Sunday, April 21, 2013

Concert preparations

It’s exactly a month to go until the next concert and I’m now starting to get properly excited about it. And also a little bit worried. Not for any specific reason, just that it’s our second one and a bit like second albums, you get all the buzz from the first one but then maybe the second doesn't quite live up to expectations. 

The preparations are all going fine: scores written, rehearsal schedule all sorted, invites out, tickets selling ok, programme being designed (it’s looking awesome again!), etc. We've included a few different things this time compared to the first concert - unfortunately Aaron Holloway-Nahum (one of the composers) can’t come to the concert so he’s making a short film to talk about the inspiration behind his piece (hopefully not quite like a video thank you message at the Oscars!). Also different, we've decided to include another piece on the programme that is not by one of our emerging composers selected for the concert - Richard Uttley (our fabulous pianist) is going to play Mark Simpson’s Barkham Fantasy, which Mark wrote for Richard in 2009. It’s on soundcloud if you want a preview -’re hoping this will complement the other pieces on the programme and the solo piano sound will contrast with the wind ensemble. The other difference is that we’re inviting 3 audience members to write their own reviews of the concert in exchange for the price of their concert ticket and travel fare. I’m really interested to see how this goes, hopefully people won’t be too worried about not being “musos” and will write what they actually think!

We have 4 new pieces on the programme (from Emma-Ruth Richards, Piers Tattersall, Michael Cutting and Aaron), which I heard parts of in the collaboration work shop in January. Back then, some of the pieces were quite well formed and some of them less so. It’ll be interesting to hear how they developed and what the finished pieces sound like. As a set, they are mixture of instrumentation and aesthetics and I think different pieces will appeal to different people. There’s also a solo flute piece by Yuko Ohara, which was premièred in Israel last year and this will be the UK première.

So is there anything that I'm actually worried about? It turns out, not really anything. I love finally getting to the reason we do this - to showcase amazing new music, feel the buzziness, see all the connections being made and the reactions people have to the music. Roll on 21st May!

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