Please tell us a little about who you are and your background
My name is Chris and I'm the Horn player with the Atéa Wind Quintet. We as a group have been making music together in varying formations for the last 5 years or so. Aside from the Quintet, each of us are busy forging our own freelance careers in the Orchestral world along with budding solo careers.
What have been the most exciting performances you've given recently?
As a Quintet we did a great concert for Southend Council a month or so back which went fantastically well and both us and the audience seemed to come away with a real buzz.
Do you have a distinctive sound?
I think that we do, yes. As a group we work really hard on blending our individual instrument sounds to try and create one unanimous voice, something that comes incredibly naturally to our string quartet friends but requires a little more work from us.
Who makes the artistic decisions? Or is it team work?
We really try and incorporate everyone's thoughts and ideas in the process of exploring and performing music. Some of us are slightly more verbose than others in the process though!
What are the challenges with performing newly written pieces?
Often, a big hurdle is trying to understand exactly what a composer wants from us, frequently they use notation that can be ambiguous. Thankfully for this project, the composers are just a short email away so is not such an issue and actually they have all been very clear in notating their intentions thus far.
What do you talk about in breaks in rehearsals?Varying topics from gossip to big ideas for the group, although we always have things to eat whilst we discuss thanks to our oboist-cum-resident-Chef, Philip, baking many, many cakes for us