Hawea singer-songwriter Anna van Riel, together with her
husband Locky Urquhart and their baby daughter Matilda (19
months), will head off on a sustainable house tour of the
United States next July. Photo supplied.
Award-winning Lake Hawea singer-songwriter Anna van Riel
is prepared to part with her favourite cowgirl boots, perform a
concert in your lounge, or personalise your phone message - in
three-part harmony no less, all in exchange for helping her
fulfil her dream of a North American musical road trip.
The offerings are just some of a series of "kooky" prizes Ms
van Riel is trading for financial contributions towards her
sustainable house concert tour of the United States and
Canada in July and August next year.
Ms van Riel (31), due to release her third album next March,
was inspired by New York musician Gideon Irving, who spent
several months touring New Zealand on his bike earlier this
year performing in people's homes in exchange for a bed.
Far from being motivated by a rock 'n' roll lifestyle, Ms van
Riel's "Whistle and Hum" tour will take her, husband Locky
Urquhart, and daughter Matilda (19 months), to eco-conscious
and earth-built homes throughout America, where she hopes to
demonstrate how New Zealanders can realise their goals
without being limited by money.
"So many Kiwi artists just don't get a foot in
[internationally] because it's such a big deal to do this
stuff so taking the sustainable approach will make it a lot
more possible for me," she said.
"It just creates a way better opportunity for sharing and
learning where you're going into people's homes, where
they've invited you and they're putting you up and they're
feeding you and you're part of their family for a couple of
The family-oriented nature of the trip is particularly
important in light of Matilda's tough start to life following
a diagnosis of a rare condition known as a giant omphalocele,
where the abdomen fails to close around the base of the
umbilical cord during early development.
While she is doing well now, she will require another surgery
to attach her stomach muscles before she turns 5.
Performing in private homes also guaranteed an "attentive,
listening audience who wants to be there", as opposed to a
rowdy pub, Ms van Riel said.
Leading up to the tour, Ms van Riel is exchanging goods and
services with other locals, such as providing Hawea
film-maker Ryan Larraman - creator of her campaign's
promotional video - with produce from her garden and music
lessons for his children.
Funding the family's flights is the purpose of the online
pledge system at her tour website,
indiegogo.com/whistle-and-hum which offers the unique prizes