Friday, 30 May 2008

SPNM 'Folk from Here'

Just thought I'd better tell you a bit about two rather different concerts that you'll see listed in the gig list, one in London next week and one in Cheltenham in July. They are listed as being part of the SPNM 'Folk from Here' series and they are being produced by the Society for the Promotion of New Music. The SPNM has in the past concerned itself mostly with contemporary classical music, but with this series it is changing the focus a little (under the direction of it's current Artistic Director - my pal Kuljit Bhamra, tabla maestro!)
So - these concerts will feature me & Kuljit, Marie Fielding on fiddle, Jonathan Meyer on sitar and Julian Sutton on melodeon playing some (very) new music written especially for us by 4 composers chosen from the SPNM shortlist. It's all been a bit scary (for the composers as well as us I's not the easiest combination of instruments to write for...!) and we end up half hidden behind banks of music stands, trying to read all the notes the composers have written for us. Eek!
It's been a really interesting and challenging project to be involved in, and I've really enjoyed the unusual sound combinations of the instruments (particularly the pipes and sitar - I want to do that again!)
Kuljit, Marie and I have also written new pieces for the project, and there are a couple of fiddle reels (just to give us a break from music-reading!)
Basically - if you're into very traditional music then this may not be the concert for you, but if you're feeling daring and want to hear something very, very different then we'd be delighted to see you.

oops - yes it's been a while!

Okay - I accept the gentle reminder, and here I am!
It's been an absolutely ridiculously busy few weeks, with various different projects, some touring, some composing, some University stuff (rather stressful for all concerned, as it's assessment time... marking deadlines...responsibility...eek!) It's all good, it's all interesting, but the challenge is in trying to get through it all, keep calm and enjoy it!
Anyway - just another few days before I actually get some time at home. Can't wait! I'm hoping that the weather will be fantastic and that I can go down by the river (only a hundred yards or so from the house) light a fire, drink some wine and cook some sausages and generally relax, enjoy the weather, the scenery and the break (although possibly not the crazy dog who will no doubt be galloping round the field at top speed, occasionally running into the river, shaking himself all over me then careering off again, stopping only to bark furiously at anyone passing by on the other side of the river!)
Off to France tomorrow morning, then back the next evening. More Uni marking on Monday, then down to London on Tuesday, home again Thursday.