Monthly Archives: October 2009

The winds recede

Sunday’s concert, “North Winds, South Winds”, was a success. Thanks very much to all those who came and supported – it was a very impressive, receptive and appreciative audience.

It was a challenge putting on such a demanding programme, but the orchestra definitely rose to the occasion and did a fantastic job. It is horrifying to realise that the time signature changes totaled around 160, and the tempo changes also added up to something drastic. Looking back, I thought it was a shame that we didn’t get to run the pieces more during the rehearsal period and hear them in their entirety, as some certainly aren’t done justice until done so. But I guess, we always have the best intentions.

North Winds, South Winds 2

It was very refreshing seeing so much New Zealand music being performed, AND with five of the eight composers being present. It was great having the older works which have been widely performed, alongside two premieres, and other works by younger composers. I had a few comments saying that NZ music is in very safe hands … which it is … of course. Judging from feedback, it seems the audience had a great time. I think they really enjoyed the balance in the programme, the top standard and of course the intros (thanks Harold).

It was a joy working with the wind orchestra. They have a wonderful committee which seem to take care of absolutely everything. The standard is excellent and I hope that I can work with them again sometime in the future.

North Winds, South Winds 1

My piece, Guardians of the North, went well. I placed it at the end of the programme, which could have been trouble after the workload before it, but it sounded great. I had made several revisions since its premiere in 2007, including a new ending, which I was very happy about. It now seems to sit more comfortably with the players, which is definitely a good thing.

The “North Winds, South Winds” have definitely receded, but what a breath of fresh air! Another concert down, more New Zealand music is in the mix – that makes me happy.

Blogs – read, write, sing, play

I have a routine: every morning I wake up, lean over and pick up my iPhone, I check the news, then I read all of the latest feeds from my favourite blogs. The blogs are music ones of course, and for years I have been filtering through them and the ones I like are the ones that stay. I use the term of “blog” rather loosely – some of these are actual blogs, some are more updates and news, but all just as interesting and worthwhile. Just a note, the links are to the actual RSS feed, not to the website, so they will open in your RSS reader.

  • Sibelius Blog: A must if you’re a Sibelius user. News, interviews, the latest movies to be scored on Sibelius, tips and more. Run by Daniel Spreadbury, Sibelius’s Senior Product Manager.
  • The Electric Semiquaver: All about writing with music notation software. The first line of his latest blog sums it up very well: “How music notation software can both assist, and completely destroy, musical texture.”
  • CompositionToday: Nice updates, news and resources about and for classical composers.
  • Musical Perceptions: “Perceptions about music, perceptions that affect music, perceptions colored by music, perceptions expressed by music”.
  • Echoes: They are disc manufacturers for independent artists but it’s a really nice blog of “insights for independent artists”.
  • New Music Strategies: Self explanatory.
  • Professional Orchestration: Nice feed on all topics related to orchestration.
  • Scoring Sessions: The feed from what I think you all know is one of my favourite websites.
  • Soundtrack.net: Feed of reviews and news of film soundtracks by Dan Goldwasser.
  • Sequenza21/: Great feed of news and reviews from this contemporary classical music community.
  • The Naxos Blog: Sounds a bit heavy – it’s not. Got great blogs and news articles.
  • Apple Creative Professionals: If you’re a mac lover you’ll have to have this one.
  • ryanyouens.com | blog: Am I allowed to put this on here?

While you’re at it, these are two well updated and completely essential news feeds:

Well, enjoy. If you have your own favourites, or any in particular that you can’t live without … let me know.