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Hello. I'm James Valentine.
This is The Mix Remixed. This is where we take
our best stories from 2016 and we prepare them for summer. We put little swimmers on them, give them a towel,
enough money for an icy pole and send them off
to the beach for the day. Here's what we're gonna do.

In this episode the Australian World Orchestra puts
eight double basses up the front. There's never been
an eight-bass concerto before. That we're aware of.
That we're aware of.

We find a man in a bunny suit
putting the cool back in kids' music. I think anyone that's a parent that
has been stuck in a car listening to something they don't
want to listen to will get where I'm coming from.

And the podcast that
breaks down the art of songwriting. Sometimes I'll have a
particular song in mind. Sometimes I'll pick the artist and then they'll tell me,
they'll be like "This'll be a great song because
there's a good backstory there." # I will follow you into the sun.

The Australian World Orchestra celebrated its fifth anniversary
this year and for their final concerts they banged out a bit of
Ravel and some Tchaikovsky and also a rather unusual piece - a concerto for eight double basses. I caught up with them
at rehearsal in Sydney for the performance of
Elena Kats-Chernin's The Witching Hour. I spoke with her and some
of the players and asked them how it's gonna work
with the bass players up the front? (FRENETIC BASS MUSIC)

I can't think of any comparable work. No.
See, I can't. (LAUGHS)
Can you? No. No, actually. No, I can't.

There isn't one, is there? To be perfectly frank, there's never
been an eight-bass concerto before. That we're aware of.
That we're aware of. Well, you've got eight basses there. One of you should know, "Oh, yeah,
I've done something... "I was in Germany."
(BOTH LAUGH)

I mean, it's a crazy idea.
Silly idea. Well, not really silly,
now that it's serious. Well, what made you
think of it, then? I mean, usually, you know,
at some point, there's, "Oh, well, I was very
interested in the string quartets," or, "I, you know, felt there
hadn't been a concerto "for trumpet for a while,"
or something like that. Yeah.
But this is completely fresh. It's outside the norm.
Yeah. A-one, two, three, four... (BASSISTS PLAY
WITH PIANO ACCOMPANIMENT)

The idea happened
when I talked to Alex Briger, the founding director and conductor
of the Australian World Orchestra, and we discussed how wonderful
the double bass section sounds. Little did I know
that he would take it further, that thought that sort of popped
into his head and into mine, eventually, to feature that fabulous group
of people. And they're...you know, they're
the cream of double bass players in the world. (BASSISTS PLAY DRAMATIC MELODY)

What is the rehearsal technique
in that room? Blood on the walls.
Play. Talk, talk, talk.
Lots of talking, yeah. "Stop talking!" Yeah, "Stop talking. I'm trying to
get this bowing right. "Can we just try that together? "Because the intonation
is not quite together." "Can we play it slowly?"
Slowly. "And slower and softer. Again. "One more time. One more time." Is it bar 10?
Six, seven, eight, nine... Your harmony feels like,
ooh, we need a bit more... Where? Where?
Bar 10. Your scrumptious harmony.

McCAHON: We're all colleagues,
and it's really collegial. And not just that we're colleagues -
we're friends. So that it's that beautiful idea
of us all making music together. McBRIDE: Yes. So, that means that you don't
just have your own nerves, and you're not just worrying
about the self - you can, you know,
have this beautiful contact with all of your friends here,
helping each other do our job. It's also called safety in numbers. Safety in numbers. That's right. (BASSISTS PLAY SOMBRE ELEGY)

KATS-CHERNIN: What I do
is I improvise a lot. And I have this idea to use
a fairy story, Russian fairy story, which I loved as a child. It's called Vasilisa the Beautiful. And it's about a young girl
who...who has lost her mother. And the mother leaves her
a wooden doll that will help her along
on her travels, if she's in trouble. But ultimately, I...I thought of... The first thing I was thinking of,
it's a spectacle. The whole piece is a spectacle of this...beautiful
eight majestic instruments being played by
the wonderful players, and I wanted to have
very much rich, emotional shape to the piece as well. So, having the story really helps to create different shades of
rhythmic texture, colour, form. Um, it gives you,
you know, a lot of contrast.

