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Welcome to the Sound Matters Online Exhibition

Welcome to the Sound Matters Online Exhibition

In partnership with Vision Australia, the Sound Matters workshop series at Melbourne Recital Centre explores interactive and creative music-making, especially designed for children aged between 6-12 who are blind or have low vision.

Passionate, joyous, expressive and truly unique, Sound Matters is directed by Inventi Ensemble’s Ben Opie and this particular workshop was co-facilitated by Melbourne-based cellist Stephanie Arnold, who together have collaborated with five budding musical storytellers participating in the program to create their very own story and accompanying soundscape.

Ben Opie

Ben and Stephanie share more about their musical motivations below.

“My passion lies in creating pathways to music in as many ways as possible. The Sound Matters workshops we have developed explore countless musical concepts and forms of expression. From creating a composition, building an instrument from scratch to improvising with friends and colleagues, the participants in Sound Matters are given the freedom to express themselves the way they feel comfortable.” says Ben.

“My work combines music with storytelling, creating musical memoryscapes and sound art out of edited interview material and live music. The resulting stories were wonderful to work with, and are a reminder of how unique our voices, expressions, and storytelling styles are. Every day we use musical ideas when storytelling: we accent or articulate our words, our intonation rises and falls for dramatic effect, we use repetition to emphasise a point, or hold a pause to reflect or add weight to a sentence. I worked these wonderful stories into pieces of sound art, recording accompanying lines on my cello...

Stephanie Arnold

"These re-worked stories were brought into the online workshop where the participants explored the concepts of ostinato, speech melody, and musical imagery. Participants discovered how these concepts can be used to capture the attention of the listener, to encourage them to listen in a new way; not just to what is being said but to how and why something might be said. The participants played with these ideas, first listening to their story in its new musical form then taking turns at finding the rhythm in their own words or adding their own sound effects with instruments or objects at home” explains Stephanie.

These stories and memoryscapes now live online the inaugural Sound Matters Online Exhibition! Featured in alphabetical order below you can listen to each memoryscape, read along with a transcript of each story, and hear from each participant about why they chose to tell their story.  

Anita’s Story: When I was little, my dad bought me a really cute cat...

When I was little, my dad bought me a really cute cat.
But I was really scared of him when we got him, we travelled so far.
When we were on the way back home 
he was in the car with me in the back, and I was crying and saying ‘please take him back’
I was really scared of him cos he was… (cat meows)... there he is meowing.
He was….he was clawing through the cage and I was really scared, 
because he was only a kitten but he can have quite sharp claws.
But now I’ve grown to like him and he was so little then.
Now he’s, now he’s very big and grumpy.

Anita: “I chose this topic because I love my cat and I think it was an interesting story to tell.”

Blake’s Story: I went to Cohuna, I made lots of friends there...

I went to Cohuna, I made lots of friends there.
I…. went on a jumping pillow
I learned to do a front flip
I went to Twisted Science
I got the cone and put it on the blower,
and mummy and Miranda ate a bug and I didn’t want to. Eehhggyuck
I had astronaut ice-cream and normal ice-cream too. Aren’t I lucky!
I went to the playground we got these magnet thingies,
it went thththfffppt when I dropped them. 
The first time I got them, guess what! I broke them, for goodness sake!
The lady gave me another one she was so generous. 
I went to Cohuna I made lots of friends there.

Blake: “I chose this story because I wanted to tell everyone about my fun holiday and share stories about the jumping pillow and making friends. I had so much fun telling this story.”

Cem’s Story: On Bayram I made a lot of money...

On Bayram I made a lot of money,
and with the money we went and bought an electric scooter.
The way it works have two buttons,
one, it’s on the left, and that’s for brake 
and then the right side is to go
and then the way you go on it is, it’s two people, so grown up, or even kids can go on it.
You can make yourself, the scooter go up or down.
And then, and we have a lot of fun riding, going around.
And we’ve had so much fun riding the scooter.

Cem: “I chose to explain this story for two reasons. One is because it explains our religious easter and the importance it has on my family's beliefs. We get to share a special day with the entire family and that makes me happy having all the people I love next to me. The second reason is because on our easter kids make money which is given by the grown-ups as a gift. I used the money to buy a cool electric scooter. Because I am blind, I cannot ride it on my own, but mum and I go on the scooter together and go for a ride. This is lots of fun because I get to spend more time with my mum and because I love the feeling of air hitting me face when we ride the scooter fast.”

Max’s Story: I went to Lorne in the caravan with my family for six nights…

This is my story about Lorne.
This is my story about Lorne.
I went to Lorne in the caravan with my family for six nights.
We stayed and the Lorne foreshore caravan park,
which was so close to the beach and we could walk there.
Some things I did were jumping on the trampoline, Teddys lookout, the circus, ice cream shop, The Swing Bridge Cafe and boogie boarding at the beach.
One day we went for a walk and the first stop was the circus.
Some acts were bean bag juggling, hula hoops and spinning plates.
The ringmaster’s name was Nicholas Ridiculous,
and he was playing old fashioned music on the outside speaker.
I really liked it.
The end.

Max: "I chose to write about our trip to Lorne because one of my favourite things to do is go on holidays in my caravan. I love going to the beach and having new adventures. It was a good memory for me and my family.”

Zoe’s Story: Once upon a time there was a apple, he was very sad...

Once upon a time there was a apple, he was very sad.
Once upon a time there was a apple, he was very sad.
Because every time someone took a bite out of him, 
a fruit would make fun of him.
Because he was the only fruit that this magical bug liked to take huge chomping bites out of,
and he looked really silly afterwards.
He got really cross, and sometimes accidentally squashed a few blueberries,
and the Blueberries mum’s weren’t very happy!
The apple decided to find a place where these magical bugs were killed by giant watermelons!
He decided to walk, but he didn’t have any legs.
So… he rolled, and he rolled and he rolled.
All the way to the bug free bridge!
Where giant watermelons squashed all the teeny magic bugs that took giant chomping bites out of apples.
The whole world was free of magic bugs, Apple never looked ugly, 
he could grown all his skin back cos he had magic powers
And he was never bullied again!
The end!

Zoe: “I chose my story because it was about fruit and I love fruit and there was a morale to the story… If someone bullies you, you just find somewhere else to go so the bullies can’t find you and you are happy and safe again."


“The joy that emerges from these workshops is palpable and it's what motivates me to keep searching for new and exciting ideas to bring to Sound Matters” - Ben Opie
“In a time when health concerns force us apart, listening together as a group and playing along to our stories connected us joyfully and creatively through music. It was a magical workshop" - Stephanie Arnold


Thank you to Anita, Blake, Cem, Max and Zoe for sharing their stories and memoryscapes with us!

Thank you to our facilitators Ben Opie and Stephanie Arnold.

For more information on Melbourne Recital Centre’s Sound Matters program, email

For more information on Stephanie Arnold, visit

Sound Matters is made possible thanks to the generous support of the William Buckland Foundation, and The Marian and E.H. Flack Trust.

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