31 March 2023

sky vs weather

The Pots flies again with album no.7.  This time with another diatribe about climate based on lyrics drafted early one morning while navigating Drake's Passage with about 125 hardy souls.  Have a listen to hear of COP27 and various actors in this drama; about our opportunity, perhaps obligation, to talk to those we disagree with; to hear the words of featured artist, ChatGPT (with some help from Greta and me); to compare our planet with our lifeless neighbour, Mars; to ponder various curves, not least the famed hockey stick.  And to hear a glorious final Crucifixus a 8 by Antonio Lotti.  Have a look at the ePea page for album notes and lyrics.  Have a listen on YouTube Music and most other streaming sites (although missing from Spotify at present).  Or you may prefer Bandcamp.

Bassist EP has released his seventh home studio album, sky vs weather / The Pots.  You can hear it on all major streaming services (except Spotify at the moment for whatever obscure reason).

  • The Pots on Bandcamp
  • Album notes

  • 30 March 2023


    It's fascinating to hear of the history of musical instruments.  The modern-day concert, pedal harp dated from ~1800 but was still "revolutionary" for  orchestral use in 1888 in a symphony by  Cesar Franck.  By coincidence, that's also pretty much the era for Antarctic explorations (which followed the whalers after they'd depleted the northern whale populations).  There had been harp-like instruments for yonks, even from classical days and earlier (Wikipedia says 3,000BCE), but we are talking of reliable mechanisms for providing a full chromatic instrument with the ability of changing keys in an instant.  Not simple.  This was a product of Germany but the French seems to warm to the instrument.  Thus we heard a string of harp tunes, from 1919 onwards, from France, from men and women, and one popular tune, again absolutely associated with France.  Marcel Tournier provided a sonatina in 3 movements, perhaps the most significant work of the day, then 5 of 6 short pieces by Henriette Renie, Professor at the Paris Conservatoire, then the well-known stuff, Debussy Clair de Lune and Louiguy/Piaf La vie en rose.  And it was Rowan Phemister who played this program.  He's a harpist for CSO and various other orchestras around Australia, not least the Ballet (or Opera?) orchestra in the Opera House.  He mentioned frequent travel.  I asked about transporting harps by plane (no) and thus whether they are supplied by orchestras (yes; some have several).  But this was a hugely pleasurable concert, perhaps think Degas picnics, with Rowan's introductions and chatter and wonderfully expressive, understanding playing.  He gets those gigs for a reason.  The muting of palms, the sharpness of finger attacks or alternative softness, the busy footwork for pedals and also for turning pages for his act of modernisation using an iPad in place of paper, the eyes darting from strings to page, the overall musicality of this unique instrument.  This was  a serious pleasure.

    Rowan Phemister (harp) performed French music at Wesley.

    29 March 2023


    I was surprised to see Anthony Irvine arrive at our Molly gig.  He's a capable bassist and he said later he'd just come to hear Tilt Trio.  We are a retiring crew so I was somewhat flustered.  But we chatted and we played well, so all was well.  He also played a few tunes after our break.  Sadly, no pic, but this was a lesson in commitment and extravagant high playing.  So, what a blast after my relatively safe, but if pretty effective, arpeggiated chords and scalar solos.  He mentioned this as classical chops.  Yeah, maybe, not sure.  I am informed by my recent classical playing.  I certainly read better, if not the more syncopated stuff which is not a thing for the classics.  But I do enjoy finding cycles of fifths and diminisheds and chromaticism in "fine" music, even in Beethoven, often enough.  So it's all a thing of pleasure.  Certainly this gig was.  Thanks for the visit, Anthony.

    Tilt Trio played Molly.  Tilt are James Woodman (piano), Eric Pozza (bass) and Dave McDade (drums) and Anthony Irvine (bass) sat in for a few tunes.

