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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Update on The Tension of Opposites

We had an excellent meeting yesterday evening to discuss Matthew Ferraro's The Tension of Opposites. It was our first opportunity to get the whole team together in one room: Matthew; Liz Sich, who is dealing with grants and fundraising; Phil Giggle, who designed the web site for Matthew; Stefan Henrix, who is Matthew's Sound Designer (and currently working on Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd); John Fulton-MacDonald, who is making a photojournalistic record of the project; and me. Things are moving on apace - we have a date for the performance (6th July 2008 at the Barbican Centre), and today we are video conferencing with an adviser in Los Angeles with a view to presenting a funding bid to a large corporation in the United States. Liz is also moving ahead with grant applications to the Arts Council, Awards for All and Youth Music.

We are also producing a short promotional film in two versions, one for the US market and one for here in Britain. We are continuing to sign up not-for-profit partners, and I have had initial discussions with two large national charities who may wish to benefit from the PR the premiere will attract. Later this summer the website will begin to host The Tension of Opposites Blog which will provide a mechanism for building a community and facilitating networking amongst the various organisations involved in the project. There is also a strong educational strand, so when we launch the main publicity for the concert early next year there will be an opportunity for school children and other learners to contribute materials to the blog. We're still generating lots of ideas, so watch this space.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A weekend in Cambridge and Twickenham (!)

Off to Cambridge last Friday for the second performance of Crouch End Festival Chorus's summer concert in the West Road Concert Hall. Rosemary and I stayed for the whole weekend and managed to take in a couple of the colleges, although Kings was just too crowded. Maybe we'll go back on a weekday when it's a bit quieter.

Then on Sunday we drove down to Twickenham to see Genesis, one of my favourite bands of all time, despite my growing suspicion that Phil Collins is a man of more talent than taste. Some of the songs he penned for the group in its later years would have been more suited to one of his solo albums (which I dislike almost without exception). However, they still have an exceptional back-catalogue, and it was great to hear them perform a couple of songs I'd never heard them do live, such as the exquisitely beautiful Ripples from A Trick of the Tail (which I'd told Rosemary only a couple of hours before that they wouldn't play when we were listening to it in the car on the way). I've seen the band four or five times now (although never with Gabriel), and I can safely say this was the best of their gigs I've seen.

A couple of videos from YouTube, the first from Twickenham, and the second (which is much higher quality) from an earlier gig in Paris:

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Beach Boys, Ives and other wacky stuff

IMG_3585Tara snapped this pic in The Flask after Crouch End Festival Chorus's amazing concert at St Michael's Church, Highgate on Sunday. We were fortunate to have local resident and founder of The Kinks, Ray Davies, in the audience. Our Musical Director, David Temple (also pictured), and the Chorus have worked with Ray before on some of his musical projects.

There was no Kinks music in the programme, but we did perform several arrangements of Beach Boys songs by David Bedford (who also attended). The arrangements were made for and dedicated to legendary bassist Herbie Flowers who also managed to come along.

In case you didn't make it and would like to catch the concert, we'll be performing the programme again at West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge at 7.30pm this Saturday, 7th July. The concert also includes music by Ives, Morten Lauridsen, Eric Whitacre, Barber and Copland.