You were involved in some of
the earlier workshops for it, as she was working on it? Yes, yes. Elena... You know, we were doing
some things together. She was asking me about what
we can do and what we can't do, and what...
various different colours. So, it was really great to just
actually have that sharing time, and say, "Yes, what about
some harmonics?" Or "Make something
a little bit harder." Or "Test us, test us. Push us,
push us, push us technically." And you see some of that work?
You can go, "Oh, there it is"? Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.

KATS-CHERNIN: I really was thinking, "If this...if this
particular bassist" - you know, I've numbered them all,
one to eight - "If eight and one do this,
how is it going to look? "Are they going to be symmetrical? "If one does this,
somebody does that, "somebody does slap,
somebody plucks, you know, "how is it going to look?" So, that's also
in the back of my mind. It's a visually interesting concept.

One of the things that intrigues me
is that even though, look, you're lovely, outgoing
personalities, bass players are not... You don't become a bass player
to be out the front, do you? But this is
where you've got it wrong. We are the outgoing personalities.
Absolutely. We're... (BOTH LAUGH)

This group of soloists are...
it's a magnificent group, really. It's the Magnificent Eight.
It's the Magnificent Eight. You've got the Magnificent Eight.
You just thought of that, didn't you? I just thought of that.
They're the Magnificent Eight. Oh, this is great.

Kids' music gets a bit of a bad rap. You know, all the coloured skivvies and those melodies
that rot the parent's brain? Well, there's a new wave of musicians, radio stations
and festivals that are making products specifically
designed for kids and parents to enjoy together. Mix producer Lisa Skerrett headed out
to meet some of the people who are putting the cool
back into kids' music. (FUNKY MUSIC PLAYS)

I think anyone that's a parent
that has been stuck in a car listening to something
they don't want to listen to will get where I'm coming from
with Bunny Racket, for sure. Meet Andy Walker,
also known as King Bunny. He's the creator of Bunny Racket,
a rock'n'roll group for kids. Bunny Racket is a series
that follows King Bunny on his quest to write the greatest
rock'n'roll record for kids on the planet. Kind of like a cross between MTV
and Sesame Street. This is an alternative to what could be considered
as generic kids' music. There is basics in numbers
and letters and colours, and all that sort of stuff, but the focus is on fun and
the focus is on coming together to make something, to create. # Stomp like an elephant. # King Bunny's quest took him
all the way to Joshua Tree, the rock'n'roll mecca
in the California desert. Hey, eagle, which way? (EAGLE CAWS) Right on. There, he teams up with legends
like Robby Krieger of The Doors, Brant Bjork of Kyuss, and Sam Cutler, the legendary tour
manager of The Rolling Stones. I've always wanted to
record out there, and I've always wanted to record with the musicians
I got to record with, you know? So, it's almost been a lot easier
to do it like I'm doing it than it was playing in
just rock'n'roll bands.

Before owning a bunny suit,
you might have see Andy fronting psychedelic stoner
rock group Fort, which means he's gone from playing
tracks like this... # Patience is a virtue
that'll tear you apart. # ..to this... # What's your favourite fruit? #

Is that a mind shift change? Not a great deal. I mean,
it's still rock'n'roll. And it's the essence of
the whole project. I'm doing something
that's slightly different to what I was doing before and what most people are doing
with an old boot. # A mango. # Rock'n'roll has been around forever.
It's been in many different forms. And this is just giving it
more legs. # Coconut

# A chicken

# A chicken is not a fruit # A chicken is not a fruit. # It's a lot more than just music,
I think. Rock'n'roll is a lifestyle, and I think it's a really fun
lifestyle that a lot of us have, and why shouldn't kids get
to get in on that? Bunny Racket was the star
at this year's Dress Up Attack, a one-day music and art festival
for kids and grown-ups.

