|Ben Curran’s involvement in the WA Rockability Group’s Play My Way program led to him writing and recording a song about his late stepfather.
Heathridge resident Ben Curran has been playing guitar since he was 19 – but has only recently had the chance to perform in a band and record a song professionally.
As a member of the WA Rockability Group, Mr Curran, now 28, has been involved in the Play My Way program which provides opportunities for people with disability to perform and record tracks for a CD.
The WA Rockability Group is an inclusive not-for-profit organisation that aims to provide people with an innovative opportunity for increased participation and engagement in music.
Mr Curran, who has Asperger’s syndrome, became involved when Rockability founder Dylan Grogan asked him to be a member of Rockability’s board.
“For the recording of the Rockability track, I did both the rhythm and lead guitar parts and came up with most of the lyrics,” Mr Curran said.
“It was quite a good feeling coming up with a riff that lots of people liked.
“The song didn't have lyrics until the last day of recording – I really had to think about it because I didn't want it to be just an instrumental.”
Originally starting life with a grunge-punk style, Mr Curran said the song became more hard rock once he added lyrics.
The song, titled Lost For Words, is about his stepfather who died during the recording process.
“It has been a real emotional rollercoaster (and) making a song with my friends has been one of the best things I have ever done,” Mr Curran said.
“The sudden passing of my stepfather, who had dystonia, really was a devastating blow.
“It took all my strength to push on and finish the track. Lost For Words is about all my thoughts and feelings since the tragic event.”
Mr Curran said spending more time with his friends was the most enjoyable part of the project, along with gaining a sense of direction and purpose in life.
“I have known these people for some time now and they are all very talented and supportive,” he said. “I met some cool new people as well.
“The project made me take playing guitar more seriously and, as a result, I made a song I could be proud of.
“I have also seen and heard about people getting a chance to grow and express themselves through music and it's been quite moving.”
The WA Rockability Group is holding a CD launch at the Paddington Ale House on 3 April, featuring musicians with disability involved in the Play My Way program.
The program was funded by a State Government Community Inclusion and Participation grant to give people with people with disability more opportunities to take part in arts, recreation and business activities.
For more about the CD launch, visit Facebook and go to WA Rockability Group – Play My Way Concert. For more about Rockability visit www.rockability.co .