COUPLE’S KEY CHOICES MAKE MONEY FROM MUSIC

Written on the 9 August 2012

COUPLE’S KEY CHOICES MAKE MONEY FROM MUSIC

A HUSBAND-AND-WIFE team has built a growing business on eclectic entertainment that showcases their many musical talents.

A music troupe, led by a Yeronga couple, is rapidly growing its share of the Brisbane corporate entertainment market and has plans to diversify and expand the business.

The group of 12 musicians, founded by Ruth Ross-Pe’er and her husband Yosef (pictured), perform a range of music including classical, jazz and modern pop.

The troupe, known as Luya Music, has entertained at corporate events, industry award nights, Christmas dinners and Christmas in July celebrations.

They also do weddings and are looking to expand into tuition.

Some of their most popular selections are contemporary songs on classical instruments, says Ross-Pe’er.

“We use traditional instruments including guitars, violins, pianos, harps and cellos, but it is possible to bend notes and use electronic instruments to replicate sitar and other exotic sounds,” she says.

She says the troupe uses violins and guitars to do cover versions of songs by current popular bands including Cold Play, Lana Del Ray and Kings of Leon.

The Verve’s Bittersweet Symphony and U2’s Beautiful Day are popular along with the widely covered 1954 Ella Fitzgerald classic Lullaby of Birdland (written by George Shearing and George David Weiss), which Ross-Pe’er says creates a “welcoming mood".

“When the audience hears a familiar song, they will tap their toes without even thinking about it," she says.

Most of Luya’s corporate work comes through referral. Their corporate client base to date includes consulting firm Urbis, the Heart Foundation and Stradbroke race day at Eagle Farm to name a few.

“We now have bookings through to 2014,” says Ross-Pe’er.

Ross-Pe’er’s passion for music began at age 8 when she “instantly fell in love” with her first violin. Her mother, a professional pianist and teacher, nurtured Ross-Pe’er’s love of music that eventually became a large part of her world.

She has performed and taught music in Britain, Italy, Canada and Nepal. During her travels, she developed a love for different kinds of music.

“I am fascinated with pentatonic and diaphonic rifts. I like gypsy, Middle Eastern and Romanic melodies," she says.

Luya Music was conceptualised in 2005 when Ross-Pe’er was working as a volunteer school teacher in the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu.

“I bought a bag of musical instruments from a street vendor to encourage the children in my class to open up and express themselves through ‘musical conversations’,” she says.

“We began with simple chants, moved to a traditional canon and created a story using instruments as our voice. The room was alive with rhythm and movement.”

She met her husband and co-director of Luya Music, Yosef Pe’er, while trekking the Annapurna Circuit in the Himalayas.

“Nepal changed my life in so many ways,” she says.

A husband-and-wife team has built a growing business on eclectic entertainment that showcases their many musical talents Ross-Pe’er, who is a member of the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce’s Young Business Forum, plans to expand Luya Music’s reach across south-east Queensland and diversify the brand.

She wants to conduct weekly music, dance and language lessons, targeting children aged 3 to 5, under a Luya Kids brand. There’s also a plan to perform at baby showers and naming ceremonies as Luya Babes.

“There is massive potential in the children’s market," she says.

Ross-Pe’er does not believe downloading music discourages potential clients from wanting to hear live-music performances.

“People can download a song and learn how it is created and composed, but often they eventually want to hear it in person,” she says.


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