Wherever you fly,
you'll be best of the best. Wherever you go,
you will top all the rest.

# And another thing
I've been wondering lately... # How much of this is actually
a reaction to bad kids' music? Oh, the whole idea
is a reaction to bad kids' music. And it's not that kids'
entertainment is bad, but it's kind of only for the child. I used to work at Homebake
and Splendour in the Grass, and would see people there
with their kids - and I used to take my own kids
as well. My husband was a touring musician. And at those, it feels a bit weird
having the kids there - almost a little bit inappropriate. Always thinking about, "Why can't
there be a kids' festival? "I can't believe there isn't one." And so it was more a reaction
than an idea, I guess. Now in its fifth year, the festival has featured bands
like Regurgitator, the Hoodoo Gurus, Custard,
and the Greats. So, all the people you used to see
at gigs all the time, now you can see them out. And everyone loves
showing off their kids, and you often see toddlers
on their parents' shoulders, and they're dancing together. That's what I really love about it. Hey, kids, when you get older,
do you want to play the guitar? Because this is how you do it.
Come on, Medew.

And when they weren't learning
how to shred, kids had the option of high-fiving
a big blue K - the official mascot
of digital radio station Kinderling.

# Now it's lunchtime,
and I'm hungry again. # Today on the show, we have the best
of Kinderling Helpline - Chris Minogue will be back
next week. I also have Allie Gaunt
from One Handed Cooks... Kinderling is the brainchild of
a group of radio experts who realised there's a need
for this kind of content. When Kinderling first launched, the
amount of people that came to us and said, "I had that idea,
but never did it," or, "Why has no-one
ever done this before?" On the website, you'll find
a livestream, articles on parenting, and mixtapes
that include everything from Willie Nelson to The Avalanches. Before we even went to air, most of my job was
finding great music. The way we program Kinderling
is to be incredibly diverse. You might hear a punk track, but then you'll hear something
from Play School, and then you'll hear something
from the '40s. We're all music lovers, so we want to program to
the music lover in the child, but then also the child
in the music lover. We really believe that, you know,
families should enjoy time together. So, just head to kinderling.com.au. But the question remains -
what makes a good kids' song?

Melody. Good old-fashioned
storytelling. Distortion. (CHUCKLES) I think a good kids' song
is the same as a good song - good melody, good rhythm. I don't think we should cut corners
just 'cause they're kids. 'Cause kids just love music.
It doesn't have to be... ..repetitive, should we say? It can be great music that the parent loves
and the kids like it. Because kids are just like adults -
they have taste. Some kids are fully into
heavy metal, other kids love
really bright pop music, and other kids love hip-hop. I know exactly what I want for
my kid - it's stuff that I love. I want my kid to see
me in love with the music, not me putting the music on
to keep him quiet. It's a common love, shared love
of music. That's the essence.

I'm James Valentine,
this is The Mix Remixed. And we're going off to the pub
in a moment to talk about the Beatles'
documentary Eight Days A Week. It's a rare moment in these times when a music documentary
gets big mainstream attention. Might have something to do with it
being about the Beatles. But be that as it may,
it made us think of a Top 5, the Top 5 pivotal moments
for pop music on the screen. # It's been a hard day's night # And I've been workin'
like a dog... # Now, of course we've got the Beatles
to kick things off. A Hard Day's Night was released
in 1964 at the height of Beatlemania. The film follows the Fab Four over
a couple of hectic, fan-frenzied days as they prepare for a show and employ their unique brand
of buffoonery with the media. Are you a mod or a rocker?
No, I'm a mocker. Ironically the film about
a group of incredibly famous lads clamouring for a little more privacy made them even more famous and became
a precursor for modern music videos. # You're gonna give me everything. # At number four
is Michael Jackson's Thriller. The 13-minute zombie fest was
a parody of the 1950s horror genre. It even included the voice talents of the master of the macabre himself,
Vincent Price. VINCENT PRICE:
Darkness falls across the land. The midnight hour is close at hand. It was MTV's
first world premiere video and is still regarded by many as
the greatest music video ever made. At number three is Talking Heads with
their concert film Stop Making Sense. The feature-length production
directed by Jonathan Demme was financed by the band and was the first film made entirely
using digital audio techniques. Critics praised the film as one of
the greatest rock movies ever made, despite David's big shoulder pads raising a few
fashion-conscious eyebrows.

