2018 is now well and truly coming to a close. 2019 brings us new performing opportunities and a possibility of growth, but it should also provide us with a chance to evaluate what we did in 2018 and how we can improve our own banding movements. Unfortunately, community banding is not growing, and unless the current players and bands change their ways, there is every chance community banding may become less and less relevant.
That is why I am challenging you all in 2019 to take on at least one of my 5 achievable New Year's Resolutions for 2019. I know I will be tackling all of these with my involvement with my own band, as well as my compositional career. If everyone took these steps on board, we would find our banding movements to be more enticing and enjoyable for non-bandspeople.
Now well and truly in love with modern brass band music, having attended the Australian Championships and watched the New Zealand Band Championships this year, I thought it was time to check out the best of the best at the European Brass Band Championships 2017 (EBBC). Although I couldn't watch the live stream due to work commitments, I did purchase the Championship Section Own Choice recordings, and it has inspired so much internal discussion, that I just had to share some of it with you! So below are six observations I made from the contest.
The title says it all. I've reflected on the music of this year, and compiled my favourite live or studio recorded performances from 2016 into one list. There's something for everyone in here!
It is December, and the Christmas cheer is rife. There's the smell of pine, the jingling of bells and plump elderly men become the centre of attraction. However, for the older kids amongst us, December means a time to vote, for democracy and hopefully the success of an underdog. It's time to vote for triple j's Hottest 100 Countdown.
Unfortunately, for students, exam time is here, and it is time for heads down and bums up. And incredibly, I find that in my procrastination, I suddenly have 100 new compositions I want to write, but I need to keep focussed on the work at hand... So, turning my back to my year 7 teachers who warned me not to study with music on, here's my top 7 albums to pop on while I'm studying.
It’s September, and for many, that means 4 weekends of stubbies, snags and a shedload of footy. Two of Australia’s leading sport leagues have their grand finals this weekend (AFL and NRL), and hopefully they should both be fantastic games! At last, both will be featuring fantastic Australian talent, with the AFL showcasing Vance Joy and The Living End, and the NRL bringing Keith Urban back from his recent fame in the United States.
But when I compare the two leagues, I do notice the striking lack of team songs within the NRL. Unlike AFL, where each team enjoys their victories with a cheesy cover of some classic European folk song, NRL victors celebrate to top 40 hits like “Geronimo”. And this has made me wonder, coming into Grand Final weekend, whether team songs are successful and necessary attachments for Australian sporting teams, especially in leading sporting leagues.
Recently, I attended a pretty average gig.
And I don’t mean the music was rubbish. In fact, it was pretty top-notch gig and deserved a raging crowd. What made the gig sub-par was the dismal audience attendance.
Since I was 12, I have busked in the Melbourne CBD, from Christmas Carols in the weeks leading up to the end of the year, through to my own compositions with Suit Yourself. I am incredibly disappointed to hear of the council's ban on amplified busking along Swanston Street, not only because the ban includes Suit Yourself's favourite busking location beside City Square, but because it is going to destroy the city's musical and universal atmosphere.
As a uni student, I understand how frugal we can be when it comes to all things; from cheap sushi between classes to hoarding any freebie handouts. However, amongst all this thriftiness, there has been an emerging trend of internet piracy, in which our generation expects they can torrent any music, movies and TV shows for free. Not only is this illegal, but it is robbing from hard working artists and producers that rely on the income from their works. For upcoming artists, like your average local pub gigger or the DJ living next door, music piracy can have an even more detrimental effect than it does on multi-millionaire superstars like Adele and David Guetta.
Bringing an end to music piracy is virtually impossible. Having said that, there are still ways to support your local music scene that has been disadvantaged by such illegal downloads. And even better, you don’t necessarily have to pay a cent!
In a society where music streaming and (heavens forbid) music piracy reign supreme, it is terrifying to watch to what extremes musicians now need to go to sell their albums and make an income. With an absolute bombardment of music in every corner of our busy lives, it may be difficult to imagine how hard musicians and their publicity team work. Yet, it now takes a huge publicity stunt to get sales rolling for even the musical legends of our era. Long gone are the days of poster advertisements and a good review on Countdown. Artists are resorting to unusual and ridiculous measures to sell their musical products to you.
Jared loves to share his passion for music and artists through music reviews and commentaries. These include a selection of reviews written for community radio stations 3MBS and Radio Monash.