Archive for September, 2010

Basel Ballet

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

I’m just coming to the end of two weeks in Basel working with the ballet company here. We’ve been doing Jiri Kylian’s extrordinary piece, One of a Kind, with Brett Dean’s two hour score for solo on-stage cello and electronics. the dancers are magnificent – so passionate and dedicated to their art – and Kylian is my favourite choreographer – everything so flowing, and always seems to have an emotional expression that tells a story of some kind. It’s a huge challenge to play, as of course it all has to be memorised, and if I make a mistake the dancers are in big trouble! But it’s great fun – particularly in the second act where dancers come very close to where I am playing, and we get to improvise together a bit. It was the first major piece that Brett wrote before he decided to be a full time composer, having been a viola players in the Berlin Philharmonic before that.

Back to London for some rehearsals and meetings tomorrow, then back here for the final show on Sunday.

And Basel is great – such a beautiful old town, and the cheese and chocolate – lots of fondues and raclettes followed by chocolate truffles. Mmmmmm

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Peasant Girl on YouTube

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

There are now clips of the Peasant Girl at the Holland Festival (Amsterdam, Bimhuis) on YouTube

Enjoy

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Peasant Girl + Dartington Magic

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Just had a week with the MB Ensemble and Viktoria working on the last two arrangements for the Peasant Girl project (check Viktoria’s website for details). Dartington is the ideal place to escape for a bit of downtime with space to rehearse, breath deeply, and dream. We worked on a piece by DuOud called For Nedim that was really challenging to put together, an old Russian gypsy song called Dark Eyes, and all the other repertoire of Weather Report, Bratsch, John Lewis, Bartok, Kodaly etc.. The concert in the Great Hall was wonderful – sumptious and clear acoustic, great vibe, and enthusiastic crowd. It was also recorded by BBC Radio 3 for Late Junction. Having time just to work in a place that is so beautiful is a rarity in our world of rushing around, and it really bore artistic fruit in the concert.

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