Jig's Up

A knees-up, exposés, some unkind words

Readers may remember an INSIDE THE MUSICIAN article from jazz composer and conductor, Vanessa Perica. We don’t hear a lot about Vanessa but maybe that’s because her instrument is the jazz big band, which you can’t just take out of its case and blow.

Now, the Melbourne Symphony also has found Vanessa and videoed some performances which you can hear online here. Jig’s thinks Vanessa brings something distinctive to the big band repertoire. Add in a symphony orchestra…

Vanessa wrote music for the concert, and so did Joe Chindamo and well, Duke Ellington though they’re still trying to let him know.

Listen here: Jazz meets the Symphony


A sad goodbye to Taryn Fiebig

Taryn Fiebig 1972

Soprano Taryn Fiebig has died at the age of 49 after a long illness. Taryn performed and recorded music from the French Baroque, traditional celtic folk, musical theatre and a vast body of operatic and art song repertoire including a recording reviewed in Loudmouth only last month. She began her musical life playing the cello, later taking up singing and sometimes playing and singing simultaneously. In a 2015 concert at Buckingham Palace she brought Prince Charles to tears. It’s nice to know the future king is capable of tears for music. But Taryn is better known for her opera performances.

She was about to begin the term at the Sydney Con; some students will miss a magical experience.

Tower Records was an institution in the US – big stores with every kind of music, sales people who knew music and could guide you. It was very cool. Visit New York and it was an essential stop-off. It spread internationally though not to Australia.

It went bankrupt in 2004 and the last store closed in 2006. Loud lamentations. In 2007 it was sold but not revived.

Now Tower is back, online, with a specialty in vinyl records. Cassettes too. The competition is powerful, like, Amazon. It’s thinking it has to find ways of being more distinctive, cool – maybe add that old personal touch. But online, how?


Hear for yourself the difference between a $5,000, a $180k cello and a $1million cello.

Skip the long ad at the beginning.


Every year at this time, Opera Australia presents Handa Opera on the Harbour. On the east side of the Botanic Gardens on Camp Cove, it builds this enormous and elaborate venue, seats ramped up the hill, restaurants and a bar elevated way above sea level, all looking at a stage on a big barge with the orchestra sat below and inside with microphones, and with the Opera House and the bridge a spectacular backdrop across the water.

Is that enough? No, that’s not enough.

The performance always includes fireworks.

So what will we perform this year, Lyndon?

Well, I don’t know but it has to include fireworks. Need not be literally in the script. But must be plausible. I don’t think we’ll have that opera where the nuns are guillotined. Our political position might be misunderstood. Now if they were priests…

La Boheme?

Well, there’s the café scene. They could go there. The heroine dies of consumption. Could that be seen as misogynistic? We couldn’t afford that, heavens no, not with Boheme. Oh well, the boyfriend seems like a good bloke even though he’s a tenor.