Whether it’s Qawwali, Turkish, Persian or Aussie pub rock, Dr Warwick Vale of Valley Equine Veterinary Centre in Upper Swan, WA, embraces all styles of music.
“I like most world music but I’m really into Qawwali. It’s Islamic Sufi music from Pakistan and even though I can’t speak the language or understand anything, I truly like it. The greatest proponent of Qawwali is Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. When he performed, he believed he was channeling Allah. He died many years ago (1997) but his nephew, Rahat Ustad Fateh Ali Khan, is touring Australia soon and I’m going to travel to Melbourne to see him perform.
“I’ve never played an instrument but I’ve loved music since I was a child. I was constantly seeing bands when I was growing up in Perth and continue to see local bands to this day. My favourite Australian band is Died Pretty—I’ve seen them play about 100 times. Recently, I was interviewed for a documentary about the band and I’m good friends with the band members. The singer, Ron Peno, had throat cancer a while back but after surgery and some chemo, he’s fine now.
“There’s another Australian band called Dead Can Dance that I find fascinating. They have a very unusual style of music where the voice is used as an instrument rather than just singing words.
“I also like Persian, Arabic and Turkish music. It uses different scales to western music and can be a little difficult for most people to embrace. I enjoy it immensely but my wife says it sounds like someone’s killing a cat. I’ve taken it upon myself to expand my students’ musical horizons when we’re driving from property to property. I particularly like playing Armenian duduk music by Djivan Gasparyan and occasionally one of the students will recognise it from a soundtrack. But if I’m honest, I haven’t had many converts.
“I’m a member of an online bootleg music club called Dime a Dozen. We have over 100,000 members worldwide. I go to a lot of festivals and enjoy recording live music. Someone might contact me about a band I’m seeing in Australia that isn’t playing in that person’s country. I’ll record the gig for them and get them a copy. No money changes hands; we just trade back and forth.
“At one stage I owned over 4000 CDs but everything is digital now. My Died Pretty collection—and obsession—is huge. I’m even building my own Died Pretty fan website called Every Brilliant Eye.
“I’ve travelled all over the world to attend music festivals and see bands. It’s an endlessly fascinating experience. Music will always be a part of me.”