(Steller)

Noted, Recently

(Journal)
Published – 05.03.2020
(Writing)

For the past few nights, as I make my way in a slight forward stumble through the rain towards my door – awkwardly dodging puddles and fallen branches – there has been a small fox waiting for me quite near to my neighbors’ front fence. We eye each other as I approach; me nervously, her impatiently as if she’s been waiting for me for some time now and where the hell have I been? She is unmoved by me but wary, smelling my – what is that? – fear? We look at each other for about a mile; she shivers in the wind as I wobble my way across the uneven pavement. I speak to her gently; I am patronizing her, she must think. She is no common house pet, won over by tender prose. I should know better but here I am; bumbling, self-conscious, a fool. We stare, I fumble. We are at a loss. Then, as quickly as it has begun it is over; she goes galloping over the fence and away, and I am left standing in the cold, wet night wondering if it was me who said the wrong thing. Tomorrow night, I will try again.

The sign that hangs above the spot where the woman selling magazines stands says PLEASE DO NOT ASK FOR DIRECTIONS: THIS IS NOT AN INFORMATION BUREAU.

I would like very much to receive a letter or two. If you know of someone who might write, will you tell me? It’s been a busy winter, hurrying between things – one always hurries in winter, don’t you think? When it’s cold out, we can’t just stand around! But I’m quite sick of hurrying, and rugging up, and would like to write a letter and go for a walk with someone. Will you write when you have a moment? Oh, I know you don’t have a moment, what with the kids and the job and the house and all that nonsense, but if you do happen upon just a little stretch of time, won’t you write? It would mean, and I promise I’m not overstating this, the world. It would mean the world, do you hear what I’m saying? Just a short letter, a postcard even! Of course, no, of course. You have to run! Still! I’ll be around, by the letterbox. Of course, I’m joking! I’ll just peek in once or twice on my way to and from things. I won’t just stand there, who has the time. Not you, of course, with the kids and the job and the house. I know that. Still! I would like very much to receive a letter or two.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how, once you give into it a little, nice it is to be alone for great stretches of time, sitting on a train perhaps and looking at field after field. IT is quite something to be utterly quiet except for, say, the rumble of tracks and the clicking of carriage doors, watching the landscape – greens, browns, greys, cows – rolling past. I’m thinking of all this because I’ve been on several trains recently and the sitting and the looking have been much better than the getting off and walking around. In Antwerp, I was quite depressed and spent a long stretch of time lying on the hotel bed and staring at the ceiling. The train there, however, was a marvellous time. At the zoo there, I was briefly happy, or at least truly content, but then, finding myself back in the hotel room with the miserable little window that looked over only chimneys and supermarkets, I though, “ah, to be back on a train.”

Do you think beers with the names of women make them more attractive to men, subconsciously or otherwise? I’m watching groups of male friends standing in circles, necking these female-named schooners and talking in hushed voices in the airport lounge. I cannot hear what they’re saying, and I am scared of what I don’t know. I cower behind the fake plants. Time slows.

Overheard on the bus: a six-year-old explaining learning to his guardian, “maybe it’s going to be easy or hard.”

She lets her friends buy the wine, the roast dinners, and with the money she saves she seeks out paperbacks by the fistful that she reads while walking down main streets; tentatively avoiding traffic, tentatively avoiding eye contact. The fiction abates the loneliness for sweet pockets of time, returning her to childhood and family and days spent indoors with real hardbacks at hand and plates of apple slices, cheese sandwiches. She didn’t want to be lonely, but the loneliness is beginning to be comfortable, safe. How could she possibly leave?

The best places to scream:
In the middle of a field (but not near cows, if possible)
Into your pillow
At the top of a hill when it’s quite blustery out
Silently, in a Waitrose
Silently, in the shower
If you’re a possum, anywhere

(Articles)
Recent Reviews: August/September,
Limelight Magazine

Published – 07.09.2022

(Journal)

Air Mail’s 66 Questions
Published – 07.09.2022

(Journal)

Recent Reviews: June/July,
Limelight Magazine

Published – 15.07.2022

(Journal)

On Kunstkamer
Published – 16.06.2022

(Articles & Program Notes)

An Update
Published – 09.06.2022

(Journal)

Recent Reviews: April/May,
Limelight Magazine

Published – 23.05.2022

(Journal)

I Vespri Siciliani,
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

Published – 19.05.2022

(Articles & Program Notes)

Verdi & Prokofiev,
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

Published – 19.05.2022

(Articles & Program Notes)

A Collection
Published – 23.03.2022

(Journal)

Crying at Night
Published – 27.08.2021

(Journal)

Jam Tomorrow
Published – 18.07.2021

(Journal)

Rumaan Alam’s Current Enthusiasms
Published – 18.06.2021

(Journal)

