Pleasure and Pain performed by Hayley Mary, vox and Sally Whitwell (me!) piano.  Music and text by Holly Knight and Mike Chapman. Originally recorded by the Divinyls.

I was asked by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) to arrange this song and perform it at the 2013 ARIA Awards ceremony.   It was a special segment, a tribute to the late great queen of Australian rockchicks Chrissy Amphlett.  They matched me up with this splendid young singer, Hayley Mary who sings in an excellent band called the Jezabels. 

It was a particular thrill for me not only to pay tribute to a great woman musician, but to wave the flag as best I could for classical musicians.  Never before in the history of the ARIA Awards has a Best Classical Album winner ever performed at this ceremony (we have a separate Fine Arts Awards ceremony which doesn’t receive any television coverage).  Further to this, I’m proud that my classical music colleague and winner of Best Engineer Virginia Read is horning in on the popular music world too, beating the likes of Tame Impala and Empire of the Sun to win her ARIA. Yeah!

For me, this is what it’s all about, getting classical musicians into the eyes and ears of mainstream audiences.  Maybe you think it doesn’t count because I was playing a popsong? But hey, at least I was up there with the cool kids.  My aim eventually is to perform a piece of my own up there. That’d be so cool…

***drumroll***
I am very excited to announce that my album Mad Rush - Solo Piano Music of Philip Glass just won an ARIA Award for Best Classical Album.
A number of people I would like to thank in writing.
Philip Glass, for creating such beautiful music for me to play.
Martin, Robert, Laura, Natalie and the team at ABC Classics/Universal for giving me the opportunity to share my little abstract minimalist offering with the world.
Wayne Stuart for being brilliant and inventing an incomparable and truly unique instrument upon which to play.
Virginia for working out where to put the microphones (A Stuart piano is really tricky to record!)
Vahe for looking after the instrument so lovingly.
My family, for always being supportive of me and this crazy classical music thing I chose to do with my life.
And last but definitely not least, my beautiful partner Glennda who is singularly the strongest and kindest person on this earth.  I really don’t know what I would do without you, my beautiful girl.
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A week from today, I’ll be off to the ARIAs.  
Funny kind of event for a Wednesday morning. All the winners of the Fine Arts awards will be announced (Best Classical, Best Jazz, Best Soundtrack, Best World Music) and also the Artisan awards (which are for engineers and producers and the album cover designers and so on and so forth).
Hopefully it won’t all be overshadowed; the nominations for all the popular genre awards will be announced at the same event.  Weird.
At any rate, please cross your fingers for me and my little album Mad Rush. Eep.
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