Can't get through this list
without Madonna and here she is at number two. In 1991, the Material Girl
released Truth or Dare, a feature-length, fly-on-the-wall
documentary of life on the road during her Blonde Ambition tour, a stunt that astounded her boyfriend
at the time, Warren Beatty. MAN: Nobody talks about this
on film? The insanity of doing this
all on a documentary? By the time the film
had completed its theatrical run, it was the highest grossing
documentary ever made and the most talked about.

At number one is Beyonce with her own version
of anger management, Lemonade.

The album and hour-long film
that accompanied it came as a surprise
to almost everyone. Fuelled by deeply personal lyrics and sharp criticisms
of American race politics, it was a full-frontal assault
and a blistering artistic statement. For Beyonce, it was probably
a little bit cathartic or just an excuse to do this.

# They don't love you
like I love you # Don't love you like I love you. #

Alright, welcome to the pub chat. Hello, Danielle McGrane from AAP. How are you?
Very well. Have a little gin, lime
vodka-y thingy. That's you,
Bernard Zuel from Fairfax. Let's talk music films. We've had a couple recently -
the Beatles Eight Days a Week is out, Nick Cave had a film out
I feel for, like, a day. Very briefly. That's all
part of the appeal, you see? You release it
for a very short period of time. The fans
sort of pile into the cinema and get their sort of Nick Cave fix. His son died. He's in the middle
of recording an album and he says, "OK, come and document
this process." It's a hard one
to sort of get your head around as to why you would do that. Well, actually, the director,
I think, approached him initially, Andrew Dominik,
because he was friends with him and they had worked together
on films before. I think it was his idea to sort of
maybe help Nick through the process because he could see
that he was struggling and maybe wanted to explore it
or talk about it in his way, as opposed to the usual onslaught
of media intrusion. ZUEL: It was a balance
to the previous doco on him, a semi-comic doco,
20,000 Days On Earth or something, where the process of being Nick Cave
is explored by his being driven around in a car. So, the two sides of Nick Cave,
in theory. Whether you actually find out
who the real Nick Cave is, you don't...you can't tell. But these two films
are really interesting ones to put next to each other. VOICEOVER: The greatest phenomenon
of the century thus far. JOHN LENNON:
Everybody...can you hear me? MAN: Ladies and gentlemen,
here are the Beatles! (WILD CHEERING) I saw Eight Days A Week, which is a focus on
the Beatles' touring years and their concerts
across mainly UK and the USA. It seemed like it's a nice offering
for a Beatles fan. I wouldn't think
anybody would be there that... It's not a good introduction to
the Beatles straight off, you know. Well, you wouldn't go unless you actually wanted
to see the Beatles playing live. I mean, why otherwise? But if you've got any kind
of interest, it's great. It makes you excited about
the thought of seeing them before they gave up in '66.

