Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mood Music

Level of conviction in own genius: 7
Amount of creative activity acheived in last 24 hours: 2
Reading/Watching: 'The Interpretation of Murder' by Jed Rubenfeld, bit silly/The end of series two of 'Mad Men', the best slow-burner ever
Hair Day: confused

Have been so creatively busy it's just silly. In the last few weeks I have :
a) exploded onto the formal chamber music scene by debuting juice at Wigmore Hall and getting THE best Times quote ever for our troubles ('makes Stockhausen and Berio sound prehistoric'; Richard Morrison we LOVE you)
b) sampled the cultural/drinking delights of Berlin on hol, including excellent sound installation, much walking of entire city, dinner parties with artist acquaintances in cool studio apartments with drills and bits of wire and drawings everywhere, excitement at going to smoking bars and reeking exotically of tobacco smoke the next morning
c) sung at the Macbeth in Hoxton for nonclassical and possibly nailed small record deal for juice
d) been recording/mixing my solo EP with soon-to-be-revealed new moniker
e) whipped up live vocals and slightly silent-movie-piano-esque music in 4 days for Kazzum Theatre Company's R'n'D week on a Darwin-inspired work for kids using clay
f) coached kids, students and adults on the usual vocal stuff in Derry
g) Met composing honchos Jonathan Harvey and Cecelia McDowall at London premiere of my 'dusksongs' and vocal/educational honchos Gabriel Jackson (sporting right cool cowboy moustache and arch wit) and Mike Brewer (seasoned beyond all seasons) at the meeting for a new educational vocal project for teenagers

The heaviest time was the two-week period where I was required to sing for several hours a day whilst grappling with some kind of (non-swine-fluey, though it burst out at just the same time) ghastly throat vileness, which didn't go away even when I had to do three gigs in three nights with three different bands. The culmination of this was DOLLYman's rather hilarious outing at the City Showcase's unsigned London bands showcase and competition, the nearest I'll ever come to being on X Factor. Amidst 7 other mostly half-decent acts very much of the pop persuasion, we came on and did our part-instrumental, part-sung punkjazz thing and awaited the panel of four judges' verdicts. Having already sampled their ludicrously banal quotes for previous acts, we couldn't wait to see what they might be able to say to us. We'd already been introduced, marvellously, as 'they're all MUSICIANS, they're all composers' (somewhat suggesting to the previous 4 singers that they were nothing of the sort), so we knew what was coming. We had some wonderful compliments first off, and I was very pleased to be told I had a 'gorgeous, beautiful' etc, voice (I'd really gone for it, wrapping myself around the mike stand and being as glowery as possible), and looked as sincere as I could to the comment that I'd 'really given a part of myself to the audience tonight'. Then we looked bashful as we were told how it was amazing that we created MOODS, not just through a voice but through our INSTRUMENTS and how AMAZING that was. The northern soul singer girl told us she didn't like the instrumental number as she was a singer, and so, y'know, she only really liked ones with, like, singing, in them? Panjabi Hit Squad Man dissed James' usual 'cello histronics and best of all, the journalist woman was mean about our tights! We didn't win, felt kind of cheap and used, but overall it was a good experience and we were really well received. Quite amusing sharing a stage with a) a group of 13 year-old boys with the same haircut playing basic rock, their Dad loping about after them with guitar cases and b) one of my old students from the BRIT School, Sarah Williams White. Also challenging to keep a straight face when told by a judge that he understands us as he, like, knew some jazzers once, when all four of us have MAs in Composition or Performance and two of us are Doctors. Imbeciles. RedmanRed, edgy shouty Brighton-based indie, were deserved winners though, and I reckon we could've come 2nd or 3rd had there been more prizes. We did get a couple of contacts out of it, which is the main thing.

Finally, Wycombe Wanderers are making a triumphant return to the grand and lofty third flight. OK, in truth it was as haplessly ungraceful as it could possibly have been, with WWFC - needing a draw to breeze through - conceding a goal late on and Bury probably only not going past us on goal difference because their supporters miscalculated the points and staged a pitch invasion when they scored a penalty, which was actually still one goal away from an promotional victory for them. Ha. Fools. But who cares, we're through, go the mighty Wyc!!! Am SO looking forward to the London games, particularly at Leyton which is only THREE tube stops away from me!!!!

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