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Catherine Golden: Performer, Composer & Multi-Instrumentalist

‘Music is my entire life’


Amy Benjamin

Catherine is the embodiment of kindness. She has a down to earth and vibrant personality, and a natural talent to play any instrument she lays her hands on. She is a breath of fresh of air in a very challenging time for the arts community. She collaborates with a number of musicians, and is constantly on the move, and performing in all corners of Sydney. She is young at heart, adventurous and always open to new challenges. I sat down with Catherine on a rainy Tuesday afternoon in Newtown talking music, collaboration, and where she is heading with her performance career. She started learning her musical skills from a young age, and is mainly self-taught and cannot remember a time that she did not play music or learn a new instrument.

"I feel like I am deeply embedded in the Sydney music scene through so many different channels, now through community music as well. I took up double bass when I was 26. The double bass took me in other directions (…), and there hasn’t been a time that I haven’t been in at least one band," she says.

Catherine is constantly on the go and is clearly visible in the amount of projects she is involved in. Her experience include working with the Dusty Ravens and their smooth and uncomplicated sound. She performs with the Party starters, Musica Antiqua Sydney, the Leichardt Wind Orchestra and Bonnie Kay & The Bonafides. She mostly plays the double bass, and on some occasions the electric bass. Catherine happily explored her other music endeavours and says,

"I play in a couple of community groups like the Sydney Homotones, which is good to do with the community (…). Another big thing that has been happening for five to six months is a strings group which is about collaborative composition (…). Strings are very exciting and it’s been great to network with other string musicians who are interested in improvisation and collaborative composition. They are called the North Sydney Strings which was started by Elsa Price (…). It’s also been quite interesting for me to be involved with just a fun semi-community group, a protest band - the Riff Raff Radical Marching Band and playing marching band drums with them."

Catherine has played jazz guitar, jazz bass and identifies as a jazz musician. In the same breath she prefers the double bass to the electric bass, and explains that playing the double is like going home for her. The various types of music she performs cut across genres and include, jazz, blues, popular and rock music. Catherine actively performs two to three times a week with other bands and has experience playing for musical theatre. Her music career also includes teaching at All Age Music School in Marrickville, where she passes along her musical knowledge and skill to the younger generation. We went on to chat about the LGBTQ community and Catherine says, "I have participated (performed) in gay and lesbian events, (…) and see myself as someone who wants to create. I am always open to work within the LGBTQ and music community, and the amateur musicians community. It is also really important to keep that scene thriving, wherever you are."

Catherine is keen to travel around Australia and perform, and infuse her music career with more experience and ongoing collaboration with other musicians. Catherine encourages a creative life, and shares,

"Follow your passion (…), live and breathe it, and share it as well. To me music is my entire life, I just can’t get enough of playing with other people. The human connection is instantaneously creative".

If you are ever in Sydney, come along and enjoy the music, and if you want further guidance in your own musical endeavours contact Catherine.

For more information on Catherine’s music career, compositions and talents please visit her website

Hanli is a freelance creative and academic writer and is currently busy with her PhD studies in music at Western Sydney University. She is a guitarist, composer, novelist and has a strong interest in the psychology of music. Her first novel is currently being edited and will be published in due course. To find out more about Hanli you can visit her website.

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