Catching up with…flautist Jennifer Timmins

Flautist Jennifer Timmins. Photo credit: William Zhang

Flautist Jennifer Timmins was our first prizewinner on Season 1 of The Talent 2019. An active performer, during lockdown she performed on Melbourne Digital Concert Hall alongside pianist Leigh Harrold. Jennifer is also no stranger to 3MBS and as well as performing on The Talent has played live on Contemporary Visions. In our catch-up, she told us how she’s been expanding her musical horizons during lockdown, her 3 strategies for beating lockdown blues, and what she’s most looking forward to when things open up.

What have you been up to since your last appearance at 3MBS?  

In March I commissioned an exciting new work for flute, percussion and electronics by local emerging composer Zinia Chan, with percussionist Alison Fane, and was awarded a City of Melbourne Arts grant to support the development of this work. I have also been working with up-and-coming American composer Camila Agosto on a solo flute piece commissioned by Claire Chase. I recently performed on the Melbourne Digital Concert Hall stage in a recital with Leigh Harrold and had a blast recording some digital shows with the MSO’s Jams for Juniors team. Other than that, a few recording projects and a lot of inspiring young people to develop their flute playing through the magic of zoom! 

How are you doing/coping during lockdown?  

I live in a lovely household “bubble” (to quote Jacinda Ardern) that is brimming with creative energy. We keep each other sane by sharing the products of delicious culinary experiments, walks in nature and the odd crafternoon session. 

How has COVID impacted your life/music/creativity?  

With fewer opportunities to perform, I have had more space for musical self-discovery and exploration of the capabilities of my instrument. I have found clarity in my long-term vision, particularly for my ensemble Oceanis Collective, whose 2021 season programmes are ready for printing! And through my online teaching I have had the opportunity to refine my ability to explain concepts and to investigate creative ways of connecting and engaging with students over zoom.  

What’s your number 1 strategy for beating the lockdown blues?  

I have 3!

  • Creativity. Outside of music I have discovered a love for making crochet animals! 
  • Working towards a goal. I’m studying Japanese and improving my fitness. 
  • Connecting with others and giving value. I find these elements of teaching very rewarding. 

What do you look forward to most post-lockdown?  

Performing in chamber ensembles and orchestras is one of the things I’ve missed most during lockdown, alongside putting on my own Oceanis Collective concerts, touring and exploring the world outside my 5km radius! 

Where/how can we support you and your music?  

‘The Wanderer’, featuring myself and Leigh Harrold, is now available for purchase on Melbourne Digital Concert Hall On Demand. This recital will take you wandering across 300 years and 3 continents in a recital that captures the emotional depth and breadth of music for flute and piano throughout history. Watch it here: https://watch.melbournedigitalconcerthall.com/#/item/57631 

If you’d like to receive mailing list newsletters for updates about my musical endeavours and my ensemble Oceanis Collective, you can sign up at https://www.jennifertimmins.com/booking. Alternatively, you can check out my work at www.jennifertimmins.com or on social media at https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.timmins1

I always welcome new students into my online studio so if you’d like to spice up your 2020 with a creative pursuit such as playing the flute, you can find more information here: https://www.jennifertimmins.com/lessons.

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