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Conversations With Ghosts


On August 9, 2013 ABC Music is proud to release the recording of Conversations With Ghosts – a unique project combining the talents of revered Australian troubadour Paul Kelly, esteemed recorder virtuoso Genevieve Lacey, composer extraordinaire  James Ledger and musicians from the Australian National Academy Of Music (ANAM).

Commissioned by ANAM, the pieces were co-written by Paul Kelly and James Ledger, based on poems by Les Murray, W.B. Yeats, Judith Wright, Lord Alfred Tennyson and others, as well as some new lyrics from Paul. Together they have created a rich and atmospheric 12-track work that touches on the theme of death and mortality.

The beautifully warm recording was captured live at Elisabeth Murdoch Hall in Melbourne during a performance in October 2012. 

Paul Kelly said of working with ANAM musicians: ‘It’s been a privilege to work with young musicians of such calibre who bring a pure energy to the pieces’.

…and of working with Genevieve Lacey: ‘I think of Genevieve’s recorder as our guide throughout, a kind of Ariel, coming and going, warning and leading, sometimes playing tricks on us but with our best interests at heart’.

James Ledger said of working with Paul Kelly: ‘When the opportunity arose to work with a songwriter – a real songwriter who is so spectacularly good with words – I jumped at the chance and we hit a groove almost immediately in the way we worked’.

View behind-the-scenes footage of Conversations With Ghosts rehearsals here.

In addition the release of the recording on August 9th,  Conversations With Ghosts reprises its 2012 run of dates, with additional performances in September 2013:

Wednesday 4 September - Melbourne Recital Centre BUY TICKETS

Saturday 7 September – QPAC BUY TICKETS

Sunday 8 September - Perth Concert Hall  BUY TICKETS

Conversations With Ghosts: Album released through ABC Music on August 9th.

Pre-order the album here.


1 The Lake Isle of Innisfree (W.B. Yeats) 8.07

2 Bound to Follow (Paul Kelly) 4:33

3 One Need not be a Chamber to be Haunted (Emily Dickinson) 3:17

4 Sailing to Byzantium (W.B. Yeats) 4:33

5 Night Ride (Paul Kelly) 3:52

6 Five Bells (Kenneth Slessor) 12:18

7 Basking Shark (Norman MacCaig) 4:40

8 Once in a Lifetime, Snow (Les Murray) 2:39

9 Woman to Man (Judith Wright) 3:22

10 The Chimes at Midnight (Paul Kelly) 3:48

11 Ring Out Wild Bells (from ‘In Memoriam’) (Lord Alfred Tennyson) 5:25

12 I’m Not Afraid of the Dark Anymore – Innisfree reprise (Paul Kelly) 4:22

About ANAM: The Australian National Academy of Music’s vision is to develop the country’s future musical leaders, distinguished by their musical skill, imagination and courage, and by their determined contribution to a vibrant Australian musical culture.

Located in the historic South Melbourne Town Hall, ANAM is Australia’s only national, purely performance-based music training institution, bringing together the finest young musicians from around the country for an intensive year-long program of study, training and performance.

ANAM’s students work in partnership with a faculty comprised of the country’s leading performers and teachers, an impressive roster of international and Australian artists and a professional administration team to create an intense studio-based program of one-to-one lessons, classes, coachings, seminars and rehearsals that drives one of the country’s most active and innovative public performance programs.

ANAM believes that a vibrant future for classical music lies in the hands of musicians who understand that historical and contemporary music are interdependent; musicians who are engaged with a broad range of styles and genres; musicians with the highest technical and musical accomplishment, but also with an understanding of the context in which the art form finds itself today and the courage and commitment to ensure its future; entrepreneurial musicians who see no divide between performing, advocating, educating, communicating; musicians of the 21st century, equipped to meet the challenges and realise the exciting potential of music at this time. For more information about ANAM see

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