several albums and toured nationally with folk bands including The Counterfeit Gypsies, The Tinderbox Collective; and internationally with her duo Meyers & McNamara (formerly known as Duo Swango). She has composed, arranged, and collaborated on original music for her various ensembles for over 10 years.
Following the completion of a higher research degree (MMus) in musicology in 2009, she worked as an early career researcher on an ARC-funded research project in Spain considering the touristic experience of place and music; assisted in the preparation of materials for two published academic books; and conducted her own research into Spanish music of the Renaissance. Rachel has worked in schools as a Teaching Artist with The Songroom, and taught instrumental music for over fifteen years.
Currently, she is developing a performance project ‘Morenika’ for her duo Meyers & McNamara examining her own cultural background (Jewish, immigrant, diasporic) and considering its impact on her artistic practice. The projected date for a work-in-development presentation is May 2018. The development of the project has been partially funded by Arts Tasmania and the Folk Federation of Tasmania, and Rachel has been selected for participation in two programs by Tasmania Performs in 2017 to extend her creative practice.
She is deeply passionate about working with stories of place, identity, and personal connection, and using art as a tool for real, tangible community change.
Dave McNamara is a musician and educator from Hobart. Since graduating from the University of Melbourne with a BMusic/BTeaching double degree, he has performed as a soloist and in a wide range of ensembles and performance situations on piano, accordion, trumpet, percussion, guitar and vocals. Dave has performed at many of the major folk and arts festivals around the country, including Maldon, Cygnet, Illawarra, Newstead, and National Folk Festivals, as well as collaborating on projects for major Tasmanian festivals 10 Days on the Island and The Unconformity (formerly known as Queenstown Arts and Heritage Festival). Dave has composed and arranged many songs and instrumental pieces for bands, school ensembles and radio commercials. As an educator, he has taught hundreds of students in both instrumental and classroom settings, as well as directing choirs, bands and orchestras. Dave is currently Head of Department (The Arts) at Mount Carmel College in Sandy Bay.