No matter whether performing in a group or solo, including as his alter ego Edvardo the musical European waiter, Malcolm Hansford’s aim is always to ‘create ripples of happiness’.
At 40, Malcolm made a life-changing decision to trade a career in arts administration for one in arts performance. The entertainer and musician soon found the elements of play and improvisation that formed the base for Edvardo, his character of a waiter with an accordion who engages his audience with light-hearted gags and songs.
‘It just seemed a fun thing to do,’ Malcolm says. ‘Edvardo is so open. It's like he has licence to just engage with people. Conversations emerge and then just by listening, when, and if, the time is right then something magic always happens with Edvardo,’ Malcolm says.
When he is not being Edvardo, Malcolm collaborates with other artists, including being half of the long-standing musical duo, The Gram-O-Phonie Brothers. With most of Malcolm’s gigs relying heavily on improvisation, even after 25 years of performing, he admits to still feeling nerves before a show.
‘You’ve got heaps of things to fall back on, whether they're little stories or songs, but you're really out there floating, wondering what's going to happen. It's terrifying but it's also trusting in yourself and in humanity that somebody in this group of people will offer something that we can play with, and I do trust that, if I put my open heart out there, something nice will happen,’ Malcolm says.
'I do trust that, if I put my open heart out there, something nice will happen’
‘People often share with you something personal or day-to-day about their journey and to be able to reflect that back with song and find the joy is perfect. I've never left a performance without having something that's touched my heart. If that stops happening, then it's probably a time to hang up my accordion straps.’
Visit the Gram-O-Phonie Brothers website
Watch Malcolm's Seniors Festival Reimagined interview and performance