(PLAYS 'SATISFACTION') I wonder whether
sort of music films, you know, were a part
of the sort of album era almost? You know, you think of something like
Rolling Stones Gimme Shelter or you think of Talking Heads
Stop Making Sense. You know, these were
sort of significant events and I'm just wondering
do we still do that? We do them differently.
Yeah, they've changed. It's no longer enough
just to do a concert film. As good as some of
those concert films were, people just don't think of it
in the same way now. You've got to bring something to it. You've got to bring some insight, some philosophical or psychological
insight into the band. When you get documentaries
like the Amy Winehouse one last year or the Kurt Cobain one, we want to see more about them
as people and sort of the struggles
that they went through, 'cause a lot of these artists
obviously had sort of darker times. And the beautiful thing
about those docos is you get access to their archives, so their diaries
and Kurt Cobain's artwork. And I think that's what we expect
now, as opposed to just one album. # When I get off of
this mountain... # We don't really do
the concert film anymore. I'm thinking of something like
The Last Waltz or that sort of thing which were then "Legendary!" You know, at some point,
it was compulsory to see it. They do.
But they only come out on DVD. You don't see them in cinemas. But there are plenty
of concert films that come out on DVD for the fans. Andre Rieu does one every concert,
so that's true. I'm wondering was there ever actually
much of an audience for these films? I mean, they become legendary
over time, but at the time when they're released
in the cinema, you know...? Did many people go and see
Stop Making Sense when it came out? Well, I know that in Dublin,
it ran for probably about 10 years in this one cinema in the city. And every Saturday night
after the pubs were all closed, people piled in to watch it. So, I think that, yeah, there was
definitely an audience for that. "Same as it ever was,"
year after year. That's really funny. You'd go down to the Valhalla
in Sydney, Glebe, and see the same film
that would be shown there, same...for years on a Friday night,
11 o'clock screening, people lighting up next to you
funny-smelling things. What?! No idea what it was.
Incense. I couldn't live
with 20 years on the road. I don't think
I could even discuss it.

Something like The Last Waltz, for
example, was not a concert on screen. It was a film,
cut by Martin Scorsese, you know. These were... The Rolling Thunder
review film was, "It was a film." You know,
"That's a Pennebaker documentary." There was a seriousness
about these films and they were then in the cinema
history, not just the music history. Because, as you say, it was a period where people took the artistry
of making music more seriously or vested more in it
than they do now. So, the idea of a concert film about
a band that didn't sell that much. I mean,
The Band were not a huge band. And even though some of the people
in the concert were more famous - Joni Mitchell, for example,
or Dylan - it was still a case of,
"Well, it's an important film "about important people,
made by an important man." That doesn't cut it anymore. You've
got to bring something else to it. I don't think you can dispute
the fact, as well, that it was before the YouTube era. So, I mean, we can just literally
just google any concert, any person live, and see them. This was probably
the only chance people actually got to see these performers. Favourite-ever concert,
music film, music documentary, the one that you just go, "Oh, man,
that...that really did it for me"? I think I'm gonna go with
Stop Making Sense. Yeah.
That was gonna be my choice. Well, I'm old enough,
I saw the concert. Did you see the concert?
Yeah. See, you're with old men
who saw the actual concert. Fantastic. Excellent. Thank you.
Cheers. Cheers.

Songs. They're everywhere. But most people find
songwriting a mystery. How do musicians get inspired
to write a song? How do they write and arrange
and do all the stuff? Well, there's a hugely popular
podcast called Song Exploder devoted to explaining just that. Triple J's Zan Rowe sat down with
the man behind it.

ZAN: Doing a story about podcasts
is a little challenging. They're not so big on pictures. To be honest, that is
exactly why you're looking at me sitting here with headphones on
right now. # No water in the water fountain. # MAN: You're listening to
Song Exploder. Hrishikesh Hirway. In this episode, Merrill Garbus
of Tune-Yards... But if you're familiar with
the pleasures of wandering around wrapped up in the intimate sounds
of a great podcast, you'll stay with me. I always pick the artist. Sometimes they'll have
a particular song in mind. Sometimes I'll pick the artist
and then they'll tell me - they'll be like,
"This will be a great song. "This would make for
a good episode, "because there's
a good backstory here.

WOMAN: The story of this song is basically that I almost threw it
away because I thought it was dumb. Hrishikesh Hirway started
Song Exploder a couple of years ago and, 75 episodes later, it's one of the most revered
podcasts out there. But then you just make
the bassline minor, and all of a sudden, that's like the
stomach-churning part of the song. # Your fingers through my hair # Fingers through my hair. # It's a well executed
but ultimately simple concept - in each episode, a musician
deconstructs one of their songs.

