My year of living soberly

August 20, 2012 § 4 Comments

32 weeks into this journey now and I’m now around 15kg lighter than before, minus a gallbladder (that’s another story). No, the gallbladder didn’t weigh 15 kilos… Oh never mind ;-)

Just picked up a copy of “High Sobriety” by Jill Stark. Her witty observations on a year long journey of sobriety ring a lot of bells for me. It’s a great read.

My year of living soberly

Inspired by the Year of Living Sober blog, I thought I’d jot down a few musings about my journey so far. It began after having tinkered for ages about when, how, when, and why to possibly begin this crazy experiment in potential social suicide.

The decision was made for me almost serendipitously after an unintended bender at a friend’s place. The following morning, after having no recollection of the latter stages of the evening combined with a shocking hangover which lasted most of the day, I figured I was almost ready. The “aversion therapy” approach I suppose.

Instead of avoiding social situations, I leapt in boots and all. I’m a social animal, we all are, and avoidance wasn’t going to cut it. So, 3 bars, a couple of restaurants, a truffle festival and an evening of sober post concert revelry later, (I said I was a social animal) here I am. I made it! The first week. It seemed dangerously easy but I’m not going to be lulled into a false sense of security. The hot toddy without the booze, the San Pellegrino Rosso as a Campari substitute, lemon lime and bitters, the mocktail and a buddy bottle of coke were all very well, but the moment will come when a seriously good wine will pass me at the table and I’ll nose it. The desire to consummate any olfactory bliss with my tastebuds could well become an irresistible urge. Ah well. C’est la sobre vie. And so far so good. Now to face all my friends in the wine, liquor and hospitality world. Cheers! Or the non-alcoholic substitute, Ciao!

Outstanding classical music concert for kids!

May 28, 2012 § Leave a comment



When: SUNDAY, 3RD JUNE 2012, 10:00 AM

Ticket Prices: All tickets are just $20. Children under 2 years old are free!

CLICK HERE for online bookings

Bookings are essential as there will be No Door Sales.

Likened to comedic musician Victor Borge, internationally acclaimed Norwegian pianist Aksel Kolstad presenting his big show for kids about Mozart!

Free entry for the group organiser!
Invite your friends or family for a delightful afternoon and remember – group organiser gets their ticket (1) FREE with every 6 tickets purchased
Children must be accompanied by an adult.

CLICK HERE To get tickets online in advance (No booking fee) to avoid disappointment!!
Price: $20.00

Picasso and Braque go to the movies

May 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

GALA OPENING | PICASSO AND BRAQUE GO TO THE MOVIES | with Dr Stefano Carboni, Director Art Gallery of WA


Celebrate Picasso’s contribution to the art world with a Spanish extravaganza of dance, music and tapas in the main concourse of the Gallery! Thrill to the machine gun footwork of flamenco dancers accompanied by Spanish quitarist, from the acclaimed Danza Viva Spanish Dance Company, of recent Octagon Theatre success.

Dr Stefano Carboni, Director of the Gallery, will open the Festival, his APPRECIATING talk will discuss the works of Picasso, and introduce the first of the Festival films, Picasso and Braque go to the Movies.

Born at the same time as cinema itself and both avid cinephiles, Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque are creators of the Cubist movement and pioneers in the world of modern art. This film examines the possible aesthetic links between the advent of the cinema and Cubism. Discover the genesis of an artistic revolution.

Wednesday 6 June | 6pm – 9pm
The Concourse, Art Gallery of WA (via the Front Entrance)

Members $55 / Guests $65 (inc tapas & entertainment from 6pm, talk 6:45pm, followed by film)

Mention “Alex Millier” to get the member’s rate of $55.
Booking ref: F11 CLICK HERE to book with trybooking or call 9492-6750

CLICK HERE for further information

Who stopped the music?