    28 March 2023

    Weekend 2

    Sunday was another 3pm mega event.  I was somewhat hassled, having a first go at multitracking recording.  I have most of the gear and the knowledge, but not sure of cables and stands and the like.  In the end, I managed most if not all that I'd like, but it was informative and satisfying.  Super embarrassingly, my phone went off in the performance.  I had "Do Not Disturb" on.  Note to all: check your Android Do Not Disturb settings (and I guess whatever in i-World).  I get few calls and I've never had a call interrupt a concert before, but this was a repeated call, and that was allowed as a default setting on my phone!!!  Suffice to say, not now.  And at the end, a Melbourne mate arrived, unexpected, at the concert, finding me.  Strange events.  But how was the concert?  Just wonderful.  I sat near the Evangelist (tenor) and he impressed.  So did Jesus (as he should)!  Hayley was on bass and did a wonderful job.  I enjoyed following the violins and always enjoy bassoon.  Why are they always so capable and clear toned in our bass range?  I followed the words (recitatives in English; chorals in German with translations).  The story touched me, taking me back to Catholic schooldays.  Not converted, but touched.  Wondering about why this tree or that event.  These stories are old and have resonances that our society isn't aware of these days.  Well, it is the Bible, after all with its long resonances for our/my Euro  culture.  And thinking of German Easter Sundays in Bach's days, presumably the congregation hearing St John's Passion part 1, then a sermon (we had coffee!), then part 2, then I guess a mass and the rest.  They were committed. And also thinking of several musos who had said they'd prefer St Matthew's Passion, given this was so powerful.  Well, it may be a bit better on records, but not much, and the presence and surroundings, even if just modern brick, seemed apt and  the music, both written and played, was fabulous.  How much did I enjoy this?  Enjoy may not be the word, but very much and deeply.  Many thanks to Igitur Nos and Matthew Stuckings and the crew he gathered for this performance.

    Igitur Nos Chamber Choir performed under Matthew Stuckings (musical director).  Igitur Nos performed as a choir of ~20 with several soloists and a chamber orchestra of 14.  Soloists were Kent McIntosh (Evangelist, tenor), Sitiveni Talei (Jesus, baritone), Maartje Sevenster (contralto), Cassandra Hmble (soprano), Colin Miller (Pilate, baritone) and Great Claringbould (soprano).  Anthony Smith played continuo (keyboard ). Hayley Manning (bass) provided the bottom end.

    27 March 2023

    Weekend 1

    These were two profound outings this weekend.  The first was Musica da Camera's latest outing with Chris Latham.  Chris is currently artist in residence at the Australian War Memorial.  He uses this time to develop a series of musical performances on war-related themes.  This is always touching, emotional, profound even.  This one was on Australia and its role in peacekeeping.  We've done pretty well in the past but not so well in the last decade or so.  No surprise if you are following our politics.  Money wins, for some, not pride in country.  Whatever, this was advertised for adults and near-to.  There was an accompanying slide show with troubling scenes: scenes of conflict and its outcomes.  I was playing so watching the visuals was a distraction, although I did catch bits.  But for me, the satisfaction was playing FS Kelly, touching on Beethoven 9 (Ode to Joy, of course), a string of original compositions by Chris himself and attendant composer Cyrus Meurant, others by Elena Katz-Chernin and Graeme Koehne, even John Lennon, Cat Stevens and ABBA.  Who would expect it?  Nice to feel that stylistic crossover.  Actually, the ABBA tune was quite challenging, with a time signature that moved precariously through 4/4 and 6/8.  Counting was essential.  And of course B9: what could be better?  It may be the closest I get to this pinnacle of the art.  At least I've played this snippet if not the whole, challenging work.  Then there's the wonderful musicians that featured : Susannah Lowergren, Riley Lee on shakuhachi, Matthew O'Keefe and that strongest of pianists, Edward Neeman.  It's a privilege to play with people like this.  So thanks to Chris.

    Chris Latham (musical director) led Musica da Camera String Orchestra with soloists Susannah Lowergren (soprano), Riley Lee (shakuhachi), Matthew O'Keefe (clarinet) and Edward Neeman (piano) at the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture.

