Local musicians Justina (24, Malvern) and Morna (23, Ashwood) have always been passionate about classical music, however are sometimes frustrated with the unspoken barrier between contemporary audiences and classical performance (what with the assumed high ticket prices, fancy venues and expectations of when/when not to clap etc.) Wanting to break down that wall, Justina and Morna are presenting a Self-Made series of pop-up events, to expose their artfom in a more casual and unsuspecting setting.
MMW: Have you ever organised an event like this before?
J: Morna and I run Classical Revolutions, a Sunday afternoon session for classical chamber music groups at Open Studio (High St Northcote). I’ve organised countless string quartet and piano trio concerts for groups that I play with and also the last two concert series for Forest Collective, a mixed media arts organisation.
M: But nothing anywhere as unconventional as what we’re doing for Self-Made.
MMW: Has the support of CoM and the Self-Made Godparents assisted in your planning?
M: The support of the Self-Made Godparents has been invaluable in the development of our project. Penny and Quincy’s suggestions expanded upon our original concept of playing classical music in unconventional locations and encouraged us to be much more adventurous in our choice of locations which has been exciting.
J: Plus the support from the CoM have been great with helping us find locations, they know the city inside out!
MMW: What does being a part of the Self-Made series mean to you?
J: For me, Self-Made has been a chance to share something I love with the wider community. Classical chamber music has bought me so much joy so I try and seize every opportunity I can to bring it to others.
MMW: What is the benefit in presenting your event as part of MMW?
M: I believe it is the opportunity to reach a wider audience than one might for an independent classical music performance in a more conventional venue. Not only does this allow the general public to be introduced to music they wouldn’t usually listen to, but also provides the performers with a different type of audience.
J: Another exciting aspect was the opportunity to offer a different flavour to the festival palate as we would sit on the program alongside completely different (non classical) musical projects.
MMW: What are you looking forward to most in presenting your event?
M: The reactions from the people who stumble across our musicians, as well as the feedback from the performers of their experience.
J: Musicians don’t often do these sorts of pop up events so it’ll be something different for everyone!
MMW: What do you think makes Melbourne a music City?
M: I think Melbourne’s diversity distinguishes it as a unique music City. There is something for everyone and it’s so important that there is an audience for every genre as well. The number of live music venues available for every genre ranging from metal to classical is also an integral part of Melbourne’s musical identity.
MMW: Is music your full-time passion or does it influence your current practice? and how?
M: Music is my ‘full-time passion’. I studied classical piano at university and am now pursuing further study which will hopefully result in a career as a musician.
J: Music keeps me sane. When you’re playing the violin there’s no way you can be answering emails or thinking about what you’re going to eat for dinner, you definitely go to a different place.
MMW: What advice do you have for other people like yourself, wanting to host interesting and new events in the City?
M: I would advise them to go for it! And to suggest approaching as many organisations as they can in order to receive any assistance they might need to successfully pull off their idea. There is a fantastic amount of support available, from City of Melbourne to arts councils to smaller organisations.
J: Just be super organised and know what you want. It’s also important to know what’s already going on and how your event will fit in with the scene.
What do you hope to do after presenting this event?
M: I hope to continue performing and organising events which presents classical music in an engaging, interesting and challenging way.
J: Personally, I’d like to get better at this playing the violin thing.
Full Self-Made program announced 4 October.
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Photos by Alex Schoelcher