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By Rhys Lett

What We Listened To – Summer 2019

I asked the teachers of the Eastern Suburbs School of Music what they listened to over the summer break. We always learn through greater listening. Find out what new music caught their ears in Summer 2019.

Nick Hughes – Drums – Boronia

A few up and coming Australian alternative rock bands have featured in my listening while overseas for the summer. Bands like Ceres, Slowly Slowly, Trophy Eyes and West Thebarton came out with some great tunes last year. As a result it gave me a little taste of home during my travels. I also listened to Thornhill, who came out with one of my favourite EP’s last year, ‘Butterfly’. Check it out if you like the heavier stuff!

Thornhill members were also students of the Eastern Suburbs School of Music.

Rhys Lett – Guitar/Bass/Piano/Ukulele – Boronia and Carrum Downs

I have gone through a big Grateful Dead period over summer. They have an enormous number of live recordings documented. Using the free Relisten app I have enjoyed concerts from all stages of their history from the 1960s-1990s. These days surviving members of the band perform as Dead and Company. John Mayer has filled the void left by late guitarist Jerry Garcia.

Sarah Adelenis – Singing/Piano – Boronia

I listened to The Greatest Showman: Reimagned album. It’s been great to hear new versions of each song. Every artist on the album has made it their own but kept the original song alive. As a growing musician, I’ve learnt to make the song my own and have people wanting to hear more.

Daniel Lijnders – Bass/Guitar – Boronia

I listened to a lot of YouTube and Spotify versions of summer hits performed live. George Ezra ‘Shotgun’, Shawn Mendes and Bruno Mars (‘Treasure live at The Brit Awards) all have great musicians that add flair to studio tracks. Also plenty of “Live From Daryls House” and “Live from Abbey Road” gems to listen to.

Sarah Garth – Guitar – Boronia

My favourite music from this summer are offerings from the pop charts. Ava Max’s ‘Sweet But Psycho’ to Sam Smith and Calvin Harris’s ‘Promises’. I am continually inspired by the art and science of pop songwriting. I’ve learned that musicality is something to appreciate, regardless of what instrument you play.

Sunny Fischer – Piano – Boronia

Always a big fan of folk/blues guitarist prodigy Kim Churchill. First saw him live at Port Fairy folk festival many years ago. Love his use of open tuning, amazing guitar work and great percussive effects on the instrument. Very Good!!
I also discovered the music to Woody Allen’s movie Cafe Society. Set in the 1930’s, it’s great exposure to jazz of this era. As a result is has been helpful in expanding jazz piano improvisation techniques. One track even includes some quirky violin and castanets!