Such a pleasure to play at the beautiful Corn Barn, near Cullompton. Here we are in the garden: Hilary Boxer, cello; myself, flute; Jane Greenwood, cello and David Cottam, guitar. I loved listening to the two cellos playing together. The sound is so rich, you really can hear more than 2 notes - it sounds like a cello choir! David and I enjoyed playing together, and we will be doing more, with Hilary in Lympstone in the Autumn. Also talk of making a studio recording... I love all the different colours David gets out of his instrument, it's something I'm really considering at the moment... after the concert we stayed on at Yta and Ian's lovely farm and sat outside til after 11pm in thin summery clothes sharing wine, strawberries and cheese. Meeting and sharing music and other things with all sorts of people is just great. This weather definitely makes it easier to be more open and relaxed, too.
Here is a pic special to my heart! It is me with Jayne Hannah, first flute of ESO. She had to sit through the first piece and then come in cold on the solo at the beginning of Prokofiev's piano concerto no 3 - her beautiful top C sailing over the orchestra on a bed of feathers! :-D ahhh, and I got all the fun Prokofiev piccolo writing! :-D anyyywayyyy...... I am actually end of term report writing at the moment so had better get on with that so I can get back to what it's all about - playing. Thankyou to LUCH, of Phonic FM for taking this photograph, and many more, and writing it all up on his website - www.classicaljourneyphonic.blogspot.co.uk
Next Thursday 18th July I will be performing with Hilary Boxer, cello, Jane Greenwood, cello and David Cottam, guitar at the Corn Barn bear Cullompton. It is a gorgeous, rustic venue, with a cosy yet elegant feel. The last time I played there was with Hilary in the mid-winter. We warmed up our spirits with a 'Festive Flute' programme including Villa-Lobos's 'The Jet Whistle', but it was still really very cold, in reality.... so.... I am looking forward to playing our sunny programme (including works by Piazzolla, Telemann and traditional folk from here and abroad) in SUNNY CLIMES (yes, here in Blighty! Blimey!). I rehearsed with David this morning in the depths of Devon, and couldn't resist taking off on an impromtu walk across the fields afterwards. (Feeling all Thomas Hardy.) A walk, that in my memory took 30mins, actually took me 80mins in the midday, glorious technicolour light, with the mad beauty filled song of the Skylark and the blank blue sky that you can almost hear humming and weighing itself on you....
Just got back from our Seat of the Pants gig in Crediton - didn't know Crediton had an arts centre, but they do - small and lovely opposite the big church. A Seat of the Pants gig feels like a get-together with very special friends (even though this was actually only my 2nd gig with the Orchestra!). We always have the added frission of workshoppers who also perform with us or on their own in some films. I love the accepting, experimental, relaxed but attentive feel of it all, with participants from young to older - it's just a good vibe! I had the added luxury of being able to do a good chunk of practice in the daylight hours this afternoon! (I am mainly a night-practicer, by necessity.) (Thankyou Jonnie for entertaining Rose and Jesse :-p) This good-playing day has been another step in my recovery after a down period of colds, sickness and chicken-pox (my daughter, not me). On the Solstice night I cleared up my music room and made lots of lists of music and plans for the next 6 months. I have lots of repertoire to learn! Feeling much more directional now! I also find that being kind to myself is much more productive than being harsh to myself. I have alot of 'practice method' type books, and I will binge on one or the other for abit, then castigate myself when I hit a brick wall and give up. The way that works best is if I pick and mix - so I cover all aspects of technique but in the ways that I enjoy and with exercises that I really appreciate musically. So at the moment I'm doing a combination of Peter Lukas-Graf 'Check-Up', Taffenel and Gaubert 'Daily exercises' (of course!), Anderson studies (lots of good articulation material there, and I do like the dramaticism - hm, not a word, oh well! - of some of them!), some great exercises I found online by Helen Bledsoe and abit of Reichert. And then also using some specific passages in my repertoire as sequence material - ie. doing it through different keys. aaaaah. That is a happy sigh.
Playing live, improvised music to films with the Seat of the Pants orchestra this Sunday 23rd June at Crediton festival! If you are a musician or budding animator (or know of any to tell) then come to the afternoon workshops. Workshoppers get free entry to the gig.
So... In the middle of half term I did this lovely gig in Exmouth Library with Jesse Molins and Al Swainger, what a privilege to play with two musicians who are very experienced and creative jazzers - I enjoyed the ride! (And hoped they didn't mind me coming along too much!) I've jazz noodled at home with Jesse - to bring it to public surrounded by lots of books and warm faces was a friendly way to come out of my jazz closet! A big thankyou to Chris Launder at Exmouth Library, who made this and many other super things happen - check out all the photos of their community events on Flickr! What a buzzing library! Now I must get to transcribing... and bringing other ideas to fruition... and back to teaching and learning accompaniments. Right... time to get my half term hat off!
At the beginning of this week I went on this course with Douglas Coombes MBE. It was great to do some continuing professional development. The day was aimed at classroom teachers (mainly primary-focused), but I found it all relevant and helpful. I'm already using the different physical movements for different note-lengths (instead of only clapping, or words), and I'm looking forward to using the clapping composition exercise (will be a good warm-up at the Summer school). It felt positive to have my own priorities and beliefs (that everyone can appreciate, enjoy and communicate with rhythm and pitch) affirmed, and that these foundations can take time to build and are worth building. Yet also, how easy it can be to instantly create music with individuals and in groups. We did lots of practical exercises involving singing, clapping, making sounds with our voices, and percussion instruments. As an instrumental teacher it can be easy to get caught up in the limitations of a student's current technical ability - it is good to be reminded of the immediate music we can make with our own bodies/percussive effects on instruments - and how effectively this can be done in groups. I ended up buying lots of sheet music (again!) - including books of folk songs from around the world, Native American flute music, pictorial composition worksheets and more... by the time Jesse and I are pensioners we'll be living in a music library...
There will be a first for Exmouth Library next week when we host a local Jazz trio as part of the Exmouth Festival. Exeter born flautist Ruth Molins will be playing with her guitarist husband Jesse Molins and double bass player Al Swainger. Music will be summery in theme - from hot Latin, to French cool! Jesse is known for his jazz-style reminiscent of Wes Montgomery, he also has a keen interest in the Spanish guitar. Al was voted 5th in the British Jazz Awards in 2012. You can find out more and listen to some performances at www.jessemolins.com/ and www.alswainger.com. For reservations please email email@example.com. Tickets are £3 Date: Wednesday 29th May. Time: 12pm