Suitcase Collaborator Comments

When creativity, madness and joy are thrown together with a strong focus on showcasing music, magic happens! Melissa Main is the alchemist of affirmation, the illusionist of illumination, the curator of creativity! Working on the suitcase project was challenging ( 75% of it done in cyberspace and 25% deep face to face connection)! An idea percolated and poured. The Patron Saints of Disappointment filled my creative cup, tossed my doubts to the wind and nurtured my soul…a serious delight of childlike wonder! If you get the chance jump into a project with Melissa or wish to invoke the mantra ‘I’d love to’ dive in, the waters balmy!” Jan Harvey

“You know how musicians get together and jam, and non-musicians or beginners or those below a certain standard stand around and listen and watch in awe – because jamming is something only musos can do – well it isn’t. Melissa Main rides to the rescue, an Amazon, a Superwoman, the self-styled Musician’s Accomplice, the newbie jammer’s champion. It’s called Inclusive Jamming. Anyone can do it, even me, even you. Melissa is author of the little-known A4 gem, the Jamifesto, which lays down in accessible terms on one side, and even more accessible summary on the other, the ground rules for jamming, whether you’re on the edge of a group of “real” musos or with a group of beginners, or any level or combination between. The Jamifesto reveals otherwise unspoken ways into happy and relaxed jamming, ways to support and encourage participation regardless of status on some kind imaginary musical hierarchy, on which most of us have been taught to rate ourselves pretty low. It’s a mix of listening and contributing, welcoming and respecting, appreciating and playfully including, whatever is happening, with simple steps to help it gel. Everything’s ok. Mistakes and mis-steps are ok – there are ways to step out and back in. And now and then, even with a bunch of people of limited ability who haven’t even met before, a thing arises which is a musical thing with a life of its own that everyone somehow created, and it has a precious fragile momentary existence and beauty of it’s own. It’s a transitory wonder in sound. The Jam! We did that and we feel pretty good about it, and now we have new friends and a feeling of accomplishment. Perhaps we are even musicians after all. Music is us, includes us. Join the jammers! Inclusive Jam has arrived. Resistance is futile. Melissa makes herself unnecessary, sets the tone, lights the fuse, and moves on like a guerilla in the night. The Jamifesto unites us and leads us on. Jam today!” Param Berg

“My experience of engaging as a Suitcase Collaborator has been a wonderful one. I already knew I was in for wild ride as working with the Musician’s Accomplice has pushed me out of my comfort zone in past by taking me from singing alone in my bedroom to being singing in a band in front of huge audiences. This project was no exception. It stretched me to write songs, collaborate with great songwriters and even to have a crack at acting at the Anywhere Theater Festival. Melissa Main has a gift for holding space for creativity and giving life to the creative dreams of those who she works with. I can’t imagine life now without having met the Musician’s Accomplice. Melissa Main… Thank you!” Madeleine Flowers

“Working with Melissa to create one of her suitcase cabarets was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. She was patient, creative, encouraging and full of great ideas. Melissa is a very talented singer and songwriter and brought her musicality and many of her great songs into the mix to bring our show ‘destination: elsewhere’ to life. I would highly recommend working with Melissa for anyone out there looking to expand on their skills and collaborate with a wonderful musician and teacher, and come away with some new friends!” Nicola Ossher

“And that’s that. Suitcase project collaboration performance at the Anywhere Festival in Brisbane done and dusted on Friday night, the culmination of the efforts of talented Melissa Main who brought together Newcastle songwriters Madeleine Flowers and myself – who had never met before- to write a cabaret show themed around heartbreak with her- in three days […] It was a crazy time pressured ride that I knew I didn’t really have time for (but just had to do anyway!) It was so much fun in the making, the songs are great and I am now yearning for an album to record the outcome of the project! ‘Handle with Care’ is a one of a kind fringe cabaret about the experience of heartbreak and moving on, funny, poignant and gorgeous. Harmonies, guitar, ubass, kazoo, and some hilarious (and heart wrenching) tales of past break ups […] New challenges for me included impersonating a wedding crazy Grandma, complete with Mauritian accent, playing ubass on four songs (and trying not to mix them up), and remembering lyrics for lots of new material at once. I loved singing all those harmonies and hearing our voices blend and layer, and I loved the wit and sensitivity in the songwriting. Just a delight to be part of.” Anousha Victoire

“Tonight I had the privilege of doing sound for two shows of Melissa Main’s Suitcase Cabaret, at Kurilpa Hall in West End. What a splendid night we had with Melissa & her various guests, over two very different but marvellous shows. Melissa is traveling the country, meeting musical people, then rehearsing & performing with them. Each show has a special measure of magic!!” Ian Deardon