Rhythm Machine – MSO

MSO put on a production called Rhythm Machine. The wonderful MSO was conducted by Benjamin Northey with O Duo (Oliver Cox and Owen Gunnel, percussionists from the UK).  Fraser Trainer, a composer, introduced several pieces talking about the music and composer. I came away having learned about different styles, rhythm and concertos.

O Duo were very energetic performers! During Bolero by Maurice Ravel, Owen appeared on roller blades, skating around the audience playing a drum. When Owen was roller blading he had to keep his balance and play the right rhythm on his drum . O Duo were entertaining when talking about the music. They also played some very strange instruments.

Instruments O Duo played

Some instruments O Duo played

My two favourite pieces played were Bolero (Maurice Ravel) and Danzon #2 (Arturo Marquez). They played a concerto by Béla Bartók and a piece called Breaking Silence a concerto by Fraser Trainer that was written especially for O Duo and the MSO. The mix of music was good. I liked the way they finished the concert with Danzon #2  making me feel energised and happy.

This concert proved to me that not all classical music is boring, but some is! It was interesting to learn that the clave rhythm used in Danzon #2  is now widely used in popular music today! Perhaps that is why I liked Danzon #2 so much. I look forward to exploring more classical music to understand what I like and dislike about it.

Thanks MSO, O Duo and Fraser Trainer for a fabulous concert.


Christopher Paolini – The Inheritance Cycle

Have you read or heard of the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini? I attended a talk by the author, organised by The Wheeler Centre. The Inheritance Cycle is a fantasy series. Chrisptopher wrote his first book when he graduated from high school at the age of 15. It is hard to believe that he didn’t like to read as a child. He started to enjoy reading when he imagined the pictures of the story in his head. It was very entertaining and enjoyable.


Starchaser is a play by the  Arena Theatre Company. Congratulations to Lally Katz on a beautiful story. 

Starchaser is about a girl called Catta whose parents had died. She believed if she didn’t cry her parents would come back to life. Catta has a young brother called Tommy who cried about his parents, so he couldn’t go with Catta to chase the star Atlier. Catta went on an exciting adventure to find the star Atlier and bring her parents back to life.  

I really enjoyed  Starchaser, it was sad but also funny. It was like a book you couldn’t put down, I was always wondering what would happen next. I learned that you have to live your life.

I enjoyed Starchaser and recommend it for ages 8+.

The Hidden Monastery – book review

The Hidden Monastery was written by Gabrielle Wang. In The Hidden Monastery there is a mythological creature called Peng (pronounced Pong). The main characters are Jax , YuYu, Buzzy and The Abbot.

Jax goes on a journey learning about himself. He learns to be brave and strong. The Abbot teaches him to control the power of his mind and to believe in himself. YuYu his friend was there to support him throughout the journey. It  was extremely difficult to put his book down. The writing is very descriptive and easy to paint the scenes in your mind. It was like I was on the journey with Jax.

There are many good lessons in this book about practicing and believing. I strongly recommend this book for ages 7+. I look forward to reading more books by Gabrielle Wang.