The Sunday November 24 meeting of the Pattaya City Expats Club (PCEC) was another in the enjoyable Words and Music series. The presenter was Micheal J. MacIsaac, a Canadian who grew up in Port au Port, Newfoundland; an isolated town of 250 residents. Micheal asked how many Canadians were present and advised the crowd Canada was taking over, “as they tend to do!” No one looked too worried.
Micheal relayed how the isolation of his early years had led him to make the most of the arts that were available from an incredible talent base. There was lots of music, art and talent and he read a lot from the travelling library box. Micheal went on to obtain a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and Bachelor of Commerce from Dalhousie University.
His work started as an art education teacher and expanded to teach at the university level. Then he had a career change to the commercial world of art. As his talents developed, he was often on the move. Canadian friends advised him to come to Pattaya and once he did, he questioned why anyone would go back to 832 cm of snow! Under the heading, “Who am I”, he listed: artist, poet, beatnik, seeker, bohemian, musician, generation walker, music producer, techie, writer, kook, theorist and ponderer. Obviously a very creative person.
As an artist, he said he prefers to work in acrylics and showed a photo of a spectacular painting of his. His talents with words can be seen in the songs he has composed, one of which reached number 1 on the charts in 5 countries. One of his poems entered in a competition led to him to being named International Poet of the Year. His passions include documentary film creation and music creation and he has participated in over 10 series and over 100 published songs and 75 co-writes.
He is presently in the midst of writing his first book, titled “The Next Book”, another example of his creativity! Besides the lyrics, he frequently co-wrote the music for his songs. Club members enjoyed his song, Run, Run, Run. Micheal has also made more than 200 videos, including a documentary for the BBC on the life of “the Fifth Beatle”, Sir George Martin. He has co-developed five musicals: Slob H’ice, I Am Young at Heart, The Big O, Life’s Opera the story of Marvin Gaye, and Age of Awakening.
Micheal and Chris Birkett have developed the Foundation “Age of Awakening” (AOA) to develop Art for Social Change. Their objective is to create multimedia projects containing performances of national and international artists who have qualified, through a selection process, to represent the music of their culture to the outside world. All royalties pertaining to the artists performance, audio, video, TV and Film will be collected by the AOA Foundation and used to improve the living standards in the above mentioned artist’s community; primarily in the area of health and financial stability. This is done by financing the digging of wells, building of schools, improving agriculture, art and music programs through action and sustainability. Micheal’s talk illustrated how it is possible for people to use their talents to entertain, inspire and generally end up making the world a better place.
After the presentation, the MC brought everyone up to date on the upcoming club events and others of interest. This was followed by the Open Forum where questions are asked and answered about Expat living in Thailand, especially Pattaya. For more information about the PCEC, visit their website at: http://pattayacityexpatsclub.com/.