More travel in the past few months, including a terrific trip to the US which, although only a couple of weeks ago, feels like a year ago already! It was meetings in New York then concerts in San Francisco and Washington DC (in that order...literally no sense to it, but at least the airmiles were good) Then it was back to London for some concerts, notably the Mute 'Short Circuit' Festival, which saw the launch of the much-ballyhooed-about 10" vinyl of Max Richter / Johann Johannsson solo cello goodness. Speaking of which, it's available on iTunes right now, and I'd love to know what you think. I'm really a rather happy bunny with it all.
Then, but a few zippy days later, it was all change and time to premiere Gabriel Prokofiev's new Suite Cello and 8 Loudspeakers.
There are some pics from soundcheck, neatly borrowed from the LSO.
There were a few things with this that made it high on the "tiring but massively rewarding" list, namely having to track, edit and mix all the parts in, for one reason or another, the week before heading to the US (which also included recording some solo stuff for Scott Walker's new ballet score at the Royal Ballet), but really, I was fascinated by the review in The Arts Desk, which some of you may or may not have seen. I mean, yes, it was a late finish for a school night, but I do feel that The Point of The Piece was somewhat missed. Perhaps it's in the name, perhaps I'm reading too much into The Title, but it's written for 1 Live Cello and 8 Loudspeakers, and I think listening to it suggests it's all about this glorious structural, rhythmic, mechanical motion. I don't, as it happens, think it would have been better with 9 cellists, and was not done as a solo piece for budget reasons as is curiously implied. A lot of Steve Reich's music (as was heard at the glorious Barbican Reichathon a few weekends back) is written explicitly for track because that is the sound he wants to achieve. As Gabriel pointed out in the same introductions that are mentioned, many of the sounds are designed to replicate grime, dance and urban music. Are we suggesting that, but for budgets, we'd be seeing nice little three piece bands springing up in clubs instead of DJs? No.
To go ultra positive for a moment, do we all know LSO St Luke's? It's absolutely my favourite venue right now, just a delight. Everyone was just too helpful and the acoustic is wondrous.
Anyway. I'm playing Gabriel's suite a couple of more times in the coming months, at the Spitalfields Festival in June, Latitude Festival in July and a few other bits to be announced nearer the time, so if you missed it this time around, do pop along!
This is most likely the last blog post before the new site design goes live! Isn't that exciting, boys and girls? It's so nearly June/July, and acutely aware this represents a lot of having to make sense of a number of different topics. I'm trying to resolve a guest article I'm writing for elsewhere, tidying some slides for a presentation I'm giving in July (a related, if tangental note: I had no idea the word restauranteur was incorrect, and is in fact restaurateur with no 'N') and working on some new concert programmes for the later months. Funnntimes ahead! Also, If you didn't see it somewhere else, I'm playing at The Apple Store, Covent Garden on June 9th - would be great to see you there!