Everyone has experienced ANAM differently this year. Recently, we teamed up with photographer Pia Johnson to capture how ANAM has looked for a few of our musicians by inviting them to take part in a photoshoot over Zoom.
Below is a selection of images from the photoshoots and a message from each musician involved describing where their ANAM has been in 2020. You can also view more of the images at the end of the page.
From our homes to yours, we send our thanks and best wishes to all those who have supported ANAM this year and followed us on this journey.
I’ve been spending most of this year’s ANAM program in the spare room of my parents’ house in Canberra, as it has the perfect balance of natural light and WiFi signal. My Mum’s artworks and houseplants have since become prominent features of flute class! I do have to share the room with our cat, but she exits pretty promptly at the first sound of a flute (which is slightly hurtful). It’s been quite a privilege to have such a beautiful room to practise and study in, even if it couldn’t be in Melbourne.
Lily Bryant ACT flute
I've been spending a lot of time in my little shed out the back of my house, practising, reading, and attending the ANAM classes. Some days recently though, it has been particularly hot in the shed. On these days I like to sit out on the couches in our undercover area and enjoy the breeze (and a change of scenery)!
Sean Burke QLD tuba
Freya came to stay with me at my family home in Sydney for about five weeks over the holidays. We met in Coffs Harbour and camped under the stars on a macadamia farm, before spending a few days driving down the coast back to Sydney, stopping at as many rainforests, waterfalls, lakes and beaches as we could.
Meg Cohen NSW violin
Meg and I were both performing in ANAM at MDCH: Bach, Britten and Mendelssohn so we decided to sync up our practice schedules to motivate each other. We always had the puzzle page of the newspaper to keep us entertained away from our instruments. When the weather was good, we’d often walk along many of the harbour and coastal walking trails, trying to spot whales and seals off the cliffs.
Freya Hombergen WA horn
Over the course of this year’s training at ANAM, I have predominantly been training online from home in Melbourne. Fortunately, my bedroom has relatively good acoustics and I have found this space works well for lessons, with the help of a good external microphone of course! Upon relocating from Perth to Melbourne this year to commence my training at ANAM, I could have never imagined a life studying from home, but I have managed to keep inspired through the wonderful network of musicians, faculty and support that ANAM has continued to so generously provide. I also have a few special items around the place to remind me of home and my incredible past musical experiences. One of my favourites is a signed poster from German Clarinettist Sabine Meyer and the Alliage Quintet, a relic of their 2018 tour to Australia where I was fortunate to play in a masterclass for Sabine. In my spare time, I find getting outside for some exercise helps to refresh my mind. Whilst I never envisaged working from home this year, it’s challenged me in so many ways and taught me how to make the most of any opportunity, big or small!
Oliver Crofts WA clarinet
If I told you our unit has a living room, a dining room, the office and a music room, you'd think I lived in luxury! Unfortunately, all four of these spaces fit in the same four walls, which has forced me to consider using more vertical storage to hold my mallets and instruments. ANAM generously loaned me a selection of instruments, allowing me to practise the vibraphone, snare drum, and a variety of accessories. Thankfully, our neighbouring apartment is currently unoccupied, which gives me some freedom in how often I can make music at home. For my lessons, I use a Zoom webcam mounted on a microphone stand, which gives the best camera angles for my teachers to view my playing and give feedback. In my downtime, I often go for walks to local St Kilda parks while practicing my French with audiobooks. C'est très bien!
Nathan Gatenby QLD percussion
During the lockdown, most of my practice time has been spent in a bungalow out in the backyard of my house in Coburg. Since the internet doesn’t really connect with the space, the online components of ANAM happen in the living area of the main house where these photos were taken. I live with my five other friends who are also creatives. They’ve been an absolute dream to live with throughout iso.
Hana King NSW violin
Throughout the lockdown I’ve been with my parents in the home I grew up in, and getting the bulk of my practice and study done in my childhood bedroom. While I miss having access to purpose-built practice rooms and beautiful spaces like the South Melbourne Town Hall, I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to work from home and have no limitations on when I can practise (except not practising too late at night, of course).
As you can see from the photos, I have a few framed prints on my wall. I grew up with a lot of art around me, as my father is an art historian and publisher, and for a few years my parents ran an art gallery together in Southbank. Looking back on it, it has definitely been very inspiring to have had so much art in my life.
