The prestigious Grant McLennan Fellowship has been awarded to Brisbane electronic artist Danny Harley aka The Kite String Tangle, adding to what has already been a massive year for the producer, vocalist and songwriter.
Along with an ARIA-nominated debut in 2017, winning the Electronic Award at the 2018 Queensland Music Awards, and this year releasing In A Desperate Moment (a mini-album to accompany his sold-out shows with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra), Harley was named a finalist for the $25,000 scholarship, alongside Spencer White (Morning Harvey), Gabriella Cohen and The Ironing Maidens (Melanie Stevens & Patricia Preece).
The grant – founded twelve years ago in honour of the legendary The Go-Betweens member – will see Harley travel to Berlin where he will live for up to six months for “creative inspiration and career development”.
“This is actually my second time nominated so I know what it is like to get this far but to actually take it away this time is unreal,” Harley told The Music.
“I really wasn’t expecting it and to see Gabriella play and Spencer and I was blown away by The Ironing Maidens… Being up against such a high calibre of artists, it’s a huge honour. Also getting to delve deep into Grant McLennan’s work. You gain a new respect for his songwriting which is really unique and pretty special.”
Harley performed The Go-Betweens’ classic Quiet Heart at the ceremony in addition to his original The Prize, stripped back on the piano.
He will head to Berlin for the fellowship next July.
“It’s such a huge music hub in terms of songwriting but also has such an electronic focus which are my two main interests. Everything pointed to Berlin,” he said of the choice.
APRA AMCOS Qld Writer Services Representative Kellie Lloyd, who presented the award said, “Danny impressed the judges with his songwriting, his commitment to his craft and the manner in which he has established himself in Queensland’s creative community.
“The Grant McLennan Fellowship offers Queensland artists exciting and genuine professional development opportunities, with Danny set to immerse himself in the electronic music and arts scene in Berlin. We are excited to see Danny evolve the next phase of his musical career and development as a songwriter. As a proud sponsor of this fellowship, APRA AMCOS is committed to investing in the next generation of songwriters and support sustainable careers”
This year’s recipient was decided by Sally McLennan, Adele Pickvance (The Go-Betweens), Danny Widdicombe (The Wilson Pickers) and music writer Sean Sennett, with the awards ceremony going down at Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall.
“This year, it was incredibly difficult to separate the nominees and pick one above the other,” they shared.
“We felt that Danny most embodied the spirit of the Fellowship and we are excited to see him further develop as a songwriter and artist.”
The award was won by Jeremy Neale in 2017 who at the ceremony, shared his legacy item (a framed text of his reflections and learnings) to the State Library of Queensland for inclusion in the Grant McLennan Memorial Archive.
“It was a really transformative and powerful time in my life and I am so thankful for the opportunity. My hope is that something I have to share resonates with and helps those undertaking the great journey that is being a songwriter for life,” Neale shared.