    23 March 2023

    Informed extravagance

    It amuses me to see and hear Mark Jurkiewicz play Chopin.  It just feels to me that this is how it should be: mammoth commitment to the complexities and challenge of the undanceable Chopin waltzes.  Like many people, I played Chopin waltzes and it was as far as I went on piano as a kid.  Suffice to say mine was nothing like this!  But then Mark studied at the Fryderyk Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw, no less; I studied with the local nuns.  Not to put them down (my playing was my own invention!) but Mark was undeniably closer to the action.  It shows heaps.  I was in awe, often smiling or even chuckling quietly to myself with the delirious invention of it all.  Finally I've come to love Chopin again.  He played 4 waltzes (5 with the encore) and two mazurkas and a tarantella and Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise brilliante.  No talking, just a few bows and back into it.  Good value for money; lots of notes!  But I josh.  Mark played from memory with all the considered interpretations, all the little pauses and time variations, the delays and pushes, tons of thought and application spelling complex emotional extravagances; mature playing, informed and connecting to the composer.  Every pause proves it.  A huge pleasure. Thanks again to Mark.

    Mark  Jurkiewicz (piano) played Chopin at Wesley.

    20 March 2023

    The big end of sound

    This was an unusual assignment.  I got an email from Margaret Wright asking if I could record another of her recorder groups.  OK, interesting.  It turned out to be an East Coast convention of an Eight Foot Pitch Recorder Orchestra, meaning the pitch of eight foot organ pipes, meaning low.  She had a collection of 70 or so players for this weekend.  I got to hear ~45mins and record ~30mins.  Recorders are a simple and attractive tone, forming sounds essentially like whistles or organ flue pipes, but they can get very complex and precise when they grow, so square formats and bocals (curving metal pipes) and keys and levers and pads and associated adjustments.  Perhaps my favourite music was something I heard and didn't record: a mediaeval tune by a lesser known composer.  A long Schubert surprised me and a string of more romantic tunes was less attractive to my ears.  I guess I associate the recorder with an era, even if there are living recorder composers.  The formality, adoration and sometimes joy of mediaeval musical order suits the instruments to my ears.  And unusual sounds these were.  No sopraninos or trables here.  I think the highest was tenor, and they went down to the big basses and great basses and contrabasses, variously turned C and F.  So I learnt of recorders and heard a very unusual and large combination in orchestral format.  Ever learning.  Great and thanks.

    Margaret Wright (conductor) directed the Eight Foot Pitch Recorder Orchestra in Canberra.

    19 March 2023


    It's thanks to Covid that we have this album and this CD launch at the Drill Hall Gallery.  Mark Ginsberg and Ryan Grogan had worked together before but Covid brought the two to collaborate at a distance and ultimately this recording was born and this tour performed.  They recorded with Fabian Hevia and Brett Hirst and Brendan Clarke played this tour.  It's beautiful, contemplative music made up of frequently complex harmony and lovely, expressive melody, often played in unison on bass and sax or even bass and piano with an emerging sax, but perhaps the defining approach, expressed several times by  Mark, was the use of a percussion rather than drum kit for rhythm underlay, so we had cymbals and cajons and bells (I was entranced by one that rang forever and was gloriously clear) but not the push of kick or accent of snare, so the percussion just interweaved with the music and, again as Mark suggested, we the audience had to place the beat.  Well, yes, it was softer and Fabian is a wonder with mind-bogglingly complex interleavings and polyrhythms, but there was rhythm throughout and I thought it was clear for all.  Ryan mentioned later that their music also appeals to classical listeners, and I can see that.  This was not bop even if some melodies and even the lineup was somewhat in this space.  Mark even asked about the genre.  I dunno, but it was jazz and it wasn't at all like the tune they played in honour of Wayne Shorter.  Mark also mentioned the pleasure of playing the tunes daily even if not all aspects of touring are so pleasant.  I understand.  Their arrival here was to a small, integrated jazz world, if to a soft space which felt quite loud to my ears with only one (bass) amp.  But that's the Drill Hall.  It made for a unified if soft sound.  Otherwise, this was a great pleasure, wonderful reflective music, some fabulous playing and a warm atmosphere.  I loved this.

    Mark Ginsburg (soprano, tenor) and Ryan Grogan (piano) launched their CD Oceans together at the Drill Hall Gallery.  Also on the album were Brett Hirst (bass) and Fabian Hevia (percussion).  Brendan Clarke (bass) replaced BH for the tour and this concert.

