Background Image

Livingstone songwriters join forces in Songs from the Shire for an album of original music

Songs from the Shire brought together local musicians in Livingstone Shire to produce an album of original contemporary music.



Local singer songwriters in Livingstone Shire Council came together to record a CD of 15 original songs.

In the process of recording, the participants learned about songwriting, arranging, producing, technology and performance skills. For most of the musicians, this was their first experience of a recording studio.

The participating singer songwriters ranged in age from under 21 to over 55.

Musician, producer and CQUniversity lecturer Dr Stephen Butler led the project.

The CD, Livingstone Songs from the Shire, was launched in August 2017 at the annual CQUniversity Village Festival in Yeppoon, recognized as the largest music, arts and cultural event on the Capricorn Coast.



When and where

February to June 2017, Livingstone Shire 


Key Stats

  • 15 singer/songwriters recorded 15 original songs
  • The project created a CD of original songs


Arts Queensland investment

$6,600 -  Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF)

RADF is a partnership between the Queensland Government and Livingstone Shire Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland. 

In 2017-18, Arts Queensland invested $2.08 million to the RADF partnership across 59 councils statewide to support local talent and arts experiences.



  • Successfully created a CD of 15 pieces of new music produced to broadcast standard.
  • Skills development and performance opportunities for local musicians.


Learnings and reflections

“I realized there’s a huge depth of musical talent and ability in our community, that people aren’t aware of.”

Steve Butler, project organiser, musician and producer

The project went through many changes from conception to execution due to a number of unexpected contingencies, including change of venue, producer, engineer, artist availability, etc.

Allowing more time for the recording by doing it over a period of several weeks instead of several days would have worked better.


Artist comments

“Great experience.”

“I had no idea recording involved so much technical stuff.”

“I learnt a lot about music.”

“It’s a lot of work to make a song sound good.”

“Hope you do another one!”


Tips for others

  • Think twice! Do more pre-production planning.
  • Consult with APRA/AMCOS to establish the intellectual copyright status of the work.


Find out more

Songs from the Shire video:

A pdf version of this case study (PDF) (346.33 KB)  is available.


Banner image: Stephen Butler performs with his band.


Have your say

Do you love the arts, cultural and creative sector, and want to help it reach its fullest potential...?

Share your views about Queensland’s creative future. Consultation now open to develop a 10-Year Roadmap for the arts, cultural and creative sector.

Have your say by completing the online survey now! Survey closes 5pm Tuesday 18 December 2018.

For more information visit