BY ANTONIA ZAPPIA
Nothing beats that newly discovered melody or harmony you find while poring endlessly over late-night study.
It is the instance of your feet tapping to a fiery paced allegro, or your heart melting as your breath slows in time with a soothing largo. Your attention is piqued as your head turns – pen scribbling or fingers texting halt to a pause. The mind begins to puzzle.
What composer is this?!
Is this being performed live?
Oh, that is so groovy!
We’ve all experienced that magical moment. But what auditory adventure suits you best? Are you The Concertgoer, or The YouTuber? Get ready to take a journey, and find out how you might just unearth your next favourite piece of music.
The Analogue Life
Great for taking your artistic journey (partially) offline.
1. First up, navigate to your nearest library.
2. From here, there are three options:
- Walk to the score collection, trace your finger along, and pick out the first title that interests you.
- Stand by the CD collection and look for the most outlandish, colourful, ugly, or aesthetically pleasing cover art you can find. Do this three times.
- If it is available, borrow a copy of 1001 Classical Recordings You Must Hear Before You Die to flick through. Apply the principles used in the CD or score option.
3. Some libraries have public computers and/or CD players so use these facilities to unlock the treasure chests you’ve recently unearthed. Or you can sign up to the library and borrow the items.
This can easily become a squad outing.
1. Even the most seasoned concertgoer or, for that matter, classical musician can’t be expected to get through all the repertoire from the Renaissance to the 21st Century. There is bound to be a piece you have not heard. So to begin, chill.
2. Put on your comfy clothes or fancy pants and make your way to your concert of choice. The only rule is you must not know at least one piece on the program. The more you scratch your head at a program, the more the incentive to go see it. Think of all the trinkets you could find!
3. Keep the program handy or revisit the program online for when you strike gold in the midst of listening.
More than just a vault of adorable cat videos.
1. Start by searching for a piece you know.
2. Click absently on the right-hand suggestions at least three times and – voila! You may have found something!
3. Or, simply search for the channel Unsung Masterworks. You’re welcome.
The Study Life
Great for radio listeners (there are lots of wonderful digital radio apps now available, too!).
1. The scavenger hunt commences. You’re humming along to sad, study life…
2. Cue that light and briskly skipping upper register piano!
3. Your eyes widen, ears perk up…
4. And the piece ends. You immediately switch back to studies, missing the most pertinent moment – the back-announcement!
5. Scramble for a pen and some paper to record the details you have at hand – the announcer, segment, station, time, and date.
6. To the magical internets!
7. Bless the ABC Classic FM’s catalogue of daily program listings.
8. Find the location of the treasure using the clues you have previously collected.
9. Buy, download and enjoy the newly found gem until the next scavenger hunt.
The Podcast Life
Great for internet enthusiasts (aren’t we all, though?).
1. Go to Making Waves.
2. Find the type of ‘wave’ you want to surf.
3. Sit back and enjoy a playlist of 21st Century contemporary classical works from Australia and abroad, carefully curated by composers Peggy Polias and Lisa Cheney.
4. If you’d prefer to know a little more about your composers before checking out their work, navigate to the Making Conversation.
5. Here, you’ll have an interviewer and composer guide you through some awesome sonic adventures.
6. Making Waves has all the magical hyperlinks you could wish for if exploring these musical trails further appeals to you.
New musical gems that I found using the above methods
- The Analogue Life – I have a copy of 1001 Classical Recordings You Must Hear Before You Die, and I opened it at the middle to come across Elgar’s Sea Pictures, Op. 37
- The Concertgoer – Gideon Klein’s Trio for Violin, Viola and Cello
- The YouTuber – Théodore Gouvy’s Piano Quintet in A Major, Op. 24
- The Study Life – Felix Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio No. 1 in D minor, Op. 49
- The Podcast Life – Cameron Lam’s The Colour of Woods
What life-changing piece of music have you found on your listening journey?
Disclaimer: Many members of our editorial team are involved in Making Conversation – a Making Waves podcast series in conversation with Australian composers – including Antonia. Read more about it in our behind-the-scenes interviews with the journalists.