    16 March 2023

    A walk in the park

    Well, actually it was a stroll in the garden in bygone times of Schubert and Schumann and the like.  Saralouise Owens sang songs of lost and found loves and the like with piano accompaniment from Stuart Long and it was quite beautiful if much of another era, a very erstwhile era.  Maybe it's the advent of the pill in the '60s or a few world wars, but things are different now.  The romance seems florid and unreal to our ears even if the Schubert Serenade seemed to suggest suggestiveness and that's common enough.  I didn't follow the German lyrics, but I did the translations, and it was interesting.  Mostly this was German, from Schubert and Schumann and Mahler and Hugo Wolf and one French from Henri Duparc, but Benjamin Britten was in English, as was a significant early female composer out of Melbourne, Linda Phillips, with lyrics lauding Ash trees and the cedars of Lebanon.  It's a complex music, these short classical songs, rich in imagery and structurally and harmonically following the lyrics, unlike simple pop tunes where lyrics follow melody.  So a lovely sound and a historical visitation as well.  Lovely.

     Saralouise Owens (soprano) sang with accompaniment from Stuart Long (piano) at Wesley.

    06 March 2023

    Mod, cool

    Carnaby Street was the famous fashion street for '60s London and it was represented with a mock street sign on stage.  I was wondering about the other street sign, for Denmark Street.  I just looked it up and it turns out that it's famed for music and instruments and I actually remember visiting a bass shop there.  Small world!  The Queanbeyan Players presented Downtown! The mod musical at the Belconnen Community Theatre.   It had caught my attention months earlier for the great '60s female-sung songs that formed its core.  Downtown, of course, but others like You don't have to say you love me, Those were the days, To Sir with love, I know a place, Signs of the times, You're my world, James Bond theme, and perhaps two dozen others, not least several from Burt Bacharach, a personal songwriting hero.  The plot is five women friends and their experiences in love and the like in that era, linked with the song themes, eventually moving into the '70s and ultimately satisfied with their lives and memories.  Simple and satisfying and good natured with a fabulous sound track.  The five women appeared in colours, so Orange girl, Red, Blue, Green and Yellow.  They all read Shout magazine and variously asked advice from columnist Gwendoline Holmes, who mostly just appears as a voice over the PA.  There are 5 other women, "alternate colours", who appear on stage in black as dance accompanists and maybe cover for absences.  Yellow is an American over in London to chase Paul McCartney; Orange is married but with a cheating husband; Blue is gorgeous and wealthy and unhappy in life and love; Green is the goer; Red is young and hopeful but hopeless.  Their resolutions are stories of our times.  The instrumental music is provided by a band of drums/percussion and 2 keys.  I don't ever expect the supreme professionalism of pro-musicals but QP always do a great job and they did here.  I'd highlight some wonderful harmonies even if some high notes were a stretch at times.  Otherwise, the theatre of it was wonderfully effective.   I loved this show!  I must get to more musicals, but they are not all quite so pertinent to Megan and me.  As one cast member states at towards the end, this is the story of your wives or mothers or even grandmothers.  Too true.  BTW, this musical first appeared off-Broadway as Shout! The mod musical and is listed in Wikipedia under this title.

    Downtown was presented by the Queanbayan Players at Belconnon Community Theatre.  At least this night, it featured Alaxandra McLaughlin (Orange), Kay Liddiard (Red), Emily Pogson (Blue), Hannah Lance (Green), Sarah Hull (Yellow) and Tina Meir (Gwendoline Holmes, voiceover).  Anita Davenport (director), Tara Davidson (musical director) and Laurenzy Chapman (choreographer) were backstage, and literally backstage were the band, Andre Le (keys 1), Adam Bluhm (Keys 2) and Jarrah Palenthorpe (drums, percussion).

    05 March 2023

    ArtSound's 40th

    Thanks to ArtSound.  It has a mighty and worthy history and well celebrated by CJ and the local jazz and arts community.  Also thanks to Chris for permission to publish his presentation at the 40th anniversary celebration.  And to James Munro who played an original composition and various Bach cello suites.  And, not least, thanks to Rebecca Vassarotti (Greens, Member for Kurrajong, ACT Minister for the Environment, Heritage, Homelessness and Housing Services, and Sustainable Building and Construction) for the selfie featuring Rebecca with ArtSound board members and presenters Bart Meehan and Chris Deacon and Betsy Dixon (President). / Eric

    Remarks by Chris Deacon OAM, ArtSound Manager Technology on ArtSound’s 40th Anniversary, 3 March 2023

    In ArtSound’s 40th anniversary year, it’s my pleasure as one if the co-founders to place a lens on some of our achievements.

