AuthorJeffrey Anderson

Music: NZ’s Salina Fisher Shines in the US

New Zealand composer and musician Salina Fisher has racked yet another achievement – having the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra play one of her compositions.

The 25-year-old, who is currently taking a master of music in composition at the Manhattan School of Music, New York, said the request from the orchestra also came as a surprise to her. “I’d just moved to New York to experience what the music scene was like and I really wasn’t expecting to get a call from someone organising this concert,” Fisher told Newshub.

The composition, titled ‘Tōrino’, was co-created with Rob Thorne and features Māori instrument pūtōrino.

This wasn’t the first recognition for Fisher, who has been composing and playing piano and violin since childhood. In 2016 she won the SOUNZ Contemporary Award for her work ‘Rainphase’, being the youngest person ever to receive the honour. Her music has been performed by ensembles across the world, including in the US, Russia, Canada and Germany.

Fisher is due to finish her study in May and return to New Zealand afterwards.

Writing Poetry: Tips and Tricks

Everyone can write a poem – but it takes craft and practice to make a good one. If you’ve never written a poem, or want to revisit the form after dabbling in it in school, there are a few tips worth trying to help you begin (again) on a solid foundation. Here they are…

Read More

Expand your references and read a lot of poetry. This will help you understand the craft better and figure out the styles and structures you like (or dislike). Check out the Poetry Foundation’s website for some of the world’s best poems.

 

Write

The only way you can improve is by practicing and developing your portfolio. If possible, make a habit out of writing every day. Experiment by following new forms or sticking to reliable favourites. You can also take notes throughout the day of inspirations and observations on a journal.

 

Be Intentional

Before you start a poem, think about what you want to say. What message, theme or idea do you want to get across? Why do you want to write about it? With clear intentions, your poem will have a direction for the readers/audiences to navigate.

 

Count on All Senses

Rather than simply telling a message as is, use imagery and action. Besides sight, leverage other senses (smell, touch, taste, hearing) to create a more vivid reading experience.

 

Get into the Rhythm

In poetry, the rhythm and pacing are as important as the words. It doesn’t necessarily have to rhyme, but every good poetry has an identifiable flow and/or musicality. To enhance the poem’s rhythm, try using active sentences (“I hold the pillow” rather than “the pillow is held by me”) or breaking the passage in different ways.

 

Team Up

It’s time to take your poetry out to the world. Join a poetry community, watch readings, participate in workshops, and get some feedback on your work from your peers. Afterwards, you can go back to writing with redrafts and revisions.

Event: Japanese Film Festival Classics at AGNSW, Sydney

This month, the Japanese Film Festival Classics is returning to the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

With the theme of Passion and Obsession, the festival is screening 16mm and 35mm films from the Japanese Golden Age and New Wave eras. These films not only represent the vision of cinematic legends such as Kenji Mizoguchi and Yoshishige Yoshida, but also offer glimpses into different faces of Japan throughout the decades – from star-crossed lovers divided by class in the Meiji era to early modern feminists fighting against the societal status quo.

The screenings run Wednesdays and select Saturdays and Sundays for free. For the full program and more information, visit the AGNSW’s website.

October 3-31 | Domain Theatre, Art Gallery of NSW, Art Gallery Road, Sydney

Photography: Melbourne’s VAC Gallery Calls for Submissions for October Exhibition

A chance to showcase your photography work has arrived – the VAC Gallery in Melbourne is calling for submissions for its upcoming exhibition.

Set to launch in October, the exhibition Moving Melbourne: Cities don’t stand still will be highlighting “a Melbourne that’s always in motion”. Photographers are invited to submit up to three images of street photography (not posed or studio) that pay homage to the theme.

Submissions are open until Wednesday, September 19. For more information, visit the website.

Event: Yaeji at Sydney Opera House, Sydney

The Internet famous singer, DJ and producer is hitting Sydney before the year ends.

After touring around the world and performing on world-class stages such as Coachella, Panorama and Way Out West, Kathy Lee aka Yaeji is bringing her signature house music to the Opera House for an evening full of dancefloor burners and hazy Korean-English raps.

Tickets are $59 excluding booking fee, and will be sold starting Friday, September 7 at 9am. For more information, visit the Opera House website.

Saturday, December 1, 9pm | Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney

Creating and Publishing Your Digital Stories: Tools to Help

It’s 2018 – while Tim Winton might argue that books are the supreme form of writing, there is indeed a movement away from the conventional paperback to more interactive media that give the readers a fresher, more involved paper-free experience. Here are a few open source tools that you can try to make your own story book – no publishers or agents needed.

Twine

“Twine is an open-source tool for telling interactive, nonlinear stories.

You don’t need to write any code to create a simple story with Twine, but you can extend your stories with variables, conditional logic, images, CSS, and JavaScript when you’re ready.

Twine publishes directly to HTML, so you can post your work nearly anywhere. Anything you create with it is completely free to use any way you like, including for commercial purposes.”

 

Squiffy

“Squiffy is a tool for creating interactive fiction – that is, multiple choice games that focus on text and story. Players navigate through the game or story by clicking links. Sometimes these kinds of games or stories are known as gamebooks.

