Behind the Conversation with Sascha Kelly

Making Conversation



Have you had a listen to the Making Conversation podcast? Last Friday, music journalist Sascha Kelly’s interview with composer Nicole Murphy went live. The episode is part of Making Waves, showcasing composers through new audio features about the inner-workings of their careers, music, and lives.

In Behind the Conversation, CutCommon shares the stories of the music journalists who have crafted these podcasts.

Sascha Kelly is a conductor, singer, writer and broadcaster. She has worked as subscriptions coordinator at 3MBS Fine Music Melbourne. She graduated from a Bachelor of Music majoring in euphonium in 2010, and moved to Melbourne in 2013 to complete her Honours year in conducting. As a broadcaster, Sascha has presented Music in Melbourne on 3MBS and written for Limelight Magazine. Sascha has a passion for communicating about classical music and is a podcast nerd.


What is your musical background?

Ah – where to start? I am originally a euphonium player, then I did a few years of conducting, and now I primarily sing. If you don’t get it right, try, try again, they say! I’d really put myself well and truly in the ‘portfolio’ musician folder – I’ll try anything if it looks like it’ll be an interesting gig. Most recently, I produced, wrote and performed in a James Bond cabaret with my friend Justina Lui.

When did you decide you wanted to become involved in music journalism?

I absolutely love radio, and I’ve always been an Andrew Denton devotee – I owned all the books of transcripts of his interviews when I was a teenager. I think my musical background combined with my love of people has lead to this particular path.

How and why did you get on board with Making Waves? 

[Co-founder] Lisa Cheney and I were in a netball team together! We had a few chats on the drive to games. I was already a fan, and she told me about this project.

Who were you responsible for interviewing, and what was the process like for you?

I interviewed Nicole Murphy, Connor D’Netto, and Paul Ballam-Cross. I loved it – everyone has an interesting story, and I love hearing everyone’s different opinions on the importance of new music.

What are some of the things you’ve learnt and challenges you’ve overcome when taking part in this project?

Taking on too much, and being fair to the people you are committed to. Truth bomb coming up: pacing myself is still not something I’ve learned how to do successfully. I’m waiting for the day when I work it out. I’ve managed to get this all done, but it was a big learning curve, and quite a reality check.

And what have you learnt about new Australian music and composers?

Firstly, how many people there are! It was daunting looking at the list to get going. Next, everyone’s motivations for creating new music. I loved talking to Nicole, whose teaching informs her artistic practice. We also live in a really exciting time, where physical boundaries no longer hold so much sway.

What did you most enjoy about your involvement?

I love meeting people – and I love talking to them. I’m one of those weirdos who loves small talk; it makes way for bigger conversations. If someone else just wanted to follow me around with a camera and a microphone, I’d be happy to do that for the rest of my life. Any takers?

What was one of the special moments in your interviews with these composers that really stood out for you?

I loved hearing Paul use his guitar to play an example.

What do you hope listeners can gain from your Making Conversation podcast?

I hope they get the chance to reflect on their own perspectives of new music, and the vibrancy of the Australian contemporary climate. I hope they feel they are a silent member of an engaging conversation.

Where to next for you?

Who knows? World domination? I’ll wait and see what life presents as the next challenge.


Listen to Sascha Kelly interview Nicole Murphy in this episode of Making Conversation!

Music in this episode:
Movement II & Movement VII from Stolen by Nicole Murphy
Performed byJulian Pellicano (conductor), Solomon Silber (electric guitar), David Perry (clarinet), Jeff Stern (percussion), Miki Sawada (piano), Ilana Waniuk (violin), Samuel Suggs (double bass)
Untangled by Nicole Murphy
Performed by Ars Nova Dallas (conducted by Jordan Randall Smith)

The music you heard in the opening and closing credits is:
I/O (2014), by Eli Simic-Prosic
For diskclavier, recorded by the composer.
Used with permission.

Support Eli Simic-Prosic:

Eli Simic-Prosic - publicity photo (1)

I/O. Eli Simic-Prosic. Recording of electroacoustic piece involving a disklavier. From the composer: “I/O explores multiple approaches to the sounds possible on the piano via electronic manipulation. Nothing is external; every element of the work originates in the analogue sounds made on the disklavier, a sort of modern, digitally-enabled version of the player piano”.

 Making Conversation production credits:

The Making Conversation: Australian Composers’ Podcast is brought to you by Making Waves.
This episode was recorded and produced by: Sascha Kelly
Audio consultant: Daniel Thorpe
Mixing and Mastering: Thomas Green
Executive Producers: Lisa Cheney and Peggy Polias Making Waves


Images supplied.

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