The podcast features a broad range
of contemporary artists, from U2 to The National to the guy who composed
the Game Of Thrones theme. MAN: My intention was just because
of what the nature of the show is, there is so much backstabbing
and conspiracy, so I thought it would be cool
to kind of do the same playing with the music.

My name is Bjork, and I'm here to talk about
Stonemilker on my album Vulnicura.

A lot of musicians are held
in a godlike view by their fans. I mean, you listen to Song Exploder,
and these songs are taken apart. For me, it kind of normalises
the process of what they do. You know, it's a job. It's a great job, but it's still
a job, like many other jobs. That's what I really love about it - the potential to demystify
the process of songwriting. To show that it is something,
you know, for a 17-year-old who's listening to their favourite
band talk about... ..the struggle that they might
have gone through to figure out how to finish a song
or to start a song, and feel how relatable that is, and show that, yeah,
they might already have the tools - which is just, like, an idea -
to make a great song themselves.

MAN: We were really into
super naive, childlike melody stuff in college, and the intro kind of
has a very toddling sound. (MGMT'S TIME TO PRETEND PLAYS) # I'm feeling rough,
I'm feeling raw... # One of my favourite episodes was with
MGMT talking about Time To Pretend. It got me thinking that a song is not just the bare bones
of writing a song, but it's also the production -
those tiny little earworms. Have you learned a lot about music in terms of just how many layers
go into making a song? Layers are always
what I'm looking for. Like Time To Pretend,
this is like a... it's kind of like a monolithic song. To unpack that song,
and so many of the other songs, and realise that it is just
a series of small decisions. It doesn't start off
as this monolithic idea, or that there's this perfect box
that's being constructed. There are mistakes
and fingerprints all over it. It's actually been really freeing
and inspiring for me to say that, you know,
when you want to make something, you don't have to aim
for perfection, you just have to... ..I don't know, aim for the...

..logical conclusion of your idea.

MAN: That song,
my brother had a lot to do with, because he was playing
this chord progression. I just started singing
over what he was doing, just kind of ad-libbing. # Multi-love

# Checked into my heart and
trashed it like a hotel room. # So, you as a musician, you as the host of Song Exploder, the creator of this great idea
that's now 74 episodes strong, after speaking to
so many music-makers, is there one central facet
that makes a great song? I don't think so.
(CHUCKLES) I don't think so. You haven't cracked the code
completely. Yeah. I think if there were, it wouldn't
allow for individual taste, because what someone might find to
be a great song, 10 other people in the same room
might find to be garbage. And I think that's what's beautiful,
you know? And I think that's part of what
keeps it exciting for me too, is you don't actually know
what is the secret that's going to make somebody
fall in love with a piece of music. (PLAYS GENTLE MELODY)

And finally on The Mix, a short
lecture on the history of ping-pong. Ping-pong originated
as a Victorian parlour game but it was not until 1901
that the ball was standardised. The celluloid ball
that we know and love so much. Not many other uses
for the ping-pong ball, except for this one installation
which really grabbed our attention.

It's a question that's plagued
artists for centuries - how to project video art
onto a swimming pool. Here's one solution -
250,000 ping-pong balls. The idea belongs
to a duo from Brooklyn who call themselves Dawn of Man. They use a 90-foot
rainbow-shaped pool, a top-floor balcony suite,
39,000 lumens, digital mapping -
it's all pretty techy. But there you have it -
instant pool party.

The project was commissioned
as part of Art Basel Miami, taking over the Mondrian Hotel for four nights of video art
ping-pong revelry.

Well, that's about
all we've got time for. Don't forget to follow us
on social media, on Instagram, and there's lots of great stories
on the ABC Arts channel on iView. I'm James Valentine. We'll be back with
brand-new Mixes in February. Captions by Ericsson Access Services Copyright
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

This program is not captioned.