Nonfiction

Celebrating Schmilco Four Years Late Because No-One Else Has or Probably Ever Will

In 1994, Jay Farrar left the alt-country band Uncle Tupelo. Its remaining members, led by their frontman Jeff Tweedy, formed Wilco. In the early 2000s, during Wilco’s critical renaissance, it seemed pretty likely that Jeff Tweedy would die.

2 December 2020
Rebecca Clarke, Margaret Bonds & Sally Whitwell

Welcome to Canon in She, a column that celebrates the beautiful music of composers who identify as women. In this edition, we have a violist who wrote for a variety of instruments, a resourceful African American pianist who wrote a Christmas cantata, and an Australian pianist who writes lyrical and quirky music for various instruments.

2 December 2020
… as colours pour from tar

In early 2016, some friends from art school and I drove to Warrandyte to explore bush tracks along the Yarra River around the Pound Bend Tunnel. Chris brought torches, Layla had an elaborate recording device with headphones, and I had a pair of Rainbow Fireworks Glasses in my pocket. It was 10 pm on an overcast night in early autumn.

24 November 2020
The Rot at the Heart of Higher Education

When my mum went to university, it was free. The golden years, from when Gough Whitlam abolished university fees in 1974, to her second year, were a time when anyone and everyone with interest could get their education. This was also when most politicians pushing through the funding cuts went to university.

24 November 2020
An Ode to an Arts Degree in a Society that Devalues a School of Thought Which is as Vital as Breathing In and Of Itself

In one room, American History, we learnt how the American Dream was born from the heart of religion that spread across the United States in the 17th century. In a room across the landing, Middle Eastern Politics, we began to scratch the surface of the complex power dynamics of the Middle East, studying catalytic moments of protest like the Arab Spring uprisings—monumental events that gave rise to a complex blend of new political structures, conflicts, and in some cases, freedom.

24 November 2020
Hygge.

What makes you happy? Falling asleep with rain falling softly on the roof? Having a joyful dog race towards you, treating you like their best friend? Baking cookies, just to eat the dough? Curling up with a book and a homemade blanket? Candles? Tea? For me, it’s all these things. These are things which provide comfort, warmth and security. Cosiness.

24 November 2020
Noise pollution: reducing the environmental impact of live music

In 2019, there were over 200 concert tours worldwide, from Charli XCX’s Charli Live Tour to Billie Eilish’s When We All Fall Asleep World Tour. Each of these tours represents dozens of crew members, trucks, buses, catering spreads and hotel rooms, across every continent, playing to millions of fans. The environmental impact of concert touring is huge. 

24 November 2020
The Problem with Marginalised Narratives

Despite its rampant discussion, to this date diversity remains ill-defined. “People of colour” for one, is an umbrella term that groups individuals into potentially restrictive spaces while aggrandising their white counterparts even further. To generalise various ethnic groups into a single voice and pit them against whiteness is a problematic practice which diminishes their truth. […]

24 November 2020
Volunteering From Home

It wasn’t until recently that studies illustrated that cockatoos are typically left-footed. Digivol, an online volunteer platform, explains this success by pointing to researchers not out in the fields, peering up into gumtrees, but ‘citizen scientists’ working from home. Volunteers analysed site photos to assist the digitisation of archives, and in the process identified which foot these Australian birds were using. Thus, the surprising discovery!

24 November 2020
WINNERS Never Can Quit

Retired athletes are susceptible to psychological distress after stopping sports. If we spoke more openly about what happens after people quit, the experience wouldn’t be so isolating.
We all hear about the everyday struggles of the elite athlete. Marketing material, films and television shows glorify the act of “getting up after you fall” and “continuing on” no matter the cost.

24 November 2020
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