Collaborative project sets out to prove that ABC Classic FM talent is not just skin deep.

Observant listeners might have noticed that ABC Classic FM has recently introduced new presenter themes for several programs. While these new themes may sound vaguely familiar, you might be forgiven for struggling to place exactly what the music is or what period it is from. Don’t worry, there is an explaination.

Over the past few months, Eardrum’s creative director Ralph Van Dijk and Noise International’s creative director Bruce Heald have been spearheading an initiative to anchor the sound of Classic FM to the presenters themselves, by creating a suite of compositions based on the DNA of each individual.

ACO trialing Bruce Heald’s compositions

Heald based each composition around twelve prominent physical attributes that mapped to a corresponding note of the twelve-tone equal-tempered scale. When a presenter had a dominant physical attribute, the corresponding note was to form part of the harmonic framework of that presenter’s theme.

“I always knew this was an ambitious idea which had to appeal to the most musically knowledgeable audience in Australia,” said Van Dijk. “Bruce stepped up to the plate brilliantly, and used all his Conservatorium training to great...