The Ice Haloes

KEEP YOUR CREATIVE HALOES

 

(Exclusive Interview with THE ICE HALOES: Melbourne Acapella Group - BELOW)

Sometimes there seems to be no time for creative outlets in our lives. Having a full time job, kids, pets, bills, family commitments; all of the above may leave many Melbourne musicians feeling tired and placing their passions at the bottom of a long list of to do’s. Yet sometimes in all of the pressure we forget the common sense in keeping such creative outlets a part of our lives. 

It can be said that, as a musician, giving up your creative time can have a terrible effect on your health. As they say; all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. It also makes Jack very tired; studies show that having a creative outlet can decrease the likelihood of burn-out. (1) A simple google search, or even asking your local health professional, will affirm the notion that maintaining your musical side may help you ward against depression. 

Make time for the things you love!

Maurice Bursztynski; Bass vox of The Ice Haloes (a four part vocal harmony group) says he believes, “there is no wrong reason,” to listen to, create or be a part of music. Even having the responsibility of a family and a job can’t keep this man away from the beauty of the human voice forever; instead he says that music is “all encompassing” throughout his entire family. Hence; while there is no argument about the fact that families and friendships are important; there is also no reason to forgo your creative outlet in the process of maintaining them.

“It’s a big privilege [that] we all have supporting families; that’s really the biggest blessing [and] most wonderful grace,” Bursztynski responded gratefully when asked about how his group managed practicing their music around family and work commitments. While only practicing once a week; which is arguable both too often and not often enough (when you have a family in the mix) - The Ice Haloes work beautifully at breaking down instrumental melodies to the essence of the human voice. 

Their success can be followed via their facebook page (HERE) so be sure to check them out and even purchase their upcoming album "Cover Stories" which is planned to be released in May 2015.

 While the group emphasizes how they allow their families and friendships to “take precedence over everything,” there is no hiding the pure joy that music plays in their lives. The Ice Haloes give us hope that no matter how busy your life is; if you are truly passionate - then your time spent will positively impact the quality of your life and your happiness. 



EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

 The Ice Haloes: Adam fleet (tenor) , Belinda glass (Alto), Peggy hooper (soprano) and Maurice Bursztynski (Bass).

 

MISS STACEYLF: How would you describe your group in a few words? 

MAURICE BURSZTYNSKI: ‘Harmony humourists’; we love singing and making people laugh, (preferably with us not at us). 


MISS STACEYLF: How long have The Ice Haloes been together?  

MAURICE BURSZTYNSKI: Adam and I started out over a decade ago playing together in a power pop band… [but] we knew we always wanted to do music together. We’ve been together as an ‘idea’ since about 2007, just Adam and myself. It took a long long time getting the female singers that we want


MISS STACEYLF: How hard was it to find other musicians in melbourne?

MAURICE BURSZTYNSKI: [It was} about a year of auditioning [with] singers coming and going… We met the lady who is now our soprano at the end of 2007. We’ve been through a few Altos along the way [as well]. I like to think of us like Spinal Tap; the joke is that they lose all their drummers because they explode. I think our group is like the exploding altos; we keep losing them. But Belinda has been with us for a little over a year; I hope she’ll be with us for many years to come! And I just feel privileged to be able to sing next to Peggy today.


MISS STACEYLF: Why did you choose to start an acapella group?

MAURICE BURSZTYNSKI: [with] everything we did, we loved to include three part vocal harmonies… we loved the power instrumentation gave us but thought there was nothing more beautiful than the human voice in multiple part.


MISS STACEYLF: What can you tell us about the acapella scene in Melbourne? 

MAURICE BURSZTYNSKI:  When we started, the Melbourne acapella scene wasn’t that big… we were one of very few groups… [However] I’m really pleased to say that thanks to this organisation Vocal Australia there’s been a lot of education in the last few years [and] they’ve encouraged a lot of people. 


MISS STACEYLF: What kind of music do The Ice Haloes cover?  

MAURICE BURSZTYNSKI:  Rather than doing a lot of world music: gospel, African chants… we grew up listening to Tripple R or 3XY and wanted to [cover] pop songs. I think it’s a more honest approach; arranging songs [within] the style of what you grew up with.


MISS STACEYLF: How do you choose which songs you want to do? Is one person in charge of this?

MAURICE BURSZTYNSKI:  Our group has one rule; if someone takes the time to arrange a song- we always do it. We only don’t do songs in the long run if the arrangement doesn’t work out. I wanted to take the songs I’d listened to on hundreds of CDs or the radio and do interesting things with that. We write our own arrangements of favourite songs; we try to surprise each other because everyone from The Haloes comes from a different musical interest/perspective. 


MISS STACEYLF: What is something you love about being in an acapella group?

MAURICE BURSZTYNSKI: It excites us to be able to take what other people did with drums, and guitar, and synthesizers and bass and all that, and just strip it down to four part vocal harmonies where the voices interweave with each other and we do counter rhythms to keep it interesting and things like that. 


MISS STACEYLF: For you, what is the best thing about being a musician?

MAURICE BURSZTYNSKI: Just the chance to either, take songs that you know and love, or create new songs; regardless of whether you are playing it to an audience or [just] performing with people who share that same love… maybe it’s an inexplicable thing. 


MISS STACEYLF: Having families to take care of, how often do you practice as a group? 

Once a week… It’s not ideal; but the other thing to keep in mind is that we are all working [as well]. It’s a big privilege we all have supporting families; that’s really the biggest blessing most wonderful grace. 


MISS STACEYLF: Were you always so passionate about music?

MAURICE BURSZTYNSKI: I’ve loved music all my life. My father encouraged me as a child- I’ve always been all consumed by it. And now there is my son as well who is all consumed by it; it’s just something that is in you.


MISS STACEYLF: How do you feel when you really enjoy a song?

MAURICE BURSZTYNSKI: I smile stupidly when I’m with The Haloes and a song just really, really works. The acid test for me is the hair on the arms standing up. 


MISS STACEYLF: Do you have a mentor or musician you aspire to be like?

MAURICE BURSZTYNSKI: I can’t speak for all the other acapella groups of Melbourne, but I think a lot of them would agree with me; our pinnacle here is ‘The Idea of North’. They do a mixture of pop, jazz, [and] gospel and are incredibly creative with their arrangements. Everything they do is so wonderful- not just their harmonies; you expect that to be great, but their arrangements [are] as well. 


MISS STACEYLF: What do your musical idols do in arrangement that make them so aspirational to you as a performer? 

They have good stage craft; it’s the art of not looking rehearsed- but you know they are. It’s not flashy, not choreographed but it looks professional. Bottom line; you put on their album and listen to their harmonies and it’s just absolutely glorious 


MISS STACEYLF: Where can fans find you?

MAURICE BURSZTYNSKI: Come and like our facebook page… any information we have coming up for future shows… anyone who wants to offer us bribes [or] hire us; that’s one good way to contact us. We are currently working at organising a show for early may with our very good friends the Vocal Agents… they are an absolutely brilliant group.


 

References: 

Paula Davis-Laack, J.D., M.A.P.P.. 2013. Pressure Proof. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/pressure-proof/201306/7-strategies-prevent-burnout. [Accessed 05 March 14].

Davis, M. et al. , D M, 2000. The Relaxation and Stress Reduction Workbook. 5th ed. Oakland, CA, United States of America: New Harbinger Publications. pp 57-58. 

 

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