Monday, October 11, 2010

John Lewis is the new Cafe Oto

Hours of creative activity achieved in last 24: If preparing 'Composing in a Baroque Style' worksheets counts, then 5
Watching: Catching up blissfully with Mad Men after 2.5 weeks without the internet.
Hair Day: Super-cool and short and after central London expenso-trim
Things I Can See From My Flat Window No. 1: The London Eye

Things are hotting up for juice's appearance in the gulp-inducingly large Hall One of King's Place on October 22nd. As part of the publicity and to make the most of our PRS for Music Foundation groups award money, we had great fun in a London Fields studio a few weeks ago doing a new juice photoshoot. Little did we expect to be rocking the wildly contrasting looks of a) monochrome balloon-stabbing sexpots in teetering heels and b) Tim Burton-meets-Miss-Havisham playing with a Heath Robinson-esque machine, complete with bustles, corsets, pained expressions through lack of lungspace, and our hair spiked up, electric-shock style and sprayed grey. But rock them, I hope, we did. Hur hur.

Elsewhere, it's been the usual whirlwind of musical fun coupled with the not-so-cool pleasures of furnishing our new Camberwell flat (John Lewis's rugs are a godsend, I tell you! Urgh). I've started doing some workshopping at Handel House Museum, giving workshops to straw-boater-wearing Year 6s and Midlands-based Yr 13s when not getting hopelessly lost in the building's knottily labrynthine staircases and corridors. I kickstarted a Young Producers project at Wigmore Hall with a bunch of marvellously sparky 6th formers, mentoring them through the curation of a gig in April (I'm considering headhunting a couple of them to be my free PAs, they were so full of creativity and energy). I had lunch with the sage and wonderfully gregarious choral composer and conductor Bob Chilcott at the ICA, and popped along to Camille's producer MaJiKer's little album launch in Shoreditch to do a teensy bit of backing vocals.

You Are Wolf has been busy too, performing at a lovely intimate gig with Fuzzy Lights in Cambridge, alongside the effervescently charming Fiona Bevan at Beatnik in Hoxton, and finally at 'nonclassical' in Shoreditch. Here I had a wonderful time doing new arrangements of a couple of YAW folk tunes with Stuart, Ian and Olly (on bass clarinet, accordion and viola) from CHROMA Ensemble, plus trying out the first four of Berio's 'Folk Songs', in my own miked style. Sadly, also having a wonderful time were the attendees of a private party downstairs, whose beats and basslines from all sorts of common denominator party classics bled into nonclassical's upstairs room. Thus recorder quintet Consortium 5, launching their album with some supremely delicate woody flutterings and breath-attacks, were punctuated by driving four-to-the-floors, and CHROMA gave the London premiere of Mark Bowden's trio to the DAISY-age accompaniment of De La Soul's '3 Is The Magic Number'. Nice!

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