Alison (they/them) has a textbook portfolio career, insomuch as it adheres to very few boundaries. In addition to being a professional bassoonist, Alison is a writer, film producer and adventurer. Their musical work focuses on advocating for the stories behind pieces of music, and demystifying classical music. As an adventure journalist, Alison offers alternative perspectives on common topics – how we express the feeling of being outdoors, what it really means to make space for others and how to discover new things in nature.
Alison was trained in journalism by Phillip Sametz through the Australian Youth Orchestra’s ‘Words About Music’ course. Since then, they have written for Australian String Quartet, Opera Now Magazine, Southbank Sinfonia, Lapland Chamber Orchestra, Australian Youth Orchestra, Cut Common Magazine, Things Musicians Don’t Talk About and the Corelia Project.
Beyond music, Alison has written for Beta Magazine and Desire Lines Cycling Club, and appeared on the Bikepacking Buds podcast. Alison’s article ‘Village Bicycle’ follows the way their rigid mountain bike represents and was created with the help of a generous community. This article was awarded Editors Choice in the 10th edition of Beta Magazine. From April to August of 2023, Alison spent an extended time living on their bike in Wales and England, an experience they then spoke about at the New Forest Off Road Club’s 2023-24 P.A.S.T. Winter Series.
Alison is interested in experiential rather than purely outcome-focused art, and this extends to their photography, shooting on 35mm film with their Pentax K1000. It is all hand light metered, and the focus is most often on the experience of taking the shot, rather than the exact outcome itself. Defining qualities of Alison’s photography are narrative warmth, authenticity, blown out highlights, and the sense of it being an extension of their mind and worldly perception.
To find out more about Alison’s work combining music and adventure documentaries through film, check out the bassoon half of this website.
Recurring themes in Alison’s creative work are: a sense of place, belonging, self-perception, wishes, connection, nature, freedom of movement, and homeliness.
Updated February 2024. Photographs on this page are by Roxanna Barry.