May 26, 2012 § Leave a comment

The parlous state of music in public schools means not only are our children missing an important dimension in life, but they miss out on something that promotes brain function and social skills. China and Venezuela understand the value of music very well, and so do Australian parents, but our politicians are tone deaf. Reporter: Stephen Crittenden

A link to the Radio National show from 2009 examining this important question can be found here

link to “Who stopped the music?”


Support your local Divas!

May 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

West Australian Opera choristers Penny Shaw and Fiona Cooper Smyth, otherwise known as Divalicious, are through to the semi finals of Channel 7′s ‘Australia’s Got Talent’. Watch them compete on Wednesday 30 May and SMS “Divalicious” to 1977 8888 to vote them through to the finals. Voting lines open 7.30pm 30 May and close 10am 1 June (SMS votes cost $0.55). Divalicious

Perth on a Tuesday night in Autumn

May 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

20120523-135145.jpgAs I headed home on a crisp autumn night from His Majesty’s Theatre (The Maj) I spied activity through the window at the Ellington Jazz Club.  I’d just played some exciting and uplifting scores with the WASO for the WA Ballet as part of a show called “Diamonds” and didn’t feel like heading straight home.

Kat Tonkin, the Ellington’s charming manager on duty last night greeted me warmly at the door. I ordered a Squires cider off the tap and leant against the beautiful copper-topped bar.

The atmosphere was simply electric.  Jazz students and regular customers filled the place. Tenor sax giant Jamie Oehlers was in blistering form and his young protégés hung on his every phrase and nuance. What a treat. On a Tuesday night, here were some of Perth’s top jazz musos tearing the place apart. (I mean this figuratively, not literally. It may be a Northbridge night club, but here it’s all about the music).

SO glad I stopped by.

The musos last night.

Tal Cohen- piano
Jamie Oehlers- saxophone
Nick Abbey- bass
Bronton Ainsworth- drums

You can catch Nick Abbey tonight.

You can catch Jamie and Tal with Emmy and Grammy award-winning bassist Bob Hurst on the 30th and 31st of May

Even though they’ll only be tearing the place apart in a figurative sense next week, the Ellington may still need to replace some of the furniture after the gigs ;)

Here’s a taste of the quartet from the Jazzaziz Vol 5 CD Launch at the Art Gallery of WA last year.  Of course, video clips are never a substitute for actually being there…

Norwegian Piano Comedian dynamo comes to Perth

May 14, 2012 § Leave a comment


The GROVE Library and Community Centre and Cappuccino Concerts are excited to announce that the annual Grove Classics Concert Series is back for another season of live music!

The unique series of musical performances is intended to raise awareness of classical music and to bring professional classical music to more diverse and younger audiences while setting very high professional performance standards.

The highlight concert of the series will be Norwegian award-winning composer, classical pianist and stand-up comedian Aksel Kolstad. “The New Norwegian Victor Borge”, Aksel Kolstad is coming to Australia for the very first time to join the Grove Classics Concert Series 2012!

Grove Classics Concert Series 2012 commenced on Sunday 6th May 2012 in the state of the art innovative ‘The Grove’ Centre, one of WA’s most environmentally sustainable public buildings with an excellent acoustic space created in the library.

Discarding the pomp and ceremony often associated with classical music, Cappuccino Concerts are all about celebrating the musical arts for the appreciation and enjoyment by one and all. The Grove Classics Concert Series is a great opportunity for people from all walks of life to be introduced to classical music, in the exquisitely designed surrounds of The Grove Library.

When: Sunday May 27th 2012 commencing at 4:30pm
Where: The Grove Library, 1 Leake St (cnr Leake St & Stirling Hwy) Peppermint Grove WA 6011

Tickets and bookings: please visit or
contact The Grove Library on (08) 9286 8686 or email

(Tickets: $36/$32, Friends of the Grove Library $30, Standing/ student rush $10.


Louise Mackay (cello) and Emily Green-Armytage (piano) performing at the Grove Classics concert series.


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