Pleasure Your Shelf December 2018: Books, Beats and Banter

The Pleasure Your Shelf podcast and written Q+A features regular interviews with a range of local musicians and authors about their reading habits, and any other juicy tidbits that take our fancy. This month we asked Si, from innovative drum ‘n’ didj dance band Wild Marmalade, what books we’d find on his shelf…

Do you want to start by telling us a little about yourself and Wild Marmalade?

Sure, so when I was about 21, I quit everything and for some reason, decided to dedicate my life to learning and playing the didgeridoo, which went down with varying levels with my parents and friends! However, for me, there was no turning back and I guess I’ve been following this intuition ever since. After a few years of playing solo, I met the two Matts, also in the band, who could drum way better than I could and we went on to officially form Wild Marmalade in 2001.

How would you describe your relationship with music?

There is, without a doubt, an alchemical relationship and fusion between the didgeridoo and the drums…traditionally in Australia, the didgeridoo was performed with clapsticks and singing, so I guess my relationship to the music of Wild Marmalade could be described as a modern-day fusion of both old and new. The past and the present.

So our show is all about books, are you reading anything at the moment?

I am re-reading what is possibly the most influential book I have ever read called ‘The Holotropic Mind: The Three Levels of Human Consciousness and How They Shape Our Lives’ by Stanislav Grof. He was one of the first psychologists to conduct experiments with LSD, and documented the experience of every one of his subjects for over two decades. He documented and categorised all those years of research and showed how someone’s past life experiences are pressed into them throughout the birth process and are then extrapolated out into their lives. When it eventually became illegal to use LSD, he went on to develop his own breathing technique called Holotropic breath work. It truly is a fascinating book.

Have any books inspired your music?

I’d say that a book that continues to inspire me is ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ by Paramahansa Yogananda. Before this, I was more of a fantasy genre kind of guy, but after reading this incredible story, I was like, oh my god, fantasy is reality and absolutely extraordinary things are possible.

A world without books and music would be…

A very quiet and unimaginative place… the right book at the right time can peel back the illusion and let a deeper level of reality stand forward- that is what I love about reading.

For the full interview, tune into Pleasure Your Shelf, a podcast hosted by Byron Bay book babes Katie B and Prue C. You can listen to episodes on Soundcloud (pleasureyourshelf) follow them via Instagram, Facebook and email them at

So until next time, when you think about books be sure to go home and PLEASURE YOUR SHELF.

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