‘A sonic life for you’: Kate Ceberano reimagines her story with My Life Is A Symphony

Get the latest from Beat


‘A sonic life for you’: Kate Ceberano reimagines her story with My Life Is A Symphony

Marysville Music Weekend 2023 lineup
words by mia casey

Iconic, one-of-a-kind talent, electrifying – all words that describe music legend Kate Ceberano.

With over four decades of experience, four ARIA Awards and 15 Top 10 singles, Kate Ceberano is in a league of her own. We sat down with her to talk about her latest album, My Life Is A Symphony, which came out on May 12. 

The album, the 30th of her career, reimagines classic tracks from her archives in collaboration with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. It brings together special moments from throughout her life in a fresh and revitalized way.

Keep up with the latest music news, festivals, interviews and reviews here.

Perhaps part of the reason Kate’s music has such a profound impact is her storytelling skills.

“I always found songwriting quite lovely because songs seem to write themselves,” Kate says. 

“I feel like an actor who sings. I never started out wanting to be the best singer in the world,” Kate tells us. “I just sort of sought to tell the stories I had been living.” 

Kate’s new album features songs that are the sound of her life. One of the singles from the album, Louis’ Song, is inspired by the men in her family. Because of them, Kate’s musical influences began at a very young age. 

Though she has never been a guitarist, her love for the instrument started when she was young, hearing her brother, Phil Ceberano, playing in the next room. 

Some of Kate’s earliest memories of music also feature her father, who was born in Hawaii. He introduced the ukulele and the acoustic guitar, which surrounded her from the beginning. 

Kate’s family plays an essential role in her inspiration. Her daughter, Gypsy Rogers, has also been involved with vocal arrangements in a remake of Kate’s iconic song Earth & Sky and features in the My Life Is A Symphony project. 

My Life Is A Symphony tells the stories of Kate Ceberano from both the past and present. With the first show sold out and new rickets recently released for the second, it’s clear the raw and intimate show is resonating with fans. 

It is her second time working with singer-songwriter and composer Roscoe Irwin, who made the arrangements for the show. She describes a comfortable familiarity. 

“I operate as a family even if the people I’m working with aren’t blood family… I’ve become family with these people over the last 30 years,” she says.

Kate will also be inviting fresh Australian talents such as Camilla Burrows, Jess Fairlie and Alison Ainsworth on tour with her, who she has been happy to share her experience and expertise in the industry with.

“It’s not every day you get to show someone what 40 years looks like. It’s the long haul you’re looking for in art,” she tells us.

With the full power of an orchestra and Roscoe Irwin’s undeniable talent behind her, Kate has given classics such as Brave, Pash, Earth & Sky, Time to Think and Courage a new life like never before. 

She mentions a certain nostalgia in rewriting and reimagining these songs. They tell a different story now than they used to. With Pash, she reflects on her earlier career.

“The song has in itself the transition between ingenue to a mature woman, a mother and a mentor to others; I’m very different to that lovely but young girl who wrote that song.”

But despite her wild successes, Kate’s musical journey is only just beginning.

“As you get older in life, the conservative part of art, which I despise, is that ‘stay in your lane’ mentally. When you get older, you have to drop all the fuel in the jet and go hard and fast into the thing you’re interested in, and don’t let anyone tell you can’t have a crack.” 

From winning her first local Battle of the Bands at age 16 to telling the story of her life alongside the incredible MSO,  Kate has come a long way, which is a testament to her talent and brilliance. 

“It’s a beautiful thing to sit down and watch someone play your life. A sonic life for you,” she says, “ It takes the burden as to why it doesn’t always seem the way that it did. I feel unburdened by the journey.”

To see Kate Ceberano perform My Life Is A Symphony live with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, head here