We’re pleased to introduce The Talent‘s new presenter, Teddy Darling! We caught up with Teddy to get to find out what they’re looking forward to about presenting The Talent, what they love about classical music, and why they think fostering emerging artists is important.
Teddy, thanks for sitting down for a chat! How long have you been a presenter at 3MBS?
I graduated from the training program in November 2019 and jumped straight into Melbourne in Concert. That show really shaped the way I thought about radio and its role in the music community because, unlike most other programs, it exclusively broadcasts live concert recordings. I felt like a conduit for the music community; I was broadcasting the musicians, and concerts, and stories happening and emerging right now. Then, only a few months later, all our music spaces were shut down! Recordings stopped coming in! So, I did the only thing I felt like I could do, I reached out to the staff at 3MBS and asked to be trained in podcasting and other technical skills to enable me to conduct remote interviews with musicians and broadcast their own recordings of their music. From October 2020 to January 2021, I used my platform of Melbourne in Concert to feature the music of a different composer or musician each fortnight and concurrently release our in-depth interview on the Musicmakers podcast. I’m incredibly proud to be a part of the Melbourne music community as we have weathered this storm together, and I’m thrilled to discover the next generation of instrumental storytellers as the new host of The Talent.
When did you first discover classical music?
I learned flute and piano at school but it really wasn’t until I was an adult that I feel like music became a serious interest. For me, it was making a connection between the sounds I was hearing, and the actual lives and intentions of the people behind the music, who in their music were telling me about their experience, showing me their world. I love learning about composers and meeting them in their music, and hearing different people reinterpret their music and layer meaning over and through what was already there.
Who is your favourite composer?
Composer, author, suffragette, and lesbian Ethel Smyth! She once snuck into 10 Downing Street to play “The March of the Women” directly above a cabinet meeting, and then conducted the anthem through the window of her prison cell. And then in her 70s she fell in love with Virginia Woolf. Utterly iconic.
What is your favourite piece of music?
How dare you! [laughs] Impossible but okay. Phyrigian Gates by John Adams. The way one set of circles slides away, like pulling out of focus, deeply resonates with me. The piece feels very grounding and liberating at the same time. I remember the first time I heard it, I had to stop what I was doing because it felt like the music had reached inside me and everything else went silent. I had to listen until it was over.
Why is it important to you to foster young talent?
It’s very important! New ideas, new interpretations, new stories, that’s how we grow and develop, and young artists have always been at the forefront of that. We must support the expression and development of new voices and new stories, and it’s especially important to me to make that support and space available to queer people, first nations people, disabled and neurodiverse people, and other communities on the periphery whose artistic expression is sidelined.
What are you looking forward to most about presenting The Talent?
The prospect of meeting artists again in person and engaging with them directly about their craft… I truly can’t tell you how excited I am. I want to create a beautiful and warm space on the show for these young people to show us who they are. As all of Melbourne stirs from the depths of 2020 and deals with the uncertainty of what is to come, it feels like a really exciting time to be meeting the future of Melbourne’s music community – I have no idea what is to come but I think it’s going to be a really interesting season!