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Monday, 6 April  2009  Musical Lumberjack

Bruno is a lumberjack, someone who cuts down trees for a living. But at night, he puts down his chainsaw, and picks up a cello.

PAUL McCARTHY: There are two very different soundtracks to Bruno Turini's life. When he isn't wielding a chainsaw through a tree he's drawing a bow across another large piece of wood.

BRUNO TURINI: It is a far cry from radiata pine which we work with out in the forest. This is maple back and spruce, European spruce front. It is especially selected for instrument making.

PAUL McCARTHY: He admits that cello playing and tree felling may seem an odd combination but to him it's not so strange. Both pursuits rely on some tricky hand manoeuvres. Both of them are hard work.

BRUNO TURINI: You can certainly work up a sweat playing a musical instrument. It's very concentrated and quite physical at times.

PAUL McCARTHY: In the world of lumberjacks and sawmills, playing the cello is hardly anything to boast about to your workmates. But for nearly 20 years they knew nothing of his life past as principal cello player with the State Opera Orchestra. Bruno Turini quit that job in the 80s to help out on his father's fruit block at Laura. He soon discovered there was very little call for cello players in the bush.

BRUNO TURINI: A case of necessity moving out here and then having to endure a life of earning a crust, basically. So if you need to earn a crust doing something else things like the cello fall into the background.

PAUL McCARTHY: He didn't pick up the instrument again until five years ago.

BRUNO TURINI: The word of mouth has it out here that I used to be a cello player and somebody who owned a cello in Laura actually came to me, and knocked on the door and asked whether I could give him cello lessons. And, after much debating whether I'd do it or not, I picked up the cello again and one thing led to another and here we are.

PAUL McCARTHY: Not that it was easy picking up where he left off.

BRUNO TURINI: Trying to play the cello after two years again it felt like doing handstands on your fingertips.

PAUL McCARTHY: Now that he's come out of the closet his passion for classical music has been renewed with a vengeance. Most nights after work he locks himself away in the old Laura Courthouse and practises. He now plays with the Hayden Orchestra in Adelaide and if his mates in the forest thinks he's a touch eccentric his serious musician friends are also perplexed.

BRUNO TURINI: It's quite unbelievable for them that I'm actually doing anything else other than playing professional music.

They believe that that's where my skill and art lies, and they find it rather odd that I'm actually connected to another world.

I've basically begun to appreciate my environment out here and what I do, and that's the way life has dealt the cards and so, for the time being, I'm quite happy with that. And whatever happens with my music in the future, the way I see it is if it makes people happy, if I get a lot of enjoyment out of it and if anything professional comes from it, well that's a bonus.

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English Bites - Musical Lumberjack
story notes

A soundtrack is the music used in a film. Here, the reporter uses the term soundtrack to refer to the sounds in Brunoís life.

A bow is an implement used to play stringed instruments. Follow the link below to find out just when to pronounce bow like this and what the other pronunciation is.

more information: bow

a far cry from
very different from something

Example: This new car is a far cry from my old bicycle.
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

The cello is a wooden instrument with strings.

tree felling
Tree felling refers to chopping down trees.

Pursuit means activity.

tricky hand manoeuvres
complicated hand movements.

work up a sweat
To work up a sweat is to do hard physical labour or exercise that makes you sweat.

Example: I work up a sweat playing tennis.
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

Knew is the past tense of the irregular verb know. Follow the link below to find out more and to listen to some examples.
more information: know

Be careful how you spell this word. Follow the link below for more information.
more information: principal & principle

help out
Help out here means the same as help.

Necessity refers to something you need.

To endure means to suffer.

earning a crust
Earning a crust means making a living or making enough money to survive.

Example: You have to do something to earn a crust, even if it's just cleaning.
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

pick up
to start doing something again

Example: I picked up writing the letter where I left off.
For more meanings of the phrasal verb pick up, follow the link below to our language library.
more information: pick up

word of mouth
To hear of something by word of mouth is to hear it from other people and not from the media.

Example: We've done no advertising, so knowledge about out product is spreading by word of mouth.
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

Came is the past tense of the irregular verb come. Follow the link below to find out more and to listen to some examples.
more information: come

picking up where he left off
To pick up where you left off is to start something at the point where you stopped doing it some time ago.

Example: I'll pick up where I left off when I come back from holidays.

come out of the closet
To come out of the closet means to publicly admit something that has been kept secret.

Example: He came out of the closet and admitted he was gay.
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

Example: .

with a vengeance
To do something with a vengeance means to do it with great force, energy or passion.

Example: The team has returned to from with a vengeance, kicking 3 goals in the first half.
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

that's the way life has dealt the cards
He means thatís the way life has turned out - itís the way things are.

What's the past tense of lead?

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