miguel heatwole

miguel heatwole

BandFolkA Capella

I compose choral music, folk songs and the occasional jazz ballad. I direct Ecopella which sings about the environment and has branches in 4 cities, and the socialist Sollidarity Choir. I have 2 other vocal groups, Triantan and Andsome Friends, and front My Wife Deirdre, a folk/world music band.


Miguel's interest in harmony singing began with Renaissance and Classical choral music and this still influences his composition.

Since the late 80s Miguel has directed the Solidarity Choir - a prominent fixture of the political scene in Sydney. Among the many highlights of Solidarity's career have been gigs for Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, and Xanana Gusmao as well as five-week tour of the UK in 2001. Solidarity has also made three excellent CDs: Ten Years Strong, Count Us In and We Shall Not Give Up The Fight!

In 1998 Miguel founded Ecopella. The group describes its repertoire as Save-The-World Music, but behind its sense of humour is a strong commitment to the integrity of its music - much of it original - and the environmental cause it serves. Miguel produced the choir’s first album, An Organism Called Earth in 2003, and its second, Songs In The Key Of Green, in 2008 to celebrate the choir’s 10th anniversary.

Leading the Fire Choir at the Woodford Festival in 2003/4 before an audience of some 50,000 was a terrific highlight in Miguel's busy career. He added this success to a list of festival choirs that include a couple of National Folk Festivals and numerous smaller festivals.

In 2005 he completed Unrest - a suite of choral pieces inspired by the feelings of disturbance natural to any life-loving person in these turbulent and declining times. Each piece deals with an aspect of that unrest, whether part of a collective response to the degradation of our planet and its people, or whether a personal excitement inspired by nature or other human beings. Miguel engaged The Song Company to record the work.

He is also a versatile and passionate singer of folk and world music which he shares with other singers either through elaborate scored arrangements, or in traditional session style. His love of traditional folk singing led him to produce a double album of 43 songs sung by his Sydney mates. It's title track The People Have Songs is Miguel's single most popular folk hit thus far.

If you ask him about this album, no doubt he'll also show you copies of his other productions which include:

Triantán - is the Irish word for 'Triangle' but Judy Pinder, Anthony Woolcott and Miguel are just good friends - and singers of Gaelic songs that will raise the hairs on the back of your neck, weaving harmonies in a melodic, unaccompanied style.

Reynardine - Bill Bostle's songwriting talent is the raison d'etre for this four-piece. Miguel's vocals front some pretty specky clarinet, piano and guitar.

Born Again Pagans - where Miguel met Bill in the rhythm section of this high energy folk rock out fit of the mid 90s.

Behind The Wire - a compilation of 15 songs about asylum seekers written by a variety of Australian artists. Miguel produced the album as a fund raiser for the many community groups supporting and advocating for refugees.

In 2009 Miguel joined with Steve Macdonald, Col Bernau, Rita and James Gibson to cello-string together elements of Celtic, U.S.American and Australian tradition with our own classical and folk-infuenced material.



Written By: Miguel Heatwole

I'm starting to find you unpredictable.
The old comfortable ways that we knew don't seem to belong.
We'd gotten it right, we weren't conflictable.
after a rocky beginning we couldn't go wrong.

And I liked it, there was no danger.
But lately it's looking like things are starting to change.

I always found you quite irresistible.
Grudgingly grateful that you didn't string me along.
Your feeling for me used to consist of a
lasting affectionate tenderness, decent but strong.

And I liked it, there was no danger.
But lately it's looking like things are starting to change.

You should ask yourself, are you invincible?
Is changing the rules what you want now after so long?
If I should resist, acting on principle,
aren't you afraid our duet might become a swansong?

But I like it, I like the danger.
And lately it's looking like things are starting to change.
Yes, I like it, I like the danger.
And lately it's looking like things are starting to change.


Choral Recordings
Ten Years Strong: Solidarity Choir’s tenth anniversary album.
Count Us In: Solidarity Choir’s second album.
We Shall Not Give Up The Fight: Solidarity Choir’s twentieth anniversary album
An Organism Called Earth: Ecopella’s first album.
Songs In the Key Of Green: Ecopella’s tenth anniversary album.

Folk Recordings
Triantán: Celtic vocal trio.
The People Have Songs: Miguel Heatwole’s collection of 43 Sydney folk singers
Born Again Pagans: folk rock band featuring Miguel Heatwole on drums.
Behind The Wire: a various artists compilation benefiting refugee organisations.

Set List

repertoires include:

Gaelic songs from Ireland and Scotland

Songs about the environment.

Freedom songs in world languages.

songs in traditional folk style from English speaking countries, including originals.