Life in Music

Soundproof, from ABC Radio National’s Creative Audio Unit, commissioned me to create a short series.

My first foray into radio making, this came about through a series of conversations with Miyuki Jokiranta.

Some years back, I found myself writing, words pouring out in unexpected ways, tracing patterns through a life in music. Portraits of beloved collaborators, stories of projects that changed me, reflections on listening, an attempt to describe what it means to play at funerals, thoughts on the vertiginous act of playing Vivaldi … on and on it went.

I wrote and rewrote, possessed for months on end.

When I met Miyuki years later, she described her world of Soundproof, and invited me to contribute. As I walked away from our talk, I remembered my thousands of words.

I remembered that as I wrote them, I heard them as pieces of music. They’re imbued with sound. And so began the beautiful task of turning a handful of them into playing, talking, resonating stories.

Miyuki and Tim Symonds were invaluable collaborators on this project, and Julie Shapiro provided wise guidance. You can hear our work here –



Elizabeth O'Donnell