music

music September 14, 2019

The high notes of ACO violinist Satu Vänskä

As the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s principal violin, Satu Vänskä teases astonishing music from her centuries-old instrument. But away from the stage, Vänskä’s musical tastes march to a very different beat. “You know what’s really sad? You can go through your whole life without ever hearing ’90s grunge. Not to mention Bach or Mozart. Or 1970s popular music. If we want to keep our art form alive … we try to bring back music in everyday conversation, so you can encounter something and awake that curiosity.”

music September 7, 2019

Composer Lebo M and that famous movie chant

Exiled from South Africa as a teenager, Lebo M made his way to the US with nothing but his talent. Eventually he escaped poverty and built a career, creating one of cinema’s most iconic and enduring musical moments. “You get driven and get motivated by the fact that where you come from opportunity was zero, and you have an indirect responsibility to be somebody.”

music August 17, 2019

Singer-songwriter Gabriella Cohen

A cup of tea at home with musician Gabriella Cohen.

music August 31, 2019

The Teskey Brothers’ Run Home Slow

On their second album, Run Home Slow, The Teskey Brothers have produced a pale imitation of the ’60s soul greats, stripping the music of its political verve and adding nothing in return.

music August 17, 2019

Amazing Grace

After almost 50 years, major technical problems and multiple legal challenges, the film recording of Aretha Franklin’s legendary Amazing Grace performances has been released at last – and it’s worth the wait.

music August 17, 2019

Sleater-Kinney’s The Center Won’t Hold

With their brilliant new album, The Center Won’t Hold, Sleater-Kinney’s defiantly feminist brand of punk remains vital as ever, 25 years after they began making music.

music August 17, 2019

Supergroup Seeker Lover Keeper

On their second album, Wild Seeds, Seeker Lover Keeper took a more collaborative approach to songwriting. While the process was challenging, it created a more cohesive record and deepened the three musicians’ friendship. “It’s a real relief when you can relax and lean into that,” says Sarah Blasko. “You don’t have to get everything right or have all the perfect ideas. It’s really nice to see each person take the song forward at a different moment and you can kind of rest in that.”

music August 10, 2019

Melbourne indie band Art of Fighting

After releasing three successful albums and winning an ARIA award, indie rock band Art of Fighting all but disappeared. Having returned with their first record in 12 years, Luna Low, they discuss their thoughtful brand of songwriting, their collaborative process and their long hiatus. “Maybe we felt like we’d run our creative course to a point,” says Ollie Browne, “and there was a fear of eroding the artistry even more.”

music August 3, 2019

Alexander Briger and the Australian World Orchestra

Under the disciplined baton of founder Alexander Briger, the Australian World Orchestra played an impressive concert of works by Westlake, Janáček and Sibelius.

music August 3, 2019

Alexander Briger and the Australian World Orchestra

Under the disciplined baton of founder Alexander Briger, the Australian World Orchestra played an impressive concert of works by Westlake, Janáček and Sibelius.

music August 3, 2019

Conductor Simone Young

Back in Australia for a series of concerts around the country, Sydney-born conductor Simone Young discusses her storied career, the jewel-like music of Richard Strauss and the portrayal of women in 19th-century opera. “The composers, however appallingly these women might be treated, clothed these figures in some of the most glorious music ever written. And that’s what Strauss does. Strauss takes these difficult situations and creates compassion for the women in the audience by giving them music that is deeply moving.”