Books, Art, & Visual Culture


Writing and design by Melissa Hill, graphic designer.

The Perfect Partnership


Art borne from multiple minds

There are pieces of art that have made their way into the collective consciousness, that hold special meaning for many people. All art is a product of many factors: time, place, culture, politics, people… change any one of these and you end up with an altogether different result.

Sometimes you meet someone who does something that just fits so well with what you do, that for anyone on the outside, it would be inconceivable for it to be any other way. Sometimes you find the exact person who gets your brain working in a certain way, with whom you can bounce ideas back and forth until something almost seems to grow itself between you.

Last Saturday, I was lucky enough to have tickets to the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, playing the music of Joe Hisaishi, from Hayao Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli films.

Miyazaki and Hiashi have worked together for over thirty years, and in that time they have produced a body of work that is truly special.

If you've never seen a Miyazaki film, you need to – the combination of Miyazaki's fantastical worlds and noble characters brought to life by the lovely and whimsical art of Studio Ghibli, set against the soaring hope and optimism of Hisaishi's scores creates films that ultimately leave you feeling a bit better about the world than before you started watching them.

To witness Hisaishi conducting the MSO through his own life's work (and getting on the ivories himself) was very special. It also left me wondering why I don't go to the symphony more often – there is something magnificent and stirring in listening to a live orchestra in the correct acoustic setting. It makes me wonder at the creativity and ingenuity of humans, that we can invent tools capable of producing such beauty, that we can use them in synchronisation with other humans and create something so much more wonderful than we are capable of doing alone.