Vreni Murphy

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Vreni Murphy, composed some of the tunes in this archive.

Vreni Murphy lives in Townsville, Queensland, Australia. Born in Switzerland Vreni grew up playing the recorder. She came to Australia, traveling over by herself at 23 years of age. Quite some years later, the long running community bush band ‘Wattle ‘n’ Gum’ played at her children’s school. From this encounter, Vreni was invited to join the band and after playing the recorder in the band for a year, the bandleader said to her that ‘What we really need is the sound of a whistle.’ ‘What’s that?’ Vreni asked before she turned her attention to playing the whistle.

Vreni has since become especially interested in playing music collected from Australia's folk musicians. And many Australian folk musicians have now become especially interested in playing her tunes. Vreni is a prolific composer. Years ago, her first tune came to her when she was walking back to her house after putting out the wheelie bin. She quickly wrote that one down and has been writing tunes ever since. It does not take very much for Vreni to get to work on writing a tune. A phrase that she hears, or the topic can be inspired by someone or something that has impacted on her in some way.

There is now a considerable collection of tunes which Vreni has written. Two books of her tunes have been published, ‘Tunes From The Tropics’ and ‘Tunes From the Tropics 2’. We see a glimpse of another aspect of Vreni’s talents in her first book, that being drawings of intricate patterns called Zentangle drawings. A Zentangle art piece accompanies each tune in her second book and the drawing relates directly to the tune.

The popularity of Vreni’s tunes is ever expanding. Her tunes have been the subject of workshops at numerous festivals and gatherings. A number of her tunes have been internationally recognized with awards which includes first place in the ‘Original Tune’ section of the Northumbrian Piper’s Society. The internationally recognized group, The Wiggles, chose one of Vreni’s tunes to make a song out of and this has appeared on their recorded CD/DVD ‘Lullabies With Love’.

Regardless of her ability as a musician and obvious talent as a composer, Vreni remains very modest about her abilities and will often deflect a well deserved compliment with a humble explanation that these things come to her pretty easily. And regardless of the widespread attention that her compositions attract, Vreni is always happy to share her tunes and provide the background of the tunes when pressed.

Wayne Millar 2021

Related Tunes

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