Julia blogs

July 15th, 2012

Band Night

Syzygy Ensemble has decided to institute Band Night.  It occurs on a regular night each week, and we’re keen to embrace ‘the cause’.
Socially, I’m winning. I have a new favourite wine, I get to see four of my favourite people every week and musically, we are a-glow with the pleasures of working on nerdy musical endeavours such as intonation and ‘the vibe of the thing’.  The down side is, we have more opportunities to think up new and exciting (read: challenging) ways to fill our diaries. There’s so much fabulous music to play and so little time.  It doesn’t matter, the art is worth it!

The practicalities have been interesting, however.  We got Leigh back from Africa (roar!), but then Jenny went off sunning herself in Queensland (choir sings: ahhhh…).  I thought we were all in town but the Syz’ Google Calendar announced Blair was away on tour (cha-ching!), and now our darling Laila has jet-setted off to attend a Summer course in Germany (Ja wohl!).

How do we function? We call in the super stars.

In this instance, it’s Alison Mitchell, solo flute in the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.  She will be arriving soon to fill the massive boots of Laila Engle in our concert on July 25th.  This. Will. Be. Amazing! You can read more about her in the next Syzygy newsletter. Personally though, I’m nervous – in a good way.

This next concert is going to be a tribute to theatrics.  In our travels towards the great theatrical, Pierrot Lunaire at the end of the year, we have to face things which take us outside our comfort zones.  People often tell us they feel confronted by listening to contemporary music.  I ask you though, how do you think we feel about it?  It confronts us too.

We are classically trained musicians who spend countless hours alone in practice rooms, refining our skills and maintaining the ‘tradition’ of classical music.  We study the mathematics of the score, and once that’s understood we layer the art on top.  In this concert though, we are called upon to strap bells to our ankles and shout at the audience.  None of these techniques can be found in the usual method books we study from, and quite frankly, it is confronting for us.  Luckily, we are a self governed organisation, and only have ourselves to thank for the opportunity to step away from the status quo.  I think this is how we, performers and audiences, grow.

More later, on how we go when we meet Alison.  I’ve got some nail biting to do.

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