All my life, I’ve been into quizzes and puzzles of all sorts. I don’t know exactly where it came from, but I remember tackling crosswords from a very early age, and my favourite reading in my pre-teens was the dictionary.
One of my favourite quotes ever is from Alex Trebek, the long time host of the TV quiz show Jeopardy, who said, “I’m curious about everything, even subjects that don’t interest me”.
So it should come as no surprise that following the launch of sites for a precision cutting tool distributor, a family-school partnerships bureau, a book publisher, an automotive muffler and exhaust shop and a photographer, my newest website is for a concert pianist.
Marilyn Meier-Kapavale has an unbelievably distinguished career, starting as a child prodigy from Sydney’s south west, studying in the US and Europe, concerts around the world and then teaching the next generation of Australian musicians – currently in Queensland.
I should add that I’m one of those people who believes you have to believe in what you’re doing or you won’t do it well. So deciding whether to take this commission for this website involved first listening to her recorded performances, at which point I was ready to sign on.
The fact is Marilyn is a superb pianist, an especially fine interpreter of Chopin and Liszt but also pretty handy with a range of composers from Tchaikovsky to Grainger.
Like many Australians, Marilyn is from a multicultural family, born in Camden in NSW to a Tongan mother and a German-born father. She has maintained her Tongan ties especially and was most recently awarded the Grand Cross in the Most Illustrious Order of Queen Salote Tupou III for her services to Tongan music.
At the technical level, I was most interested to find a way to make samples of Marilyn’s playing available online: enough to make people want to buy her CDs and attend her performances but not so much that they don’t need to hear more.
Liek most aspects of web design, it was a matter of finding a technique that was as usable as possible to the greatest possible range of site visitors, and paid due respect to the quality of the music.
As always, it’s impossible to guarantee that the end result will be the same for all, but I’m confident that all visitors will get a sense of the majesty, power, delicacy and sheer beauty of Marilyn’s playing.