From the time he could reach the keys of the family piano, singer-songwriter Carl Pannuzzo was entranced by music.
‘As a kid, people seemed to be pretty grumpy and stressed about most stuff and music just didn't seem to have a problem with anything, so I was pretty attracted to it,’ Carl says.
By the time he had finished high school, Carl had added several more instruments to his repertoire and begun playing in a band that was juggling up to 13 gigs a week.
‘We fairly quickly started becoming successful in the underground pub scene. The early 90s was great. There was a pub on every corner offering live music so, within a year of finishing school, we never had to look for gigs — pubs were ringing us. It was quite incredible.’
Whilst those glory days of plentiful live music venues did not last, Carl’s commitment to being a professional muso never wavered.
‘I have tried other jobs and I just haven't been able to feel as though there was a point. You know, it's only money,’ Carl says.
‘I remember one gig when we'd been going for about an hour nonstop with something that had morphed and changed and was wonderfully organic. I opened my eyes and everyone in the band had their eyes shut and were digging it, and the audience had their eyes shut and was dancing.
‘Everyone was absolutely in a meditation, in a way that you would have to devote yourself to a life of monk to recreate,’ Carl says.
With experiences like that under his belt, its unsurprising his fascination with music endures.
‘The Cuban piano player from the Buena Vista Social Club was still killing it at 96. That's my inspiration. I would say I'm at a lifelong university where I'm constantly learning and growing and discovering what it is to be an artist and about people and about the human condition.’
Watch Carl's 2020 Victorian Seniors Festival reimagined performance.