The Growing Edge
Music 2.0

Written by: Henry Vyhnal

“Web 2.0 has changed the world for music and musicians.”

Music Education
Teachers: Staying in the game

Written by: Mandy Stefanakis

Half of those graduating from university as teachers have left teaching within five years. We look at the causes – and find them even more severe for music teachers.

Symphony For Life Diary

Written by: Christopher Nicholls

A small group of people is building in Australia an inspiring and ambitious music program, influenced by the “El Sistema” model – the Venezuelan phenomenon that has spread around the world

A trans-Tasman story out of school

Written by: Chris Bonnor

The Gonski recommendations were our best chance to create something better, but it didn’t happen in the way the review envisaged. As one of the Gonski architects puts it, instead we are just on a path to nowhere.

Latest Music & Book Reviews
Ballads. The Idea of North

Artist/s: The Idea of North. Sally Cameron, Naomi Crellin, Nick Begbie, Andrew Piper
Category: A cappella, Jazz
Label: ABC Jazz 478 2695
Reviewed by

“In Naomi Crellin’s arrangements, the voices combine so well that, after hearing them, it is difficult to imagine the songs presented in any other way.”

Brahms. The Symphonies

Artist/s: West Australian Symphony Orchestra conducted by Asher Fisch
Category: Classical
Label: ABC Classics 481 4413, 2 CDs. All four symphonies
Reviewed by

“This is my first exposure to the WASO either live or in recording, and this survey of the Brahms symphonies proved to be a highly committed and even revelatory recording.”


Artist/s: Gian Slater and Invenio: Gian Slater (composer and director), Miriam Crellin, Georgie Darvidis, Gemma Tully, Bronwyn Hicks, Natalie Carolan, Lisa Salvo, Loni Thompson, Audur Zoega, Louisa Rankin, Jeremy Hopkins, Jem Savage, Tilman Robinson, Ed Fairlie, Sam Young, Ben Harrison, and Ben Taylor.
Category: Choral Music, Jazz, Pop
Label: Invenio Music (inv001)
Reviewed by

“Gian Slater and Invenio’s second album is a lighter, more lyrically-focused collection of eight compositions.”

Deer Heart. Tilman Robinson

Artist/s: Tilman Robinson (composition/production, field recordings, body sounds miscellaneous instruments), Una Sveinbjarnardóttir (violin),Þórunn Ósk Marinósdóttir (viola), Júlía Mogensen (cello), Borgar Magnason (bass), Jóel Pálsson (clarinet/bass clarinet), Frank Aarnink (percussion), Jacob Abela (Ondes Martenot), Paul Evans (additional production).
Category: Ambient, Electroacoustic
Label: Hobbledehoy Record Co (HOB 041)
Reviewed by

“Deer Heart is an expressive and richly textured example of the electroacoustic producer’s craft.”

Frame of Reference. Sean Foran

Artist/s: Sean Foran (piano, Rhodes), Stuart McCallum (guitars), Julian Aeguelles (saxophones), Ben Davis (cello), Joost Hendricks (drums).
Category: Jazz
Label: Jazzhead HEAD222.
Reviewed by

“This is an album that has been put together competently but is let down in places by the writing and lack of a really strong unified concept or identity.”

I Thought I Heard a Magpie Call. Heritage Australian Art Songs

Artist/s: Margaret Schindler (soprano), Philip Mayers (piano)
Category: Art Songs, Classical, Music
Label: Wirripang Wirr 076
Reviewed by

“Another very enjoyable release from Wirripang: thirty- two Australian songs, most composed pre WW11 – an era when we felt we still belonged in the “Old Country” and our songs were still populated by fairies, pipers and shepherds, and spring sprang forth in May! The performances are excellent from Margaret Schindler, soprano, accompanied by her long-time colleague, Philip Mayers, on piano.”

The Rhapsody Tapes

Artist/s: Ocean Grove. Luke Holmes (vocals), Sam Bassal (drums, production), Mathew Henley (guitar), James Hall (guitar), Dale Tanner (clean vocals and bass), Running Touch (sampling, production, vocals)
Category: Contemporary
Label: UNFD075
Reviewed by

“If this is the calibre of their first album, one wonders how Ocean Grove cannot become a formidable force into the future.”

Safe Haven

Artist/s: Masha’s Legacy. (MD/composer/arranger/saxophones, clarinet, Arabic nay), Christopher Soulos (electric bass), Elsen Price (contrabass), Mahammd Lelo (q’noon), Adem Yilmaz (daf/darabukka/cajon/congas/percussion), Nick Southcott (piano, keyboards), Adnaan Baraké (oud), James Tawadros (req’, bendir, cajon), Miriam Waks (vocal), Ghada Daher-Elmowy (vocal).
Category: Fusion, Jazz, Middle Eastern, World
Reviewed by

“Masha’s Legacy, a Sydney based multicultural music ensemble has created one of the best cross-cultural albums I’ve heard in a long time.”

War Letters. New music commemorating WWI

Artist/s: Halcyon: Alison Morgan, Jenny Duck-Chong, Clive Birch, James Wannan, Kaylie Dunstan, Jo Allan, Geoffrey Gartner
Category: Art Songs, Classical, Music, New Music
Label: Wirripang Media Pty Ltd Wirr 074
Reviewed by

“This music enhances and underlines the emotional impact of war in settings of letters written by people who experienced the actuality first hand, as relevant today as ever.”