Monday, March 18, 2013

You're So Dane

Level of conviction in own genius: 6.5
Hours of creative activity achieved in last 24 hours: 3
Watching / Reading: Two excellent films: 'Lore', just beautiful and dark, and the screamingly tense and screamingly '70s 'Argo' / 'The Year of The Flood' by Margaret Atwood
Hair Day: awight

To venues both big and small as a punter recently. I went to the Rose Theatre next door to the Globe for a short, sharp shock of a 'Hamlet', there to see our friend Jonny Broadbent go all Dane, complete with 'The Killing'-style knitwear. The Rose in the site of Bankside's very first theatre, and this show had the delicious tagline of being the first 'Hamlet' there since 1594. There was a wonderful use of the space: hemmed in by the teeny cardboard box style-set for much of the play, upon a hammy version of the play with the play, the black screen I assumed had a wall behind it was pulled down to reveal, behind a balcony and to audible intakes of breath, a cavernous space with a big pool of water at its centre: the foundations of the old theatre, underneath the canopy of a massive new building! String of red lights suddenly lit it up, and it was then used for Ophelia's mad singing scene, the Yorick scene, complete with brilliant Hamlet-and-skull shadows, and more.

Then it was to the Barbican to finally see Bobby McFerrin, one of our greatest living vocalists, live. It was a very chilled set of spirituals, many recorded by his dad (the first black male opera singer at the Met), with some raspy blues and some typical Bobby-ish chest-hitting and scatting. He leapt about all over his preposterous four-and-a-bit-octave range like a gleeful springbok; commanded his louche players; and introduced his 21-year old daughter as a honey-toned backing singer. Just lovely.
I had the very touching experience of having my graphic score for recorders, Screech (which you can toy with to create your own video-composition right here!), interpreted by five groups of recorder players aged from about 8 up to 18 at St. George's, Hanover Square, in my final outing as Handel House Composer in Residence. It was so fab to see a class of 20 Year 4s avant-gardely squealing, pipping and hissing, in partly-improvised renditions led by recorder masters Consortium 5. The new music future is kids! With recorders! Here's Yerbury School giving it some:
There was a time when my ambition was to play Cargo in East London. Then I did, in 2006, with juice! Then  I wanted to play Cafe Oto. And I did! Finally, The Vortex was in my sights; and lo! now I am a regular. I sang with Metamorphic in February, and DOLLYman finally got their foot in the door, having fun playing off-the-dots for the first time as support to the Kandinsky Effect's album launch. Let's up my targets. Next: The Barbican!

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