About ten years ago I realised that I had an empty wall in my room, and I knew I had to decorate it somehow. Around this time Melbourne was phasing out paper Metcards and had introduced plastic Myki cards for the city’s public transport, and I had a big stack of used tickets lying around. It was only a matter of time before I stuck them all on the wall, and they’re still a fun splash of colour in my room today. They also make a nice backdrop for video recordings!
James Littlewood VIC bass trombone
During the lockdown, I was fortunate enough to be able to stay with my family in Melbourne. ANAM very generously lent some instruments to the percussionists, including a large tuned instrument each. In my case, this meant clearing space for a five-octave marimba, which is what I’ve been spending most of my time practising during lockdown. It’s not often you have easy access to one of these, so I’ve been trying to make the most of it!
I borrowed a few of ANAM’s hand drums as well, including the udu, a Nigerian instrument resembling a ceramic water jug. A similar instrument called the ghatam is found in Indian music as well. It’s been great building technique for it (and endurance – hitting a ceramic instrument with your bare hands takes its toll after a while!) alongside some my own drums, such as the daf – a frame drum used a lot in Kurdish and Persian music. Hand drums and world percussion are a particular interest of mine, and I love listening to and learning more about music outside of Western art music.
Alexander Meagher VIC percussion
Since we moved here in April, I have been so fortunate to live in a beautiful beach townhouse in Port Melbourne with my family. Pictured in the background of these photos is the cello I played last year in my first few months at ANAM (before I received my current cello on loan from the ANAM instrument collection). It was my first full-size cello – and an instrument close to my heart – and it now belongs to my mother, an amateur cellist. In between online ANAM classes, I’ve been spending my time completing online studies at the University of Melbourne, organising virtual game nights with friends, and, of course, walking along the sand at Port Melbourne Beach. From my home to yours, wishing you and your loved ones safety and joy; the constant support of the ANAM family has meant the world to me this year, and I can’t wait to make music again with colleagues near and far.
Charlotte Miles VIC cello
I've been really lucky to be able to move back to my parents’ house in Tasmania where I am able to practise every day. I have two practice spaces that I use regularly in the house. I do most of my practice in my bedroom, which has very dry and revealing acoustics. However, I also make sure to play in the lounge room (pictured in the photos) every now and then, so that I remember the great feeling of playing in a resonant and forgiving performance space. My teacher Yoram Levy (ANAM Head of Brass, Trumpet Faculty) is based in Tasmania as well so I've been fortunate to be able to have regular one-on-one lessons with him throughout this year.
Darcy O'Malley TAS trumpet
I am so grateful to ANAM for lending me an upright piano, which was generously donated to ANAM in memory of Pamela J W Miskin. It’s definitely helped keep me sane through these times, although I don’t think it had quite the same effect on the neighbours (hence the doona over the soundboard!). When I am feeling extra creative, or looking for a different outlet to explore, I love to sit down with my synthesiser and experiment with the flexibility of sound.
You may be wondering why on earth my iPad screen looks green – no it’s not your eyes! Like me, my eye muscles tend to need a little help relaxing, so the green hue allows my eyes to do that and read the music much more easily. Throughout the lockdown, I’ve also been working on my relaxing (read: self-care) skills, and have really enjoyed taking time to cook nutritious food for my body and soaking in a magnesium salt bath to help the muscles release after a day of practice and classes.
Hannah Pike QLD piano
In the last few months I have been able to do a few performances, and have spent some time working on string quartet arrangements for various bands in Perth. However – more importantly – I've spent a fair bit of time thinking and discussing ways to move forward after this year: what parts of our approach to this craft do we want to strip away, and what will be left when we do so?
Jared Yapp WA viola
This is the space in which I’ve spent most of my life this year. It’s turned out to be exceptionally multi-purpose, being my practice room, teaching studio, dining room, exercise studio and dance floor. I’ve been practising away on the baby upright piano on loan from ANAM. While small, it can still pack a punch, which my downstairs neighbours can attest to – that’s where my electronic keyboard comes in handy, which I sometimes play with headphones in, but often on silent to help with my kinaesthetic awareness. I also picked up a snazzy mustard-coloured chair from the side of the road a couple of doors down, to round out my Cosy Crochet Corner. Crochet is something new I’ve picked up this year and I’ve made some uniquely proportioned infinity scarves. I’ve also reading about body mapping, getting to know my local neighbourhood and working towards a free handstand.
Jennifer Yu QLD piano
Photography by Pia Johnson