    The award-winning ArtSound has come a long way since it kicked off its 17-year bid for a permanent FM licence with test broadcasts and recording services in the early 1980s. That was at the former Curtin Childrens’ Library. Known then as Canberra Stereo Public Radio (when stereo FM was rare) a small but passionate group of musicians and artists stayed the long course for the Canberra community and were awarded a permanent licence in 2000.

    Radio had become formulaic, lowest common denominator, with few opportunities for quality and in-depth local arts expression, so we set out to change this. One of Canberra’s major strengths is its cultural diversity and we felt that should be reflected in its radio stations. We also developed a unique program format aimed at devotees of quality specialist music where there was a distinct void. It was a radio station funded by those who loved it most. We even built our own microphones!

    An FM station dedicated to listeners with an interest in, or appreciation of these matters, was a good idea in 1983, and still is! The coming together over many years of the cohort of arts and music interests that now comprise ArtSound is itself a valid indication of community need. Today I believe those listeners would remain poorly served, despite a large increase in the number of media feeding our ears, were it not for ArtSound’s efforts.

    We’ve broadcast non-stop since then with transmission sites at Black Mountain and Mt Taylor, and today provide quality broadcasting on FM and DAB+ and online global streams plus recording and audio production services for members and other participants in Canberra’s arts and cultural scene.

    With the assistance of the ACT Government and other community sponsors, ArtSound went the extra mile and moved to bigger and better premises here at the former jazz campus of the School of Music in 2005.

    Notwithstanding its small beginnings, ArtSound has developed a strong role in promotion and projection of local arts in and around Canberra, both on air and through off-site recording and broadcast.

    We’ve made significant contributions to the success of a range of professional and amateur musical, artistic events and careers through our contributions to audience development.

    Indeed, there are writers, actors and musicians of national calibre in Canberra, yet before ArtSound commenced its service, there was no guarantee that the electronic media would provide more than token opportunities for the development of this talent.

    We were among the first radio stations in Australia to adopt new digital “tapeless” recording technology, and Canberra musicians started to be heard on radio stations throughout Australia. We reintroduced radio drama in the 1980s and that ground-breaking work continues today.

    The station provides opportunities for people who would not easily find space elsewhere in the radio landscape.  We promote the art of listening and the art of presentation…

    The medium of radio has some unique qualities that are ripe for artistic enquiry. It’s been described variously as the “theatre of the mind,” an invisible arts centre — where our public artworks reside in a virtual gallery for the audio arts. Radio is far from dead. It has enjoyed a resurgence during and since Covid as listeners confined to their homes realised the value of a community companion in their lives. Like many stations worldwide, we kept ArtSound on air throughout — also from our homes — thanks to some savvy technology!

    In feedback from our loyal listeners, we are often told that ArtSound remains their “station of choice” or “ArtSound is the best radio station in Canberra,” “Love the Vibe,” and so on. Some are enthralled by what we do, others are more selective in their listening choice! It’s those values that keep an estimated 40-50,000 listeners tuned in to ArtSound each week.

    According to a 2022 McNair survey, community radio reaches over 5 million Australians every week. In fact, 30% of all radio listeners listen to community radio.

    We are pleased our own concept of independent local media has been embraced so well. This has not been without its financial challenges, but the feedback is generally positive on our successes to date. After 40 years of existence, and 23 years of full-time operations, there is still so much more potential to be tapped and we are up for that should the resources available to ArtSound be increased.

    We brought a totally new type of radio to Canberra, and it has been done largely by volunteers. Over the past four decades, hundreds of dedicated volunteers from within and outside the music and arts community have come forward to offer help and be trained in the art of radio presentation. We are pleased to report that many of these have found professional careers in other media or the arts industry.

