INTERNATIONALLY-RENOWNED musician, composer and recording artist Tony O’Connor passed away recently at his home on the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

Tony was only 49 and had been diagnosed with a brain tumour about eighteen months ago. Despite crucial surgical intervention by Sydney surgeon, Dr Charles Teo, Tony O’Connor realised that his remaining time on this earth was short. His family say that he accepted this stage of his life’s journey with grace, honour and dignity.

Tony’s passing has touched the lives of many people through his unique style of instrumental music that induced a relaxed and calm response from the listener.

“He was a remarkable musician and I thank God I got to hear it. I have suffered for years with insomnia and stress and Tony’s music helped me to get the sleep I needed so much, and release from the stress.”

Tony’s work with psychologists and masseurs provided valuable feedback on how to use lyrical sound, and melody to produce music that has a therapeutic impact for those needing relief from stress and anxiety.

With his partner Jacqui, Tony moved to the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast more than twenty five years ago, and it was here that their daugher Samantha was born.

“I am so sad to hear of Tony’s passing. His beautiful music has calmed and comforted me for many years.”

It was in the peace and solitude of the mountains, inside his forest-bound professional studio, and playing his treasured Yamaha baby grand piano, that Tony created and crafted the pioneering music that touched so many lives, and became his most acclaimed legacy.

Although his music touched many people and, to some extent, made him a public figure, he remained a very private person, preferring to live the simple life.

“Tony knew that music is the universal language of emotions, and Tony spoke that language with wisdom, with love, with integrity, with humility and with honour.”

By 1991 Tony had composed and produced Mariner, the album that would see him widely recognised throughout Australia as well as attracting an international audience. Within a few weeks Mariner achieved gold album status one of the first independent albums to achieve such sales in so short a time. To date Mariner has sold more than 1.5 million copies.

“I owe my life to Tony’s music. I suffered for years with mis-diagnosed bi-polar disorder and his music saved me from suicide on more than one occasion.”

Through much of the 90s Tony collaborated with Australian nature photographer Steve Parish. The two artists combined an innovative mix of music and photographic images detailed CD booklets – coffee table books – set to specific outback, wilderness and environment themes. These albums continue to sell in numbers unprecedented by any Australian independent artist.

Admirers, and those who have benefitted from Tony O’Connor’s music have sent numerous messages of comfort to Jacqui and Samantha at the sad loss of this most influential creative spirit.

“Even as I speak, Tony intimately and profoundly touches the lives of millions of people. His music brings more peace to this world in one day, than the entirety of the UN’s forces combined.”