- INSIGHT – gain insight by NOT TRYING to do the thing you’re supposed to be doing. Find that spark by going for a walk, having a swim, taking a shower etc
- GRIT – make sure that the thing you’re doing (in my case being a musician) is what you really, really want in life and you’ll keep doing it even when you fail
- KNOWING – knowing instinctively that the answer/sound/response you’ve suddenly hit on is the right one. You don’t know how, or why, you just KNOW it’s right
- BE AROUND LIKE-MINDED OTHERS – live in the city, surrounded by like-minded individuals; some of the best ideas come either from the smashing together of more than one imagination or just by contact with other Human Beings, preferably electro-swing DJs-cum-pop-up-flat-white-boutique/gallery/retro video shop owners in E5 (ok, he didn’t say that bit, but that’s what I imagine)
Nonclassical had their second big night last week at XOYO, an every-three-month affair which stages bigger, classic modernist-repertoire-led shindigs than their monthly slot can allow. This time, the place heaved to Penderecki's Threnody For The Victims Of Hiroshima, where 52 string players squeezed in to play the angry, aching, scraping work, excellently conducted by Chris Stark, and with occasional complementary squeaks from the door of the Ladies' (which is not, of course, to say that contempo music is all squeaky public toilet door sounds: see Tom Service's blog on such matters!). I was along, with co-juicette Sarah, to sing in a single-voice version of Ligeti's Lux Aeterna, which I'd jumped at the chance of, not singing in much choral stuff these days. It was a close to the wire performance for sure, but was great to do and I think came across well. Xenakis' Peaux from Pleiades, for 6 players on 44 drums worked best in the space, with its opening thumping pulse springing nicely off the back of the preceding housey beats from the DJ; it was fun to watch three office girls, who'd just been dancing around swinging their jackets round their heads, getting into (and out of time with) the transgressive beats. So another brilliant evening, packed to the gills with a mix of artmusic heads, students and straying clubbers, all scintillated by astonishing live sounds and (mostly) wicked DJ sets; I already can't wait for the next one...