27 episodes

Featuring one guest a week alongside host Victoria Pham, Declassify is a series of conversations about the classical music industry - its challenges and its future. Transcripts available for each episode.

DECLASSIFY Victoria Pham

    • Music
    • 5.0 • 8 Ratings

Featuring one guest a week alongside host Victoria Pham, Declassify is a series of conversations about the classical music industry - its challenges and its future. Transcripts available for each episode.



    So, I promised at the end of our season finale episode last week that I would separate a couple of minutes here just to have a moment of reflection and some dedicated time to say thank you to all of you out there that are listening. It’s almost been two years since I came up with the idea of interrogating classical music and creating some sort of space or resource where we could have conversations. I hadn’t really been a podcast person and only occasionally listening to the odd true crime and naturalist podcast here and there, but realised that this would be a great way to listen to thoughts and exchange ideas. And so in late June of 2020, Declassify was born and its first episode with Felicity Wilcox was broadcast only 6 weeks later. 
    If you’ve been following from the start, the first season across 2020-2021 was dedicated to unpacking some of the greater issues of diversity, representation and education that were plaguing classical music and reflecting its increasing exclusivity and inaccessibility to broader audiences (and to musicians themselves). Season 1 mainly focused on Australia and so came Season 2: The Aftermath. As some of you know, this was in the hope of shifting the conversation to one driven by more action and one on a more international scale. This season spanning August 2021 to March 2022 was dedicated to chatting to individuals who had put into place programs, methodologies and approaches from quota-driven programming techniques through to starting their own conservatoriums, to push for change across the classical music industry. I hope it has been enlightening and hopeful for you all as it has been for me. 
    I just want to quickly thank all the guests across both seasons for taking part in this adventure and what I hope will continue to exist as an amazing resource to everyone out there. Just as a heads up, the podcast will continue to be available via podcasting services, Apple and Spotify until the end of this year in December, where it will then shift into an online archive made available on Sound Cloud and Youtube (where it already has a home), with all the transcripts staying permanently on my website should anyone need access to it and the podcast resources. 
    Now most importantly, I wish to thank each and every person who has listened to this podcast over the last two years. You’ve emboldened me to further my own commitment to change in art music or classical music and have been such a remarkably supportive community as this space grew. The podcast is coming to an end as I think it is time for me to shift my focus, as per the theme of season 2, into action! Again, thank you to all for listening, I could not have done this without you all and I hope if anything, this podcast has sparked some ideas and conversations for you too. 
    Wishing you all the best and best of luck, and maybe sometime in the future, catch you all next time. 

    • 3 min
    Joel Stern - Socially Active Listening: A New Practice of Ear Training

    Joel Stern - Socially Active Listening: A New Practice of Ear Training

    It is already the finale for SEASON 2: THE AFTERMATH and as a quick announcement, it is also the last ever episode of the DECLASSIFY podcast, but I will touch more on that later.  Today’s guest for the finale of the podcast is none other than artist, sound researcher, educator, curator and currently the artistic director of experimental arts company Liquid Architecture, Joel Stern. Joel was appointed the artistic director of Liquid Architecture in 2013 where in this capacity he has curated and produced festivals, exhibitions, concerts and publications in Australia and internationally. He has also led independent organisations including OtherFilm and Instrument Builders project. His interests as an artist, curator and researcher (where he currently teaches at Monash University) include sound, power, control, surveillance, social practice, experimental music and non-human or machine listening. This podcast finale explores intersections of making sound and listening, how to train one’s ear to be socially active and the power of artist-led interventions, research and movements.

    Seth Kim-Cohen ‘My Body Blushed to the Whistle of the Birch’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8n9CjgUnVlI  
    Christof Migone ‘Hit Parade’

    • 1 hr 23 min
    Shruti Kumar - Reflecting on Musical Selves

    Shruti Kumar - Reflecting on Musical Selves

    This week Declassify welcomes on aboard a guest that is quite remarkable and someone who reflects much of the spirit of the podcast – interdisciplinary practices, cross-genre listening and collaboration. Shruti is a composer, producer, and conductor from Los Angeles. Her work has spanned the film/tv, pop, and concert worlds, and she often finds herself involved in projects that mix genres and experiences. She has worked at Hans Zimmer's Remote Control Productions and collaborated with artists including Alicia Keys. Her work has been used by/for The National Geographic, The United Nations, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and the 2016 Summer Olympics. In fact, Shruti hosts her own show "Let's Shake On It" centered around bringing together esteemed and diverse musicians in conversation and collaboration in hopes of increasing transparency in the music industry and eliminating genre. And In March 2020, Shruti founded Sound Travels, a remote hire platform and educational resource to help musicians during COVID and beyond. In this episode, Shruti and Victoria examine what is means to make music that expands and breaks the mold of classical, and how we can make music new, exciting and imagination together. 


