Q and A
Can you tell us a bit about you, and what you are up to these days?
I have just finished my Doctorate on Collaborative Composition at Griffith University as I originally come from the wonderful city of Brisbane! I am however living in Berlin as a composer and creative director, working on wonderfully interesting projects. Sometimes social composing projects, sometimes full-on composition for ensembles or orchestras throughout Europe, or just recently Adelaide and Queensland Symphony Orchestras. I am also still playing – mainly improvising and am a member of a trans-cultural ensemble here in Berlin.
What was a highlight of your time in AYO programs?
Meeting and making music so many wonderful people whom I stayed in touch with to this day.
What skills, musical and otherwise, did you take away from your time at AYO?
It was the feeling of being with others on a great path that caught me and also the desire to keep music as my passion and life.
What was your favourite piece or performance during your programs?
I was so delighted to play Enigma Variations. I had loved these as a kid and here I was, playing with amazing musicians.
Why do you think AYO is important to the Australian cultural landscape?
It is incredibly important to five young people places where they belong, feel at home, can grow and follow their passion.
How would you describe AYO in three words?
Resonating, smiling – together.
Is there anything else you would like to tell us about you or your time at AYO?
I really looked up to the older girls – such great role models.
What was one of the first pieces of music to inspire you?
Overture to the Marriage of Figaro when I was eight.
What pieces would you share with people who want to discover more about orchestral music?
I would suggest the music of George Benjamin, e.g. his opera Written on Skin, Contacting the Dead by Liza Lim and most film music.
Is there a piece of advice you received from a music teacher/mentor that has always stayed with you?
Practice in a focused but relaxed and reflective way – if you’re not able to, stop and take a walk.
How or why did you choose your instrument?
I began with the piano but wanted to play in an orchestra... and as a kid, I loved Swan Lake, so oboe it was.
What instrument would you play if you couldn’t play your primary instrument?
Without a doubt – cello or Contrabass.
Which composer would you invite to a dinner party and why?
I would love to have Peggy Glanville Hicks to dinner – such an inspiring, courageous wonderful spirit and composer!
Where in the world would you most like to perform and why?
I just love to perform or have works performed. I have performed in many different concert halls – one favourite is Concertgebouw, but also in barns, in homes – having an audience that really listens is amazing.
Would you rather: that you sounded like a tuba when you sneezed, or sounded like a piccolo when you laughed?
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Just a huge thank you to AYO! You changed my life.