Chats at ANAM with: pianist Sine Winther

Sine Winther

Our final chat at ANAM is with The Talent alumni Sine Winther. Sine took out second prize on The Talent in Season 1 2018. In this interview, she talks about her time on The Talent as well as telling us how she got through her first radio performance, and what to do to get into the right headspace.

You can find out more about Sine here.

When did you appear on The Talent?

I was in first year at ANAM, so two years ago.

Was that the first time you had played on radio?

Yes, that was my first live radio performance.

In a nutshell, what was the experience like?

It was very different to anything I had experienced before. It sort of feels like…so before, you have your soundcheck and that feels normal, you’re just practicing in a room, but then suddenly when you’re on air and the red light is flashing, it feel like you’re alone but you’re in a room with a thousand invisible people because you’re on air. So it feels different to anything else, but it was a worthwhile experience.

What did you perform?

I performed two or three movements of Bach’s Partita No. 2 in C Minor, and Ravel’s Alborada del Grazioso.

Why did you choose that repertoire? The judges were pretty impressed with that switch from baroque to Ravel?

Yeah! I think baroque music and Ravel goes really well together; I think there’s something about the texture. It was just what I was playing at the time. I like choosing a diverse range of repertoire whenever I’m playing, just so I give myself something interesting.

When you have a performance coming up, what do you do to get into the right headspace?

I think it depends on the concert or the performance. If it’s solo, I spend a lot of time by myself, or just in my own thoughts, thinking about what I want to say with the music, or what the composer was trying to express. So, I think it’s just focussing on the music alone. But if it’s chamber music, it’s sort of the opposite. You need to be open and kind of relaxed and communicative, and just spontaneous and having fun. But know your part and know the other people’s part, of course!

Because you were performing on radio, did you do anything differently?

Not really. I think I tried to play the programme through a couple of times for different people, just so that you practice doing a performance. But otherwise, not really.

What were you most nervous about before appearing on The Talent, and how did you get through it?

I don’t think I felt too nervous before I started. You know, the first minute or two I felt quite nervous, but in that situation, just like in live performances, you just have to get through it. Hold on to things that you’ve been doing, thoughts, or ideas, or practice strategies that you’ve been doing.

What was the most fun thing about appearing on The Talent?

Having a bit of a chat!

If you had one tip for making the most of the time on radio, what would it be?

I think, in hindsight, or if I was to do it again, I would actually practice recording myself more, because I think that’s probably the closest thing that you can get to that experience. And then listening over…because I think the difference between live performance and recording is that you don’t have the visual element, of course. So if you’re a listener on the radio, all you’re getting is the sound, so you have to be happy with the way that you sound. As a musician, you are the best judge of yourself.

This interview was conducted thanks to the Australian National Academy of Music.

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