    ArtSound discharges its role, in part, through its continuing creative partnership with writers, performers, musicians and producers across the region. Some 500 guest segments and over 300 hours of live locally recorded concerts have been presented over the past year alone. Many of our programs draw attention to the amount, variety and quality of local artistic achievement. With volunteer resources, ArtSound continues to develop new content and to explore artistic and cultural forms that might otherwise go unrecognised, by multiplying audiences.

    Radio is also a most powerful means by which people can share a common experience, learn about their culture, and learn about themselves.

    But wait — ArtSound is much more than just radio!

    First, it has become a focal point for production and recording services to the arts community.

    There are many examples of how ArtSound provides a springboard for artists and musicians in Canberra; how we act as a conduit for information about the arts and cultural activity. Our physical location and social reach enable us to function as a cultural “hub,” connecting and enabling productive relationships between artists, organisations and audiences.

    Second, ArtSound has amassed arguably one of the largest recorded music and oral history collections in the ACT.

    In particular, the work of the late Anne Edgeworth and the late Gillian Alcock, should not pass without mention. We conducted a Centenary of Canberra Sound Preservation Project to identify and catalog some of the best of our culturally significant items, many of which were restored for broadcast as part of the 2013 celebrations.

    Third, ArtSound helps others preserve the past.

    Numerous individuals, organisations and government agencies and national institutions have hired our facilities for their own work, including preservation of audio material of national importance. The speeches of Prime Minister Menzies, oral histories of Vietnam Vets, and even ABC archival recordings of famous events, have all passed through ArtSound’s digital preservation studio. Many generations of recording technology and formats have been employed for this work.

    Since 1983, literally tens of thousands of individual items of the nation’s spoken-word heritage have been carefully saved for all Australians to appreciate. Clients have included the National Archives, the National Library, the Australian War Memorial, and Old Parliament House.

    ArtSound’s audio services continue to be in demand, with bookings for CD recording, voice-overs and nationally and internationally significant production work.

    Among clients, we’ve contributed to Hollywood movies, Disney studios and SBS TV, supported national election coverage for the UK press and the community radio network and produced voiceovers for the local fire brigade.

    Recent work includes audio books for internationally renowned publishing houses, local poets and authors, and a host of nationally significant podcast recordings. We’ve also provided media training for artists and engineers and radio rookies courses for teenagers.

    ArtSound pioneered the successful Senior Memories internet streaming service for seniors, with entertainment and information targeted specifically at the aged, particularly those who may be socially isolated. The service was launched in 2013 and extended to 11 aged care facilities and retirement homes. Many seniors were trained to present their own programs.

    A few years ago, we closed the streaming service in favour of expanding the content to weekday mornings on ArtSound FM. By all accounts it has become a popular offering.

    Radio is such an empowering way for everyone to fully participate in society.

    We have encouraged both seniors and young people to find creative ways to use the radio medium, to express themselves and to share their talent.

    In this regard, we launched the Fine Music Network Young Virtuoso of the Year (ACT) Competition in 2013, and the national prize has been awarded on several occasions since then to the ACT entrant.

    Canberra music performances and special content is often showcased beyond the ACT through the Community Radio Network of 450 non-profit radio stations.

    Having made great strides in recent years, ArtSound faces the undeniable financial challenges experienced, for the most part, by many arts and cultural organisations. And like most non-profit organisations, ArtSound is too frequently diverted from its principal goals in order to spend valuable time and effort on essential fundraising in order to survive.

    Community arts stations like ArtSound FM are hindered by restrictions on their range of funding sources which puts them at a disadvantage compared to some other broadcasters such as those in the multicultural, religious, indigenous, print handicapped and educational sectors, where it is possible to access larger pools of territory, state or federally supported dollars.

    While the level of public and private spending on community radio has risen markedly since we were established, the costs of our “core” operations have risen dramatically in recent years and ArtSound realises it cannot accomplish its work alone.

    As an arts broadcaster, the success of our work will depend on the contributions of the members, individuals and organisations most directly involved in Canberra’s artistic and cultural life, represented by many of you here today.

    Whatever your involvement in the arts, however specialised or general, whether as an artist, a business owner or a concerned listener, ArtSound always welcomes your views. Indeed, the success of efforts to strengthen ArtSound’s role in Canberra’s cultural life depends on the variety and breadth of measures which can be mobilised for that purpose — so we look forward to your comments and suggestions.

