Saturday night is going to be a totally epic night as Synthony kicks off in Auckland. DJ + vocalists + choir + symphony orchestra + an incredible visual feast which I’m not sure the Town Hall has ever seen before.
“Leave your Nan at home, THIS IS NOT AN ORCHESTRA AS YOU KNOW IT or a sit down affair… this an event you will lose your sh*t at.”
And yes, the rumours are true, I’ll be up the back thrashing the tambourine and caressing the thunder sheet as part of our impressive percussion section.
But, it’s been quite a journey leading up to this, and I haven’t actually posted much about it, so here’s a run down.
July 2016, the journey begins. Peter Thomas calls me and says he’s got a great gig on the horizon. He always does, but this time I knew it was special. He explains the concept and sends me off to watch the Ibiza Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. Online, not in person! I watch it. I’m sold. I’m in.
My first real taste of the project was in March when the first two arrangements were done and recorded for the promotional video. Wow, got the feels.
Two arrangements down. Eighteen to go.
For a few years, Peter Thomas and I have pondered doing a project where we could get young secondary school arrangers involved. There is always opportunities for composers, but there are some hugely talented young arrangers looking for experience. We knew this project was perfect, and so we recruited: Tom Lawton, Ki Hoon Sung, Matthew Beardsworth, Sarah Rathbun, Vivien Whyte, Lauren Tantrum, Angeline Xiao and Weihong Yi. Legends. I briefed them and mentored them along the way, sending countless emails of feedback and reassurance.
I also got to work on the rest of the show. Transcribing, arranging, and editing the electronic tracks with DJ Erika Amoore (who along with David Elmsly are the two behind the event). Here’s a bit about what I was doing (and yes, this was shot before they knew how to spell my name correctly):
The show launches, and… it sells out. Fast. The absolute boost I needed as I was working day and night to complete the arrangements. Everyone starts getting really excited. Erika and I get interviewed on Radio NZ. What a blast. Have a listen:
The tracks mentioned in the interview were Robert Miles by Children, Right Here, Right Now by Fatboy Slim and Silence by Delerium. Want to know what the other tracks are? No, not likely, come to the show.
So early September arrives and I’m done. The 20 orchestra scores and 580 instrumental parts (who’s counting?) are proofread and it’s all off to the printer.
Massive shout out to Erika, David and Peter who dreamt up this event, brought me onboard and have all been absolutely wonderful to work with. Special thanks to the Auckland Symphony Orchestra for doing an almighty job playing all the notes.
Three rehearsals down, two to go. If you’ve got a ticket, you’re in for a treat. Bring your best dance shoes. Carb load. You know the deal.