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Activist #MMT - podcast

Oct 30, 2022

Welcome to episode 135 of Activist #MMT. Today I talk with Gabie Bond. In part two, we talk about MMT, Torrens University, climate change, and the job guarantee. In hour one, however, we talk all about music. (To be clear, this first hour has little to do with economics.) As you heard before the opening music, Gabie is a classically trained violist. (Her accompanist and partner is a classically trained pianist.) I'm a classically trained singer, and for the past year have been learning guitar.

(Here's a link to part two. A list of the audio chapters in this episode can be found at the bottom of this post.)

Gabie and I talk about various topics, such as how the guitar has frets and the viola doesn't, and the consequences that has on our approach to the instrument and the notes. We talk about the differences between perfect and relative pitch, and how neither of us have the former. We also share some of our own experiences learning from, and teaching others. Gabie ends by describing how and why she let much of her professional music career go in order to become an activist, something which is greatly informed by MMT and ecological economics, which she learned thanks to meeting Steven Hail and Phil Lawn.

In the show notes, you'll find several links to the things we mention, plus some examples of our playing. Out of my almost 140 episodes, this is the third entirely or substantially dedicated to music. Links to the other two, with Andy Berkeley and Derek Ross, can be found in the show notes. Getting to know MMTers outside of MMT, is important. It's basically an anthropological look at the background of MMTs adherents, which provides important context on the theory and movement as a whole. I was inspired to do this by Fred Lee in his 2011 book, A History of Heterodox Economics

Next month in part two, Gabie and I transition to discuss MMT, Torrens University, climate change, and a job guarantee. Gabie is CEO of Modern Money Lab, which is the owner of the intellectual property – the academic content – of the Torrens graduate program. She talks about her role in the program coming to life and in its day-to-day operations.

And now, onto my conversation with Gabie Bond. Enjoy.


  • Version two of the job guarantee report by the Sustainable Prosperity Action Group. Here's an overview.
  • Examples of Gabie's playing viola:
    • Piece played before the opening music: Carl Stamitz viola concerto, accompanied by Alexander Hanysz
    • Performing with the Australian Discovery Orchestra: Tuscany from 17 songs
    • Performing with the Australian Discovery Orchestra: The Tender Land (Suite) Aaron Copland
  • Gabie's partner is pianist Alexander Hanysz. His website, which includes music and digital art
  • Gabie's sister Annie is a scientist and part of Scientist's Rebellion. She recently glued her hand to the front-door window of a fossil fuel company headquarters, as mentioned by Steven and covered by ABC TV and radio.
  • Examples of my singing:
    • Me singing Weekend In New England by Barry Manilow
    • Me singing every part except the lead vocal, of an a cappella arrangement I wrote of slave song called Wayfaring Stranger. I created the theme of a train to represent the slave's journey from earth to heaven, where he is finally free of his suffering.

And now, onto my conversation with Gabie Bond. Enjoy.

Audio chapters

  • 5:25 - Hellos, summer here, winter there
  • 7:24 - Music!
  • 8:32 - Listened to each others' music
  • 13:58 - Traveling by plane to rehearsal and reservations about it
  • 15:46 - Jeff learning guitar, ambitious pieces like Maple Leaf Rag
  • 21:29 - Learning an instrument as an adult (and teaching adults)
  • 23:34 - Guitars have frets, violas don't
  • 27:46 - Perfect pitch versus relative pitch
  • 31:44 - Gabie's partner is a classical pianist, Flinders Street school of music
  • 36:47 - Jeff playing a couple minutes of When She Loved Me on the guitar
  • 40:18 - Jeff- finger-style versus strumming
  • 42:36 - Why Gabie stopped being a musician and became an activist
  • 52:31 - Do you choose to listen in your own time to the (classic) music that you play?
  • 57:04 - Climate change and not wanting to fly- mass travel (and Levy Summer Session)
  • 1:04:18 - Duplicate of introduction, with no background music (for those with sensitive ears)