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colinmusic
May 22, 2019
In BLOGS
The recording is done. The Menai Wind Quintet and Will the engineer assembled last Monday night in a school in Llandudno and went through it. Will said the school hall was off-limits because of the noise from the school's animals, so we found a stuffy but silent classroom and worked away until late. The quintet decided they wanted the composer to conduct them, which was a surprise and caught me unprepared, but it did mean that some tricky entries could be played with more certainty. Of course, a few notes dropped off and we had to re-take some places, but their concentration across a hard evening was commendable and I am very grateful to them all for their commitment. Thankyou Dewi, Emily, Melanie, Miles and Rachel. The consequence is that now, instead of 21' of music, there is 121' to listen to and edit. There will be 'takes' which are good in regard and less so in another. A second 'take' will be better in some places but not as good in others. Deciding which ones to use will need a few days of patient listening. The leader of the quintet has been complimentary about its qualities, which I think she sincerely means, so it's just a question now of whether or not the wider musical world will agree. My understanding is that TY CERDD are considering making the recording available as a download. If so, that news will probably appear here first.
We recorded the quintet! content media
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colinmusic
May 12, 2019
In BLOGS
The Menai Wind Quintet premiered the wind quintet last night In Conwy. An audience of about 75 people each seemed to have their favourite movement (there are four) and the performance gained in confidence as it went forward. They took a risk by placing the piece at the start of the concert, when nerves are on edge, and inevitably there were a few hiccups. Dewi the horn player realised he was looking at the wrong part, about 10" into the 2nd movement, but he skilfully juggled the music and found his way back in. I bet he's a good card player. The quintet are pictured just after the gig, looking justifably pleased with a hard night's work. Now we move forward to the recording. The venue has had to be changed by the sound engineer, Will. He had found a school hall with lovely acoustics, but later realised that the school's food supply for their pet reptiles was kept there. He has concluded that the cacophony of crickets won't be in time with my metronome markings. So the search for a new venue has started - with just eight days to go!
1st performance content media
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colinmusic
May 06, 2019
In BLOGS
There's been a second big session with the Menai Wind Quintet playing my piece tonight. It has become a long piece. The rough recording I made tonight lasts for 21'30". It has come on enormously and is beginning to resemble my intentions. I don't think there is much to change musically now, it's just a question of getting in enough rehearsal time for the ensemble. These chaps are very good semi-professional players but even so, some of the instrumental interplay is challenging them. It’s very hard when you are on the inside, to know how the ensemble should work. The recording I made will assist players, who can now hear the essence without being physically involved and this should help create an aural map to assist their navigation. They are planning a premiere of my quintet this weekend at St. Mary's Church in Conwy; Saturday 11th May at 7.30 pm is the date. I share the gig with Ligeti, Poulenc and Shostakovich and I'm hoping they'll be up for a beer afterwards, if they are able to come along. This concert acts as a prelude to the recording, (the point of the collaboration) which is set for Monday 20th May. It's such a thrill hearing an ensemble give birth to one of your babies. This one just needs a few nappy changes and she'll be perfect! Are pieces of music male of female? Discuss....
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