A Q&A with Judy Gunson from Stiletto Sisters
What is your goal/s for your Local Heroes series in 2016?
Going to some musical places that we haven't been before as a group.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
One of my favourite times is just after a performance when the hard work and concentration is over and for a moment everything seems complete. But I love the whole musical process: the rehearsals, discovery of the music, the build-up of tension and excitement before a concert and the amazing experience of performance where time becomes something quite different.
What do you think about when you perform live?
Often I think about too many things! But what I love to do is to NOT think but to listen and try to stay in the musical moment with Hope and Jo, hearing as much as possible of what they are playing, what is going on around me.
Which historical figure do you most identify with and why?
I don't think that I identify with any historical figure in particular but I really enjoy finding out about the history of the music I'm playing, whether it be the milieu that has influenced the ideas of a composer, or the culture/time/place which has inspired a composition or a folk song.
Where is your favourite place on Earth and why?
I would have to say that one of my favourite places is the property in the Strzelecki Ranges where my parents lived for fifteen years. It was mostly temperate rainforest and very isolated. It had natural springs, lots of birds, an enormous open sky above and an amazing view to the horizon of Wilson's Promontory.
If you could swap places with any other human or animal who or what would you choose and why?
I think I'll choose to be a dolphin to experience being totally at home in and under the water and to be able to outswim a shark!
Who is your ideal audience?
Someone who wants to enjoy themselves and be swept along by the experience.
What colours speak to you? Have you ever experienced synaesthesia?
I'm glad to have all the colours!
Which living person do you most admire and why?
My hero at the moment is Bernie Sanders. I love the clear and succinct way that he phrases his view of the world and his ambitious but simple proposals for political change. But more generally, I admire everyone who works to change the world into a fairer, kinder place.
What is your favourite book and why?
I love the writing of Bruce Chatwin, in particular the way he weaves threads of history, philosophy, and ideas into his stories in such a way that I feel opened up to the world.
What is your favourite piece of music and why?
I'm in love with the variety and the endless possibilities of music. I love it when a new piece of music surprises me with something that I haven't experienced in quite that way before.
How did you come to play your instrument/s?
My first instrument, a piano, came to me as a child of seven because we were given a piano by my grandparents. I've always loved it, even though I was not always a good student. My second instrument, a piano accordion, arrived by chance one day when I was looking for something portable. I loved it too, for the ways in which it was different to the piano, organ-like ability to sustain a note and the timbre which seemed to speak of all sorts of music and cultures. As for singing...I've just always loved to do it.