Squiffy is free and open source. It creates HTML and JavaScript, so you can upload it to your own website, or you can upload your games for free to textadventures.co.uk. You can also turn your game into an app using PhoneGap.”

 

Quest

“Quest lets you make interactive story games. Text adventure games like Zork and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Gamebooks like the Choose Your Own Adventure and Fighting Fantasy books. You don’t need to know how to program. All you need is a story to tell. Your game can be played anywhere. In a web browser, downloaded to a PC, or turned into an app.”

 

Storybird

“Storybird lets anyone make visual stories in seconds. We curate artwork from illustrators and animators around the world and inspire writers of any age to turn those images into fresh stories.”

Ways to Self-Publishing

Gatekeeping has become less and less prominent these days, with everyone being able to create and share content with a touch of fingertip. It’s the same with publishing. For aspiring writers, self-publishing has become more and more popular in the recent years – what’s more enticing than the idea that you can make your own story book and have it in stores for others to read?

If you’re decided, there are a few paths towards self-publishing that you can consider.

DIY

The first is to organise everything yourself – copyediting, typesetting, formatting, designing, printing and marketing. This method gives you the most freedom, creative- and budget-wise. You can also reap the largest proceedings from the sales, since you don’t have to share the profits with anybody else (apart from any distribution-related costs, such as online retailer fee for e-books and print on demand for paperbacks).

 

Assemble a Team

You can hire external help for assistance in regards to various aspects of your book. This might include editors, proofreaders, illustrators, designers and publicists. This will lift off some tasks from you, but it can also be a lot pricier.

 

Hire a Publisher

There are a lot of hybrid publishing companies that you can hire to take on the “publisher” role for you – that is, they will take care of the design, formatting, editing/proofreading, copyright filing, marketing and more. You will have full ownership of your work, although in some cases the profits might be shared.

 

Which path are you most interested in?

Event: Sydney Contemporary

This September, the annual international art fair is returning to Carriageworks for its fourth year running.

Held from September 13 to 16, Sydney Contemporary is bringing the largest and more diverse gathering of local and international galleries, showcasing the works of more than 300 leading and emerging artists from over 30 countries. Alongside the galleries, there will be curated sectors for contemporary video, installation art and performance as well as engaging panel discussions, guided tours and educational workshops.

The participating restaurants for this year are yet to be announced, but considering the impressive lineups from last year (Billy Kwong by Kylie Kwong and Kitchen by Mike McEnearney) and the year before (Longrain and Subcontinental), we can set our expectations high.

Tickets start from $10. For more information, visit the website.

September 13-16 | Carriageworks, 245 Wilson Street, Eveleigh

Visual Arts: Photography is “More Dead than Ever”, Says Wim Wenders

Renowned filmmaker and photographer Wim Wenders has declared photography to be “more dead than ever”, thanks to the rise of smartphones.

In a BBC video, Wenders said while “billions” of pictures are taken every day, photography “is more dead than ever”.

“The trouble with iPhone pictures is nobody sees them,” said Wenders. “Even the people who take them don’t look at them anymore, and they certainly don’t make prints.”

While more cameras today come with features meant to assist people in creating photographs, Wenders suggested these might impede creativity. “I know from experience that the less you have, the more creative you have to become,” he said.

Wenders also said selfies do not count as photography. “I take selfies myself, of course,” said Wenders, “but it’s not photography. Looking into a mirror is not an act of photography.”

Wenders is not alone in having this sentiment. Mexican photojournalist Antonio Olmos also said that phone cameras represent a threat to photography. “Photographers are getting destroyed by the rise of iPhones,” said Olmos.

“The photographers who used to make £1000 for a weekend taking wedding pictures are the ones facing the squeeze. Increasingly, we don’t need photographers – we can do just as well ourselves.”

For this reason, Britain’s Nick Knight refused to be identified as a photographer. “I think photography stopped years ago and we shouldn’t try and hold back a new medium by defining it with old terms,” Knight said in an interview with The Business of Fashion’s Tim Blanks.

“I call it image-making — please could someone get a better description of it — because that’s what I do… So it’s based on image. That gets away from the thing of truth. Photography has been saddled as the medium of truth for so many years. That’s where its criticism has always been directed, ‘This photograph has been manipulated’ … I’m very pleased that image-making has freed itself from those constraints.”

Do you share any of this view? Is photography dead, and has “image-making” taken its place?

Event: Chris Saunders’s Liquid Therapy Tour, Sydney

New York-based singer/songwriter Chris Saunders is coming to Sydney after the release of his first solo full-length album, Liquid Therapy.

Combining the sounds of traditional indie rock and soul with reggae/hip-hop/dancehall elements, the album explores personal journeys and relationships formed under the influence of alcohol and music.

The performance – set to be held in the Newsagency, Annandale – will be a part of the Sydney Fringe Festival.

Tickets are $18 online, and $25 at the door. For more information, visit the Sticky Tickets website.

Tuesday, September 25, 8.30-9.30pm | The Newsagency, 74-76 Pyrmont Bridge Road, Annandale