Lisa Cheney and Peggy Polias, curators of Making Waves, will be producing Making Conversation. The national scope of the Making Conversation project requires a far reaching team of collaborators. We’re delighted that some amazing music journalists are joining us – for this special project only – over the coming months, working in tandem with the Making Waves staff.
The Interview Team
Leah Blankendaal loves new music. She loves talking about it, writing about it, and making it. All of this informs what she does. Before relocating to Melbourne in 2015, Leah completed a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Communication Studies at the University of Western Australia, where she was awarded the Dorothea Agnus Memorial Scholarship. Here she worked on the large scale music & photography installation A Thousand Facets, which was premiered at Kurb Gallery in 2013. Currently Leah writes for CutCommon and has written previously for artsHub, Xpress Magazine, the New Zealand Musicological Society and the Musicological Society of Australia. She produces Music in Melbourne and presents Australian Sounds on 3MBS. www.leahblankendaal.com
Stephanie Eslake is the founder and editor of CutCommon, Australia’s online magazine for the young classical musician. She has degrees in both media and music and has been published in The Mercury, TasWeekend, Limelight Magazine, Aphra Magazine, The Courier Mail, The Daily Telegraph and RendezView, Adelaide Now, Young Opportunities Australia, Perth Now, The Herald Sun, and Warp Magazine – the latter of which she’s also worked as subeditor. The award-winning writer co-founded and ran Upbeat Monthly News for the University of Tasmania’s Conservatorium of Music, has written program notes for the Queensland and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, hosted features on Edge Radio 99.3 and ABC Classic FM, and worked in live broadcast production. In 2016 she was named a semi-finalist in the Tasmanian Young Achiever of the Year Awards. The classical saxophonist tutors woodwind and also loves working as Media and Digital Content Co-ordinator for the Tasmanian Writers’ Centre. www.stepheslake.com
Sascha Kelly is a conductor, singer, writer & broadcaster. As her day job, she works in community radio, as Subscriptions Coordinator at 3MBS Fine Music Melbourne. She graduated from a Bachelor of Music majoring in Euphonium in 2010, and moved to Melbourne in 2013 to complete her Honours year in conducting. As a broadcaster, Sascha currently presents Music in Melbourne on 3MBS and writes for Limelight Magazine. Sascha has a passion for communicating about classical music and is a podcast nerd.
David John Lang lives in Adelaide and writes music for orchestras, choirs, singers and instrumentalists; for concerts, recordings, theatre and film; for musicians, the world, God and the sheer joy of it. David loves creating art that is inventive, thoughtful and heartfelt. His music often reflects his love of storytelling, whimsical sense of humour and instinct for drama.Like most composers, David has been commissioned by various people and has occasionally won awards. He’s been on three AYO National Music Camps and one Atlantic Music Festival. His teachers have included Graeme Koehne, David Harris, John Polglase and Charles Bodman Rae. David is also a conductor, trumpet player and writer of concert program notes. www.davidjohnlang.com
Matthew Lorenzon is a journalist and musicologist specialising in art music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. His academic work combines theoretical and philosophical speculation with music analysis and archival research.He holds a PhD in musicology from the Australian National University with a thesis on the interaction of music and philosophy in Antagonisme, a chamber work by Xavier Darasse on a text by Alain Badiou. Matthew edits the Partial Durations blog and podcast. As a journalist he believes in critics maintaining a dialogue with musicians and audiences to help foster mutual understanding. www.partialdurations.com
Rebecca Erin Smith is a composer, violist, and active proponent of new music specialising in collaborative media and concert works. She is a Fulbright Scholar, and holds a Master of Music (composition) from the Manhattan School of Music where she studied under Dr Marjorie Merryman and Dr Reiko Fueting. Recent awards include the Nicolas Flagello Award, Deolus Husband Scholarship, DCA Young People and the Arts Scholarship, and Marvin Hamlisch Scholarship from the Juilliard School. Smith has worked in a compositional capacity with the WA Symphony Orchestra, WA Youth Orchestra, Australian Youth Orchestra, Perth Symphony Orchestra, and Manhattan School of Music Symphony, as well as numerous prolific new music ensembles and bands USA and Australia-wide. www.rebeccaerinsmith.com
Chris Williams is a graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and completed a M.Phil in composition with Robert Saxton at the University of Oxford in 2013. Chris has been commissioned by Carnegie Hall, where he worked with Kaija Saariaho. He was one of six composers selected by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, then Master of the Queen’s Music, to attend his Advanced Composition course at the Dartington International Summer School in England. Chris’ work has been performed by The Song Company, The Melbourne and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, the Cavaleri Quartet and The Australian Voices. In 2015 he was the inaugural Friends of the National Library of Australian Creative Arts Fellow.
Antonia Zappia is a creative working across many arts disciplines. She has trained in music, audio engineer and acting and has worked on projects in each of these fields. Most recently, Antonia’s endeavours have seen her write reviews for CutCommon Magazine and direct a play for Short + Sweet in Sydney. Interdisciplinary collaboration is something she relishes in.
Tom Green is the recipient of various government grants, commissions, is a prizewinner in national composition competitions, and has traveled internationally to pursue his interest in modern music. He has been involved with and composed music for a number of groups including The Australian String Quartet and Collusion Music. His musical alter ego Praxis Axis is used for Tom’s creation of electronic music and sound design, and a preoccupation with found sounds. Tom regularly performs as a member of the Brisbane group Boss Fight, a band dedicated to live recreations of iconic videogame music. Tom teaches music and production at various institutions including UQ, the Queensland Conservatorium and Brisbane JMC Academy.
Audio and Production
Dan Thorpe is a Performer/Composer based in South Australia. Influenced by everything from queer punk to American experimentalism. As a composer, his work always has a focus on collaborative, open approaches to composition that stress the importance of performers’ creative input in musical expression. As a performer, his focus is on contemporary Australian repertoire, work by queer and women composers, and multi-instrumental improvisation. As well as a career in the arts, Dan has been a freelance Digital Producer, coder and Social Media Manager for five years. He teaches a class on DIY Digital Production at the University of Adelaide, volunteers for peak youth mental health body headspace, and helped found both the South Australian Youth Mental Health Action Group and the Elder Conservatorium Students’ Association.