It was at five years old that Joshua Haines first began playing piano.
Up until then he had suffered from partial deafness, but after a successful operation on his ears, he began to use music as a tool for healing.
Now in his 20s and an accomplished pianist, composer and musician, Mr Haines, a Coodanup local, sat down with the Mail to talk about how he found his love for music, and his newest venture as the musical director for the Addams Family Musical in Perth.
"After an operation on my ears, I started to find joy in playing on my grandmother's old, delipidated Beale piano," Mr Haines said.
"Having not come from the most 'well-off' of families, a lot of favours were asked of people in the hope I might be able to get lessons.
"Thanks to one or two generous souls, my piano tuition started in earnest when I was seven."
Mr Haines continued his musical studies throughout his adolescence, dipping his toes into both community theatre and mentorships from professionals.
After he finished school, his studies took him overseas, to collaborate with the best of the best.
"It didn't click until recently, but working in music was always going to be my intended career.
"I think the first time I truly felt successful in my musical career was while I was touring a cabaret with the wonderful team at Holland St. Productions in the United Kingdom in 2019," he said.
"I was simultaneously playing shows with performers I greatly admire, working with writers on an original project planned for the West End, and conducting research within the archives of the Royal College of Music."
Mr Haines said during this time he had "never felt a greater sense of belonging as an artist".
A prodigy's latest project
After his time working with WA producer and founder of Zealous Productions Dixie Johnstone in 2017 on a previous production of the Addams Family musical - Mr Haines was eager to work with her again.
At first glance, it seems like a disconnected potpourri of noises, but upon closer inspection - you realise that this chaotic mishmash of music perfectly encapsulates what the Addams Family is all about - being different.- Joshua Haines
"I was approached by Dixie who asked if I'd like to come aboard as musical director for a run of the Addams Family that Zealous Productions was planning to mount.
"Naturally I leapt at the opportunity to work with her again - we had such a great time four years ago."
With a new cast and production team to work alongside, Mr Haines said the working environment was one of the best he had ever been part of.
"Undoubtedly the best part of the entire experience is the cast - the way they gel so naturally as a group is just heart warming.
"The respect and admiration I hold for every single one of them is firmly rooted in the way they can communicate as performers so supremely."
Mr Haines described the act one finale, where the cast sing out three beats in quick succession at a tempo so fast "if you're not listening, you'll miss them".
"The way the performers are able to perfectly balance every single one of those notes and create such a massive sound while doing so gives me goosebumps every time.
"Sometimes... I slow down the tempo just to hear them sing for a little while longer."
A unique sound
Mr Haines said the Addams Family music was unique in many ways, and a delight for a musician to immerse themselves in.
"It's hard to describe the character of the music that makes up the Addams Family - the show has musical elements of vaudeville, latin, 60's pop and even opera.
"To add to that, the orchestra is asked to imitate sounds such as explosions, an old grandfather clock's chime and rats gnawing under floorboards."
According to Mr Haines, it is the show's unique and distinctive sound which represents the entire purpose and meaning behind its story.
"At first glance, it seems like a disconnected potpourri of noises, but upon closer inspection - you realise that this chaotic mishmash of music perfectly encapsulates what the Addams Family is all about - being different."
The Addams Family Musical will perform at the Regal Theatre in Subiaco from July 15-18.
Zealous productions will also be performing a 'relaxed show' which is designed for a community of diverse abilities to be able to enjoy the live theatre experience.
This show will include an AUSLAN interpreter, a quiet zone for those who may experience sensory overload, a tactile tour for the visually impaired and a number of other inclusive additions.
Tickets can be purchased via Ticketek.