We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalising content and advertising. To learn more, check out our Privacy Policy


by reception
posted 02/06/2021

Cyan and Celluloid Symphonies

Hi, there! I’m Cyan, a Year 11 student from Sydney Girls High School, and I’m with Eastside Radio for three exciting days on my work experience placement.

My unofficial title among my friend group is ‘Ultimate Starving Artist’—you can find me spamming the group chat over Ray Chen’s god-tier double stops in Sibelius’ Violin Concerto, the genius way musical themes are used in the How To Train Your Dragon soundtracks, or breaking down the amazing, symbolic lyrics that recur thematically throughout BTS’ discography. I’m also often passionately text-ranting about the cinematography of the film Pride and Prejudice 2005, the gorgeousness of Alma Deutscher’s neo-classical Siren Sounds Waltz, and the like—you know, being an arts nerd.

I found Eastside Radio in my quest to find work experience at the recommendation of a friend, after being rejected by a whole slew of film production companies due to the COVID 19 pandemic. Upon checking out the website, I was hooked; programs like Arts, Cinemascape, Forever French, and (obviously) Celluloid Symphonies immediately drew my interest.

I’m most excited by ideas that cross-pollinate across all sorts of artistic forms (animated films, literature, song lyrics, soundtracks, figure-skating routines…the lot), and I also have a love for languages, different cultures, and humanities in general, being a Latin student and aspiring to do a Comparative Literature and Film Studies degree post-secondary school. The eclectic, worldly, and creative content from Eastside Radio seemed just my style, and after some avid listening to the most recent Celluloid Symphonies, this proved to be true.

Radio is a pretty new area of media for me. In the car, I’m more of the type to loop my personal playlist to death rather than turn on the radio, since I’ve associated radio as a young child with the Hot 100 chart—usually not really my style. Celluloid Symphonies (hosted by Poppy Dowsett,  Zoe Vaughan, Aaron Curran and John Cole) however, surprised me with how accurate it was to my taste. Often, I get in deep and personal with a few select favourites that I could talk about for days, but find myself having trouble branching out and discovering new styles and artists.

Surprisingly, the line-up of music from the 30th of May with John Cole had me itching to add to my playlist with almost every song, a rare compulsion for me and my picky taste. Included was a healthy mix of lyrical to syncopated, upbeat to romantic, and cinematic string harmonies to funky drum grooves, brass interjections, and bass fills.

Among my favourites was I Was Born For This by Austin Wintory, from the soundtrack of the computer game Journey. As a classically-trained violin student, I might be a tad biased, but I love a classic, sweeping string part in an orchestral film score. Wintory’s melodies really pull at the heartstrings, with amazing harmonic build-up and floaty, soaring vocal melodies. Already, it’s earned a spot among my soundtrack favourites, right next to Flower Garden from Joe Hisaishi’s Howl’s Moving Castle, and Third Date from John Powell’s How To Train Your Dragon 3.



Donnybrook Fair for Violin and Orchestra, from Far and Away by John Williams, was another one of my immediate favourites—Anne Sophie-Mutter’s signature fiery, gritty violin sound never goes wrong for me, with plenty of virtuosity and vivacious up-tempo drive followed by romantic, lyrical melodies (my weakness, as you might have figured out by now). It’s exactly what my fellow classical music nerd friends would headbang to in class and refer to as ‘a bop and a half’.



Another one of my favourite musical things is the dramatic thinning of musical texture to a sole piano part, à la La La Land’s Epilogue (Justin Hurwtiz) or the part that makes the whole theatre bawl in the opening to Pixar’s Up (Married Life by Michael Giacchino). I loved Talk About Suffering by Carter Burwell, from the soundtrack True Grit, which absolutely nailed this for me.



Already, I’ve jotted down plenty of new film soundtrack favourites. I’ll be listening to Celluloid Symphonies via eastsidefm.org on my way to early morning rehearsals and in the background as I work on visual arts for school, now that I’ve found something more to my taste than the lo-fi playlists on Youtube I’ve overplayed over the last couple years. I’ll definitely be recommending Celluloid Symphonies to my friends, and I encourage all lovers of film music to have a listen.

For those interested, you can find my creative content on Instagram at @cyanh.png!