June 2023 Newsletter

Retro inspired poster of Svalbard with polar bears and mountains made by Thomas Olsson

I’m back. The month started in Iceland and I’ve travelled to Jan Mayer, Svalbard and Oslo since, still seems surreal. My travel newsletters are still being written hopefully some will be out by the next newsletter. I might have even created a slideshow and there will be a slideshow party at my place. Back in Sydney I’ve returned to a house that has almost been repaired from the flooding last year. I’ve been off to concerts and catching up with friends.


Sydney Symphony Brass Musicians

I flew in the morning of this concert. It’s one of my favourites. This year’s concert didn’t disappoint. The brass section was supplemented with percussion and everyone was having a great time. The theme was dances. It was a great line up of songs with hilarious commentary in between.

  • Prince Igor, Act II: Polovtsian Dances by Alexander Borodin arr. Georges Moreau
  • Three Norwegian Dances by Mogens Andersen
  • Three Villancicos by Juan Del Encina arr. Scott Kinmont
  • María de Buenos Aires: Suite by Astor Piazzolla arr. Stephen Verhelst
  • Music for the Royal Fireworks HWV 351 by George Frederic Handel arr. Elgar Howarth

I had a great night. Very inspiring. Especially the Three Villancicos which are ‘early music’, 1490s, that comes like a Jazz chart with just the melody and the chords. This gave Scott a great starting point to interpret and arrange these dance-songs for brass and percussion. Check out the program and a playlist on Spotify.

Live at The Great

Miss Jen and I went to The Great Synagogue to see a performance of the Eight Seasons. The Vivaldi Four Seasons vs the Piazzolla Four Seasons. The Vivaldi was performed by solo violin with 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass and harpsicord. It was ok. I did have a flash back to one of the movements of the Double Bass Concerto by Paul Dean subtitled “Building a Better Banana” which refers to doing things differently just to do it differently. A good performance all the same.

The two four seasons were separated by the six seasons told by Aboriginal elder Uncle Leslie McCleod, accompanied by didgeridoo player Robert Weatheral. The six seasons certainly make sense for Sydney. The piece was let down with the lack of charisma displayed which was a shame. For more information about the six seasons of the D’harawal to check out this BOM article.

The Piazzolla Four Seasons of Buenos Aires arranged by Leonid Desyatnikov. The performance had a lot more energy than the Vivaldi. It was very enjoyable. I absolutely love this arrangement. If you want to hear the original by Astor Pizzolla check it out here it is very cool as well.

For a full review of the concert check out this article on Limelight. If you want to listen to the music here is a playlist on Spotify.

Cool things from the Internet

Travel Posters

I stumbled across these posters on the internet archive. Here are some of my favourites.

If travel posters aren’t your thing check out these car ads or these maps.

Tea maker alarm clocks

So I have shared links about this before but here is a whole website dedicated to them. You can still buy them from Swan or a coffee version from Joy Resolve.


Of course I can’t have a newsletter without mentioning the cricket and motorsport. First cricket, 3 big events, the ICC World Test Championship final, the Women’s Ashes and Men’s Ashes. The ICC World Test Championship final sees the top two Test nations after two years of test matches meet in the England. This time it was Australia verse India at the Oval. Australia had a convincing win, unfortunately I didn’t get to see much of it as I was away. Onto the Women’s Ashes. The English are hosting this time and it kicked off with a test match, which was a thrilling game that went to the fifth day and saw Australia get across the line and win by 89 runs. The Men’s Ashes also kicked off with 2 very tight games and a lot of hyped up controversy. Australia has taken a 2 nil lead.

The month has seen a lot of motorsport with the MotoGP doing back to back weekends as they head into the summer break. The Rally Italia Sardegna and the Safari Rally Kenya were on. Spectacular scenery and amazing challenging roads. The World Rallycross season has also kicked off with races in Portugal and Hell in Norway (unfortunately after I got home, I will make it to Rallycross one day). It’s a bit more exciting this year with a new team joining with Sebastian Loeb driving for them. Two people to cheer for (if you didn’t know the other is Kevin Hansen). Also all the Fs have been going on as well. Also there was Supercars from Darwin and it was very exciting Mark ‘Frosty’ Winterbottom won for the first time since 2016. Also there was three different winners over the weekend.

Coming up in July

Come see me play

North Sydney Symphony Orchestra Flyer

I’ll be doing my second concert with North Sydney Symphony Orchestra on July 29th. This time we are off to the Conservatory of Music to perform Dvořák’s 8th Symphony, Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto and Sibelius’ Finlandia. To get your tickets and find out more information head here. If you want to listen to the program I have made a playlist here.

Homestay students

At the end of the month I’ll be hosting my first lot of Homestay students from Japan. Two boys aged 16. I think it’s going to be fun.

Anyway that’s enough from me. I hope you all have an amazing month.