We always love it when our alumni come back to visit and when ANAM alumni and MSO double bassist, Ben Hanlon, returns to perform in the hall later this month it is no exception. But for this recital there is an added bonus – ANAM’s A/V Recording Engineer, Alistair McLean, is going to join him! Usually at the controls behind the scenes, Alistair (who plays guitar) shared with us some thoughts on swapping his backstage role for time on the stage.

We usually know you as our A/V Recording Engineer but for Ben Hanlon’s Alumni Recital you will be joining him onstage, how did this come about?
Ben and I met about a decade ago at a jazz competition in South Australia, when we were both in high school. At the time I was playing double bass like Ben. Both of our bands did well in the competition and we became friends. Since that time I have gotten a lot worse at the bass and Ben has gotten a lot better! We’ve been playing jazz together ever since, and Ben has finally decided to get his revenge and convince me to play classical music.

What’s your background as a musician?
I grew up playing whatever songs were on the radio on guitar, until I heard George Benson and Wes Montgomery and my life changed very quickly! From then on I was committed to playing jazz guitar (with brief dalliances on other instruments) and studied Improvisation at the VCA. Since then I’ve worked as a performer and composer across a range of fields – mostly working in jazz, improvised and experimental music, with a focus on texture and rhythmic music.

After all of your experience managing behind the scenes at ANAM, how do you feel about being onstage?
I feel very comfortable being onstage, but a little bit less comfortable playing classical music in front of classical musicians! I also performed at current ANAM Musician, Luke Carbon’s recital earlier this year, but he was nice enough to let me play jazz.

Can we hear you perform anywhere else around town?
For sure. My next performance with my own group is at The Grace Darling on September 23rd, where my trio (featuring Ben and my brother James McLean) will be performing my original music. You can also often find me at the local jazz clubs, and performing with a range of local groups including Paper House and odd math-jazz with All Talk.

How’s the next semester at ANAM shaping up for you?
Very busy but very exciting. We’ve got lots of fantastic concerts coming up, and I’m particularly looking forward to the six piano extravaganza with Lisa Moore, and 23 recitals squeezed into two weeks!

And for something non-music related – what’s your favourite dish to cook at home?
If cocktails count as a dish, Sazerac. If not, then definitely Mexican with everything made from scratch – homemade sauces, tortillas, and always fresh quesa fresca!

Tuesday 25 August 6pm

JS BACH Cello suite no.1 in G major
JS BACH Cello suite no.2 in D minor
SARASATE Zigeunerweisen
PATERSON Etude no.2
SCHUBERT Arpeggione sonata

Ben Hanlon (ANAM alumnus) double bass
Alistair McLean guitar
Hue Blanes piano

Venue ANAM, South Melbourne Town Hall 210 Bank St SOUTH MELBOURNE
Tickets $5 (at the door), Free for ANAMates

For more information visit anam.com.au


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