    Details about works:
    SALT (feat. London Contemporary Orchestra)'  
    Composer/Producer: Shruti Kumar 
    Conductor: Hugh Brunt 
    Recording Engineer: Fiona Cruikshank 
    Mix Engineer: Eva Reistad 
    Mastering Engineer: Heba Kadry
    Guitar: Brandon Walters 
    Sitar: Bishi Bhattacharya
    Synths: Shruti Kumar
    Electric Bass: Emily Retsas (@emilyretsas)
    Artwork: Anna Azarov & Ellie Pritts (@annaazarov & @elliepritts)
    'LAST CALL (feat. Shungudzo)'  
    Composer/Producer: Shruti Kumar
    Lyricist: Shungudzo Kuyimba
    Featured Artist: Shungudzo
    Songwriters: Shungudzo Kuyimba, Shruti Kumar
    Vocal Arranging: Shungudzo Kuyimba
    Engineers: Fiona Cruikshank (Church Studios - London), Eva Reistad (EastWest Studios - Los Angeles), Shruti Kumar 
    Mix Engineers: Vira Byramji, Shruti Kumar
    Mastering Engineers: Alex Sterling (Precision Sound), Heba Kadry 
    Vocals: Shungudzo Kuyimba
    Conductor: Hugh Brunt, featuring the London Contemporary Orchestra
    Additional Violin: Stephanie Matthews
    Additional Viola: Marta Honer
    Additional Cello: Ro Rowan
    Electric Bass: Emily Retsas
    Guitar: Brandon Walters
    Sitar: Bishi Bhattacharya
    Drums: Aaron Steele
    Percussion: Hal Rosenfeld 
    Piano: Shruti Kumar
    Synths: Shruti Kumar
    Electronics: Shruti Kumar
    Sampling, programming: Shruti Kumar
     Artwork: Anna Azarov & Ellie Pritts

    • 58 min
    Professor Cat Hope - Translating and Notating Noise

    Professor Cat Hope - Translating and Notating Noise

    This week’s episode of DECLASSIFY welcomes on board someone whose research and collaborative-interdisciplinary approach to music making has influenced my own practice since I attended her composition seminar as a Conservatoire student back in 2015. This is none other than prolific composer, musician, performer and noise artist and currently Professor of Music at Monash University, composer and performer Professor Cat Hope. Described by Gramaphone Magazine as “one of Australia’s most exciting and individual creative voices,” Cat creates music, art and performances that are conceptually driven ranging from animated graphic scores for acoustic and electronic combinations and for improvisation, with a fascination with low frequency sound. Paired with her research practice and her artistic direction of Decibel ensemble, Cat’s academic research engages with contemporary Australian music, digital music, noise music, gender equity and music technology. With such multi-faceted experience and expertise, this episode explores exclusive new music groups, how to break boundaries, the effect of marketing and what it means to make music collaboratively. 

    Cat Hope website: https://www.cathope.com/ 

    FOLLOW DECLASSIFY: @declassifypodcast on instagram
    CONNECT WITH VICTORIA: Instagram : @victoriaavpham

    • 1 hr 1 min
    Professor Helena Gaunt: The Musician as Makers in Society

    Professor Helena Gaunt: The Musician as Makers in Society

    And it’s a new year! And we’re going back to the second half of Declassify Season 2. We’re straight into the grit of unpacking the classical music industry and where this is all headed in terms of strategizing change, contemplating collaboration in conservatoires and educational models as well having a think about broader funding models. There is no better person to consider that the prolific performer, director, researcher and now Principal at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, the National Conservatoire of Wales, Professor Helena Gaunt. Helena was A professional oboist for many years and founding member of the Britten Sinfonia, her career in higher education has spanned teaching, academic development, research and enterprise. This episode unpacks the notion of the social role of the musician in society and how classical music education, funding and models can rise to this contemporary challenge. 

    Information about Professor Helena Gaunt: https://www.rwcmd.ac.uk/staff/helena-gaunt 
    Articles about the BMus program:
    BMus (Hons) Music - Instrumental and Vocal | Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama (rwcmd.ac.uk) 
    Paving the way: RWCMD's BMus | Music Teacher (musicteachermagazine.co.uk) 

    • 1 hr 10 min
    Tamara Kohler: Curating Cross-Art Experiences

    Tamara Kohler: Curating Cross-Art Experiences

    Welcome back to Declassify Season 2 and we’re already on our last episode of this year! This week is someone quite remarkable and someone whose work I am sure many of you already know: Australian and Uk-based flautist, curator, educator and arts producer – Tamara Kohler. Tamara has performed and premiered countless new works of music for festivals around the worlf such as the Eighth Blackbird Creative Lab, Bang on a Can Festival and Darmstadt. She is the founding member and co-Artistic Director of contemporary ensemble, Rubiks Collective – an ensemble whose mission is about showcasing contemporary music rising Australian and international artists. She is also a curatorial member COMA, UK. Her passion for mentoring young artists, curating cross-art experiences and for contemporary new art music is boundless and in this episode, Tamara talks approaches to new music making, interdisciplinary practice and collaboration as education and access.


    Tamara’s Website: http://www.tamarakohler.com/about 
    RUBIKS: https://rubikscollective.com/ 
    COMA new music festival:  http://www.coma.org/ 
    COMA new music repertoire catalogue: http://www.coma.org/catalogue/ 
    Tamara’s Podcast MyThirdEar: https://podcasts.apple.com/au/podcast/my-third-ear/id1111802017
    Article by Tamara ‘Concert Experience: Let’s Blur the Lines’: http://www.cutcommonmag.com/concert-experience-lets-blur-the-lines/ 
    Article by Tamara ‘Creativity within Society’: https://musictrust.com.au/loudmouth/inside-the-musician-tamara-kohler-creativity-within-society/ 

    • 52 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
8 Ratings

8 Ratings

Bobruisky ,

Interesting, timely and smart

This is a really great podcast for folks in the professional / freelance classical-music and adjacent spaces. The presenter / interviewer is smart and incisive and knows what they’re talking about. In a space riddled with political, academic and ego-related cul-de-sacs, cynical voices, and snouts only interested in troughs, this set of conversations is an interesting companion for those who actually want to try & make a go of it in a meaningful way.

EvenPhteven ,

Insightful and informative

Interesting, informative, and insightful, Declassify offers a glimpse at the thoughts of some of the most forward thinking minds in the industry.
This podcast‘s discussions are vital to help foster a healthy future for Classical music.

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