How lucky was I to actually get an in-person graduation...never mind that I'm still here for another year to finish off the Honours
It has not been a very easy time to do this degree. In fact, when I started it in 2019, I didn't anticipate that I would be trying to complete more than half of it in some of the most difficult circumstances in recent living memory - not just difficult for a degree, but also for working, living, and merely existing.
So it made graduating on February 8, 2022 - in-person! - so much more meaningful. I was so grateful to have that moment where I could sit and reflect on achieving such an important milestone in such hard times. And not only to survive these times, but thrive!
[Receiving my degree from the ANU Chancellor, The Hon Julie Bishop]
Now about the actual degree - it's been just great. I have really had such an amazing chance to explore and develop niches and hone skills - not just as a musician but as a performer, an artist, and a thinker. This Bachelor has been full of such diverse experiences, from creating audiovisual works about sex to performing one-on-one in a diplomat's home, and highlights like recording and producing my debut album and being the Young Artist at the Canberra International Music Festival 2021.
It's also been a space to get into specific areas I'm interested in without being held up by the traditional focus on classical music - particularly music by (very) dead, white, European men. Instead, I've been able to really become acquainted with contemporary Australian music, promote diversity in programming, keep up my jazz studies, and also engage with music well beyond the traditional scope expected of a Bachelor of Music; film music, hip hop, alternative rock, and Indigenous musics around the world. I can only thank ANU School of Music for promoting diversity and forward-thinking and doing away with the conservatorium-model's obsession with pedagogy and a narrow, narrow window of Western music history.
And now I'm well-placed to finish off my time at uni with an Honours - and it's a year I'm really excited about. All these varying experiences have informed me and I'm planning to use them to create something really exciting this year. I don't want to say much (partly because it could drastically change during this year) but I'm hoping to come up with some really, really exciting solo gigs. Things on my mind include Nord keyboards, drum machines, loop pedals, house music, extended techniques, carpark rooftops, bars, lounges...how will it come together? Not sure yet. Stay tuned!
I will save all my thankyous for when I finish up this year xx