Pete Byfield

Calling all cultures to country

TEDxPerth 2018
November 2018

Talk length:

9:52

Calling all cultures to country | Pete Byfield | TEDxPerth

Musician Pete Byfield explores how our custodianship of the Australian land has much to learn from over 60,000 years of continued experience. Yet, some may only pay attention to the most recent 230 years of history. In this talk, Pete performs his award-winning single "Hounds are Howling", a song that reflects much richness in lessons from our people on the land.

Pete Byfield's musical origins began in his teens when the only music teacher in town taught his mates, who in turn taught him to play guitar. The teacher was a post-war immigrant, one of many who shaped Pete’s town, and him. Over the next 40 years, Pete played in cover bands across the Western Australian wheatbelt. In 2014 Pete began writing original music.

His first recorded song, Wialki, was picked up by Western Australian Music’s Sounds of the Wheatbelt project. Encouraged, he wrote a further sixteen songs and released an album, "ONE". He won WA Country Music Awards' Album of the Year (2016) and was nominated for Male Artist of the Year (2016, 2017). He was also nominated for Country Song of the Year (2016) and for Best Regional Act (2017) at the WAM Awards. Pete continued recording singles and is working on a new album.

He will be touring Australia from January to June 2019 on his Back to the Garden Tour at venues including farm gates, community gardens and bush tucker trails.

Pete Byfield
Wheatbelt Musician

Prior to 2014 Pete’s musical history included playing in cover bands throughout the Wheatbelt for over 40 years. He had not written or recorded an original song in any official sense.

Pete’s interest in music began in his teens when the only music teacher in town taught all his mates, who in turn taught him to play guitar. The teacher was a post-war immigrant, one of many who shaped Pete’s town, and him.

In early 2014 he wrote a song called Wialki about driving a tractor on his family farm on the edge of the Wheatbelt in the 1960s. The song was picked up by Western Australian Music’s Sounds of the Wheatbelt project and was recorded that year. Pete said the recording experience was so encouraging that he set to work and wrote a further sixteen songs, seven of which accompanied Wialki on his 2015 debut album ONE.

He was awarded Album of the Year at the 2016 WA Country Music Awards where he received a nomination for male artist of the year in 2016 and 2017. He also received a nomination for country song of the year at the WAM Awards in 2016 and a nomination for Best Regional Act at the 2017 Awards.

Pete has gone on to record another three singles and is working toward another album. He will be touring Australia from January to June 2019 on his Back to the Garden Tour playing at farm gates, community gardens and bush tucker trails to name a few. This may well provide the basis for Pete’s next works. Stay tuned.