Interview: Annemarie Duff

By Andrea McArthur Annmarie-Hero

This year we have met a range of creatives from different fields, all who make beautiful items or designs that we can see and feel. Today we meet another creative with a twist, one who makes an intangible product. Meet Annmarie Duff a composer and music producer.

Annemarie describes her work as ethereal and ideas driven. She herself is very driven as can be seen by her involvement in not one but many personal music projects: including three electronica bands Paper Electric, Mmdelai, Pinn'd, an indie band Miniatures and classical albums Shangri-La.

What led you down your current path?

I played piano kind of obsessively from a young age, but only started getting into music production when I was at Otago University. I took a few music technology papers for interest (while studying computer science) and then moved to Christchurch to study audio engineering. After I graduated, I landed a gig working full-time as an in-house composer and sound designer for a gaming company. This contract ended when most of us were made redundant early last year. So I moved to Melbourne for more opportunities and am loving it. I'm still building a contact base over here so am working part time as well.

Who do you admire in the industry?

James Lavelle (founding member of U.N.K.L.E.) - not only is the music he's produced absolutely incredible and moving (no matter what genre), he's also built a scene for himself and built his catalogue on collaboration both in music, film and art. He always works with incredible creatives, whether established or newcomers and doesn't discriminate by genre. He's built this amazing creative business that crosses between industries and has spanned across decades.

What has been your most favourite project in recent years?

I can't pick one – I love the music each of my bands make, they're all very different. If I was to name one moment, getting my special edition marbled silver Mmdelai Vinyls in the mail was pretty amazing, they look so good.


What does a typical day at work involve for you?

I work part time for an IT company, so 4 days a week I get up at 6am and go to the gym, then head back home and do some emails (the bands are each with overseas record labels, so there's a lot of communication online). I get to work for an 8.30am start and finish at 5pm. After work I head straight to band practise/gig/soundtrack work/lesson plans/more emails. On Wednesday afternoons I teach a class at AIE in video game audio which is awesome. I have band practice two nights a week, a gig at least once a week and usually have something to be doing a soundtrack for. I'm always working on new tracks to keep the creativity flowing so I try to make at least one new track a day. I'm still trying to figure out how I can organise it all into a routine, haha.

What future plans do you have for your music?

Building up the work so I can do it full time. Playing more shows and more writing/producing/releasing. It would be awesome to expand on the teaching I've been doing at AIE too, it's so much fun and I've learn a lot just from teaching the basics again.

5 Questions in 5 minutes

Getting Personal:

Studio Sounds, what's playing?

Keep Shelly in Athens, Bonobo, SPC EKO, DJ Lotion's mix for the Lela Jacobs Spring/Summer collection.

What are you currently reading?

"Making ideas happen" by Scott Belsky.

What are you looking forward to?

New opportunities. Gigs over summer and hopefully playing some festivals! Travel/holidays.

Can you share your go to resource for motivation?

My to do list! Have motivated friends!

What is your local areas best kept secret?

I'm not sure if I've been here long enough to count as a knower of local secrets… I do love Annoying Brother Cafe on Nicholson St. They serve amazing coffee and there's a great Salvos store around there too.

To contact Annemarie: Email: Phone: 0468 452 628

 Andrea McArthur has a passion for all things visual. Type is her true love and goes weak at the knees over beautiful design. Andrea works as a freelance graphic designer in Brisbane by day and lectures in graphic design by night. You will find her sharing design related goodness via @andyjane_mc