Skip to main content

Coming to visit? Ticketed entry is in place to safely manage your visit so please book ahead. Need to cancel or rejig? Email bookings@npg.gov.au

Menu

The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Anne Boyd

In their own words

Recorded 1969

Anne Boyd
Audio: 2 minutes

One of my earliest musical experiences is the memory of my aunt playing the piano and singing in the adjacent lounge room to our – well what was still called then the nursery, on this country property. Also, I used to listen to the radio a lot, in fact one of my favourite games was playing with the frequencies of radios and seeing what kinds of statics and sounds I could pick up, and of course, short wave was just fantastic and I was able to often, during the evening, pick up neighbouring Asian stations and so on, and this music really excited me as a child. Whenever I heard music I was always drawn to it. I had to go and listen to it. At about the age of six, my sister sent me a recorder and a teach-yourself manual so, of course, I taught myself to play the recorder in a very short time. This again was something which was very important to me as a means of expression and I, in fact, started writing quite – well, bizarre scores, really the notation of which meant nothing to anybody except myself, but I used to derive a great deal of enjoyment from playing these weird symbols that I’d managed to put down onto paper.

Perhaps my attraction to the sound of shortwave and the static and so on that was created by the radio is a result of my trips by air, the first one of which I undertook as a small child at the age of two. The sounds of the engines of the plane even fascinated me, and the variation in the contrasting timbres and dynamics of what happened when you were actually up in the air. I think probably my fascination with sound of all kinds was a result of living in a silent or a comparatively silent environment in the country, and so therefore these sounds of the city, of machines, of planes, in my rare contacts with them, are all the more meaningful to me.

Acknowledgements

This oral history of Anne Boyd is from the De Berg Collection in the National Library of Australia. For more information, or to hear full versions of the recordings, visit the National Library of Australia website.

Audio source

National Library of Australia, Hazel de Berg collection

Related people

Anne Boyd AM

Related information

The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance

The Gallery

Visit us, learn with us, support us or work with us! Here’s a range of information about planning your visit, our history and more!

The National Portrait Gallery building at night
The National Portrait Gallery building at night
The National Portrait Gallery building at night
The National Portrait Gallery building at night

Support your Portrait Gallery

We depend on your support to keep creating our programs, exhibitions, publications and building the amazing portrait collection!

Visiting the Gallery
Visiting the Gallery
Visiting the Gallery
Visiting the Gallery

Plan your visit

Timed ticketing, location, accessibility and amenities

© National Portrait Gallery 2021
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency