Our diminutive accompanist Amy Putt does more than tickle the ivories while accompanying the choir each Monday evening. Amy’s talents became especially obvious when presented for the first time with Christopher Bowen’s complex score for An Australian War Requiem which recently premiered at the Sydney Town Hall. Amy’s talents are diverse so we asked her a few questions about herself and her music.
Where were you born and do you come from a musical family.
I was born on Dangar Island, and grew up there—it’s a small but beautiful place in the Hawkesbury River, just north of Sydney. Although my family all enjoy music, I am the only musician.
How old were you when you first took piano lessons
I was very young—perhaps four or five years old. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t play the piano.
At the Conservatorium Did you attend the Con. School and with whom did you study
I did go to the Sydney Con—I completed a performance degree there studying with David Miller and Clemens Leske.
Accompanying the choir must sometimes be a little tedious especially when repeating the same passage several times. What do you think of at these times or is there a special trick to keeping your mind on the job.
Everyone can tell if I miss the next cue or I’m not paying attention—so I try not to let my mind wander! I have an easy job though as I am constantly occupied playing and listening and anticipating the next section, so it’s not tedious and the three hours usually goes by quite quickly.
Perhaps you would tell us about the Tango Band in which you are involved
I am part of a tango quintet—Tángalo—if you want to know more about us, come and watch us perform! Have a look at our website to find out more about us and listen to our latest album recording—– www.tangalo.com.au.
The rest of this year will see us performing in Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne, before we go together as the recipients of a JUMP mentorship, to study our craft and collaborate with a bandoneon player, Hugo Sattore, in the homeland of tango—Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Apart from music what other activities do you enjoy
I am a keen rock climber—some of the best climbing to be had is very close by in the Blue Mountains. I also like to bushwalk, and I love sailing and spending time on the water.
Do you find time to read and, if so, what do you like to read
Yes, I am an avid reader —I like to read widely. However I am halfway through a law degree at Sydney Uni, so a lot of my spare time recently is spent reading text books and case law.
We understand that you are sharing a house with other musicians. Perhaps you might tell us a little about that. Is there only one piano and who gets it first?
Yes, I share a house with four other musicians—it’s wonderful to live in an environment surrounded by music. We are three opera singers and two pianists. There are three pianos in the house, so there is always enough to go around, and luckily we rarely clash with rehearsals and are considerate of each other with our musical practice. We certainly all value the sound of silence.