    Today ArtSound is an award-winning 40-year-old cultural resource which exists to enlighten and enrich the quality of life for anyone within the listening area that shares our ideals. By tapping new and little-heard content, we have become a significant member of the national community broadcasting system, and arguably, we have enhanced and strengthened the arts in Canberra.

    We must ensure that this facility and its unique use of scarce broadcast spectrum is given the maximum opportunity to innovate, to grow with its arts constituency, and to keep pace with the best that Canberra has to offer.

    ArtSound’s role as a key potential driver of productivity in the arts, and a genuine discovery channel of arts and music, needs to be acknowledged more widely. And everyone should do a radio program at least once in their life!

    I wish to extend a special “thank you” to the sponsors and individuals that supported us in so many ways over the past 40 years. There are too many to mention them all, however I would like to place on record the contributions of the following organisations that have got us to this point:

    The ACT Government through artsACT, Infinite Networks, the Canberra Labor Club, the Canberra Southern Cross Club, Rotary International (Belconnen), ACTEW Corporation and the Community Broadcasting Foundation.

    My thanks also to Alicia Payne MP, the Federal Member for Canberra, whose donated stage and PA I am using, as part of the Australian Government’s Stronger Communities program.

    I can announce today that we have also been successful in securing funding under the ACT Government’s Technology Upgrade Fund towards upgrade of ArtSound’s outside broadcasting equipment. Thanks to Emma Davidson, Assistant Minister for Families and Community Services, and the ACT Community Services Directorate.

    Finally, it’s important to acknowledge co-founders: Terry McGee, the late Gillian Alcock, Marilyn Chalkley, Michael Poole

    as well as some long-timers and life members:

    Bill Oakes, Clinton White, Professor Deane Terrell AO, Brian Leonard, Annabel Wheeler, the late Anne Edgeworth, the late Phil Birch- Marston, Jim Mooney OAM, Greg Mitchell, Floyd Patterson, Kathy Syrette, Rod Menzies, Graham McDonald, James Steele, Gary Knobel and the late Jenni Knobel, Gerry Kay, Peter Field, Tony Griffiths, Richard Gate, Liz Clarke, Jennifer Kingma, Christine Cansfield-Smith, Judy Baker, Neil Gowen, Bill Stephens OAM, Lauren Black, Stan D’Argeavel, Isobel Griffin, Vicki Murn, Dianne Parrey, Garth O’Loughlin, John Rogers, Judy Hayes, Phillip O’Brien, Peter Trainer, Bert Whelan.

    And a special mention of the late Barbara Byrne, whose support through the Canberra Labor Club ensured the completion and fit out of several ArtSound studios in 2005 and former Chief Minister Jon Stanhope who kindly launched these premises in 2005.

    Plus, the generosity of our listeners and members needs a special thanks — and that is what this year’s Anniversary is all about.

    Thank you!

    02 March 2023

    Novelty in late C16th

    There's a reason why pop songs have vocals and a reason why we mix to make the vocals work above all else.  Because the voice is the core means of human expression in music.  It's pretty obvious but it hit me yesterday again when I heard AJ America sing Giulio Cassini with accompaniment from Arian Odermatt.  So beautiful and so touching.  It helped also that we had lyrics, in the original sung Italian and the English translation.  I understand Italian but probably wouldn't have followed the renaissance/baroque era lyrics.  Caccini is famous for his developments including monody (a term later applied) which featured a melody line with choral accompaniment (vs. earlier polyphony) and for early work leading to the recitative.  Perhaps for more.  It was enough that we got a string of love and other songs from Caccini and a few from Monteverdi.  Also a premiere Wesley performance of an Amarillo by Peter Philips on their virginal.  Very beautiful tones all around.  I asked Ariana about improvisation.  Again, yes all around.  If I understood correctly, Ariana played a chart with a figured bass with indicated harmony (the little numbers below the stave in this era of music) and AJ sang various embellishments on top of a melody and some written embellishments.  Whatever, there was variation and richness and context here.  But just the sheer beauty of the voice and those delicate instruments had it for me.  Such a lovely outing.

    AJ America (mezzo-soprano) sang with accompaniment from Ariana Odermatt (harpsichord, virginal) at Wesley.