“Hello everyone (and a special hello to everyone who is new to this newsletter – thanks for joining us!)
“I’ve been really busy recently, though not doing as many concerts as usual. It’s all been interesting stuff though; I’ve been developing a classical (inspired by folk) programme for Northern Sinfonia to perform at the Southbank in London next February (more details about that at a later date) and composing a piece for the fabulous National Youth Orchestra. The piece is only five minutes long, but having to notate it all took FOREVER…I’m very excited (and a little nervous) about hearing it actually played, at The Sage Gateshead on April 12th and down in London on 14th.
“I’ve also been working with Folkestra (fantastic young folk musicians based in the north east) to put together a 20 minute piece to be performed as part of the Cultural Olympiad in Trafalgar Square on July 22nd. Our brief was that although the performance had to include some folk music/folk musicians, it had to be set within a contemporary, urban context…so we’ve brought in some friends to help us (including percussionist Brendan Murphy, scratch DJ Mariam Rezaei and break dancers from Bad Taste Cru to perform alongside Folkestra, myself and Amy Thatcher – accordionist and clog dancer extraordinaire!)…it may sound a bit of a strange combination but it’s going really well and will be great fun to perform (and watch…!)
“Apart from all of that I have also been keeping in touch with my musical (and personal) roots, with ‘Northumbrian Voices’. Although we hadn’t planned to record it the audience reaction (which has been incredibly positive – lots of lovely letters and comments, thank you!) has meant that we are now planning to release a CD of the show by the Autumn….just trying to work out exactly which bits to include though…it’s a tricky one…maybe it needs to be a double CD…
“Anyway – on to the regular section: “This Week I Have Mostly Been….”
Reading: Haruki Murakami – IQ84
Cooking: Fish pie
Listening to…my ipod….(okay, here we go; the first 5 random tracks that come up on ipod shuffle…could be interesting…)
1) These New Puritans – We Want War
2) Misty Miller – Eve (my friend Misty – she’s fab!)
3) Eel Grinders – the Absent Piper
4) I am Kloot – The Moon is a Blind Eye
5) Exercise no. 4 – Frank Zappa
Hmmm – yes – I enjoyed that!
All for now,