AIM staff, alumni and graduates recently combined musical forces to commemorate the Queen’s birthday on Channel Ten’s breakfast show. The Contemporary Performance graduates Richard Swanton, Hamish Carrington, Mitch Clews and Jess Schadel (who is now a teacher), make up The Black List. The quartet performed an assortment of classic British-rock songs with vocalist Mark Da Costa on live television.
The Black List have much experience in performing in Sydney’s popular music venues, but never before have they showcased their talent on live television.
Jesse Schadel played a range of acoustic pianos including the Hammond organ and electric piano. He recounts his anticipation and excitement, “I performed on national television once before, but it wasn’t live. This made it more exhilarating, but we also had to be on our game. Overall, seeing yourself in the monitors in front of you knowing that it’s getting streamed around the country- it’s a surreal experience.”
“There were a lot of cameras. I knew there was going to be a heap of people watching us but when I performed it felt like there were only ten,” says guitarist Mitch, whilst Hamish the drummer recounts the backstage commotion, “It was interesting to see how that side of the music and live television works. Nothing is really decided until just minutes, sometimes seconds before it goes to air. It all went by very quickly but I had a blast.”
Bassist Richard says, “It was great working with live television presenters, and getting a better understanding of how live productions work. It was also an interesting challenge using our skills in an environment that is quite different to the usual, and seeing how we can come together to create an enjoyable performance.”
AIM has played a major role in the formation and growth of The Black List- primarily through networking with other musicians and developing their talent.
“The two biggest things AIM has done for me in regards to my achievements so far would have to be the network of musicians I have met during my studies and my Instrumental Major lessons,” Hamish says. He praises his drum teacher Dave Plenty for helping him in his career. He continues, “These skills I developed would have never been seen if it weren’t for opportunities given to me through this network of talented musicians.”
Mitch shared a similar experience as he developed his musicianship, “Being inspired by the other musician’s I’ve met, I’ve improved as a guitarist.”
Richard says, “AIM was incredibly helpful for me in networking with other professional musicians, as well as the experience of playing a wide variety of genres with different groups of people. This made me a much more versatile musician personally, while also creating future opportunities for work and enjoyment through music. The teachers at AIM also significantly helped to grow me as a musician, mentor me, and help me appreciate a much broader spectrum of music I otherwise would have never explored.”
Currently, Hamish is working on Mark Da Costa’s album and teaches three days a week at the Learning Lounge in Turramurra. “Since graduating AIM in 2011, I found myself busy with fellow student recitals. When they dried up, a lot of my time was spent settling in with Mark Da Costa and The Black List. We are playing some of Sydney’s best venues, up to three times every weekend, which is keeping us busy.”
Alongside The Black List, Richard and Mitch are a part of two other bands; I’m No Thief and Teal respectively. These bands have a strong focus on original music, live shows and recordings. Richard states, “The live performances have been a great way to earn a form of income doing what I love in an increasingly challenging and competitive industry.”
As for Jesse, he is teaching classes at AIM and working as an accompanist and programmer for the vocal ensembles. “It’s heaps of fun, but a lot of work. I get to use my tech-savvy side of my brain.” Together with teaching, Jesse plays various gigs, “I would say 80% of the work I get these days is all from the networking through AIM. I’ve had people like Jamie Rigg (Head of Contemporary Performance Department) looking out for me too. When the right work comes his way, he’ll always give me a ring.”
Read more about AIM Music Teachers here
Follow the link to watch them perform Birthday by Sir Paul McCartney: http://tenbreakfast.com.au/video.htm?movideo_p=46269&movideo_m=196340
Story by Hanah Yang