A Musician’s Day
Published – 23.05.2021

(Journal)

Creating the Dream Team,
Musica Viva

Published – 20.05.2021

(Interviews)

There are Fairies,
Canberra Symphony Orchestra

Published – 26.04.2021

(Articles & Program Notes)

Konstantin Shamray,
Musica Viva

Published – 14.04.2021

(Interviews)

The Meaning of Alleluja,
Bach Akademie Australia

Published – 26.03.2021

(Articles & Program Notes)

Doing The Work
Published – 07.03.2021

(Journal)

Diana Doherty and Emma Jardine,
Musica Viva

Published – 20.02.2021

(Interviews)

Welcoming the New Year
Published – 07.01.2021

(Journal)

On hard times, for my friends.
Published – 10.08.2020

(Journal)

Luisa Miller,
Intermusica

Published – 22.07.2020

(Interviews)

Singing Violetta,
Intermusica

Published – 22.07.2020

(Interviews)

On Wondering
Published – 29.04.2020

(Journal)

A Couple Quick Things
Published – 05.04.2020

(Journal)

Staying Hopeful
Published – 24.03.2020

(Journal)

Hard Time Reminders
Published – 16.03.2020

(Journal)

Noted, Recently
Published – 05.03.2020

(Journal)

Through Winter, To Spring
Published – 04.03.2020

(Journal)

Poems for Summer
Published – 05.01.2020

(Journal)

Nevermind Review,
The Age

Published – 17.11.2019

(Articles & Program Notes)

Seraphim Trio Review,
The Age

Published – 17.11.2019

(Articles & Program Notes)

Stalin’s Piano Review,
The Age

Published – 17.11.2019

(Articles & Program Notes)

Australian Brandenburg Orchestra Review,
The Age

Published – 17.11.2019

(Articles & Program Notes)

Horsely & Williams Duo Review,
The Age

Published – 17.11.2019

(Articles & Program Notes)

Lina Andonovska Review,
The Age

Published – 17.11.2019

(Articles & Program Notes)

Brian Cox & MSO,
The Age

Published – 17.11.2019

(Articles & Program Notes)

Arcadia Winds Review,
The Age

Published – 17.11.2019

(Articles & Program Notes)

Nevermind Pre-Concert Talk,
Musica Viva

Published – 22.10.2019

(Articles & Program Notes)

Nicole Car in Recital,
Melbourne Recital Centre

Published – 09.08.2019

(Articles & Program Notes)

Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto,
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

Published – 03.07.2019

(Articles & Program Notes)

Verdi’s Requiem,
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

Published – 19.05.2019

(Articles & Program Notes)

Requiem Blog,
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

Published – 20.03.2019

(Articles & Program Notes)

New Year, New Words
Published – 20.01.2019

(Journal)

How To Be Perfect
Published – 06.01.2019

(Journal)

The Year, Gone
Published – 30.12.2018

(Journal)

Relationship to Work
Published – 03.12.2018

(Journal)

French Classics,
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

Published – 28.11.2018

(Articles & Program Notes)

Everything is Waiting
Published – 15.11.2018

(Journal)

In September, Things That Are New
Published – 29.09.2018

(Journal)

Make the Ordinary Come Alive
Published – 03.09.2018

(Journal)

New Music,
Darmstädter Ferienkurse

Published – 12.08.2018

(Articles & Program Notes)

Notes on Love
Published – 06.07.2018

(Journal)

Remember This Feeling
Published – 05.06.2018

(Journal)

Words in Mind
Published – 18.05.2018

(Journal)

Away From Home
Published – 16.05.2018

(Journal)

The Blank Page
Published – 14.05.2018

(Journal)

On Music and Friendship,
Orchestra Victoria

Published – 03.05.2018

(Articles & Program Notes)

Musical Directions
Published – 24.12.2017

(Journal)

Learning to Sing,
Rehearsal Magazine

Published – 17.12.2017

(Articles & Program Notes)

Behind-the-scenes of The Merry Widow,
Senza Sord

Published – 03.12.2017

(Interviews)

Musical Quirks,
Musica Viva

Published – 06.10.2017

(Articles & Program Notes)

Beauty and Tragedy,
Orchestra Victoria

Published – 24.07.2017

(Articles & Program Notes)

Eighth Blackbird,
The Music

Published – 23.02.2017

(Articles & Program Notes)

Schubert’s Swan Song
Published – 23.09.2016

(Articles & Program Notes)

Songmakers Australia,
Limelight Magazine

Published – 12.04.2016

(Interviews)

On Women in Music,
Ensemble Goldentree

Published – 05.03.2016

(Articles & Program Notes)

Grandma’s Hands,
Hundreds and Thousands

Published – 29.11.2014

(Articles & Program Notes)