The hum of a chainsaw, the clang of No. 8 wire and other farming tools are being used to create a tune.

The farm music project, run by Taranaki Retreat and Taranaki Rural Support Trust, with funding from Creative New Zealand is aiming to bring men together.

Sally Barnett, project producer says this is a men's only project.

"The project is encouraging men to take time out, particularly in the busy calving season for their mental wellbeing. It's also to get away from the weight of the world on their shoulders for one or two hours each week.


"It's about being creative, spontaneous and creating something that is not in their normal day-to-day life. We're wanting them to come together and create a piece of music."

The project will run from mid-August to November, with one to two hours work each week.

"They don't need any musical experience, they just need a sense of adventure and creativity."

Sally says the motivation behind the project came from her time volunteering at Taranaki Retreat last year.

"I noticed a lot of men would come through and need time out and support. Since I'm an arts producer I wanted to create a project in Taranaki that supports men with a creative music process."

The men will work with Auckland-based musician Chris O'Connor, to create a musical piece using tools and items found on a farm.

Chris is a composer, educator and drummer who has performed with Don McGlashan, Neil Finn, Trinity Roots and Auckland Chamber Orchestra.

"I'm friends with Chris. We're both very excited to begin the project and bring the sounds of rural Taranaki together."


She says the participants will be paired up and will each go to a different farm once a week, spending a couple hours exploring the farm for an object to use to make a tune and complete online workshops.

"We will hold an initial workshop with Chris and then weekly online workshops will be posted to a Facebook page. Chris will provide tips and set things to focus on each week when the pairs go and explore the farms. The Facebook page will keep the participants connected."

She says participants are encouraged to "journal" their progress.

"This is just uploading a photo or maybe a video of their work each week."

At the end of the project, the men will meet together for a jam session where they will create the music with Chris' guidance.

The benefits of the project are creating friendships, and taking a break from responsibilities, says Sally.


"It's important to take some time and be mindful of your mental wellbeing."

■ More information will be available at a meeting held on August 20 at the Dairy NZ Rooms on 8 Fenton St in Stratford 12-1.30pnm for all men interested.