A Mactastic few weeks

You haven't heard from me in a while ... that's because I've been engrossed in my new toy (...business asset). Yes after my entire life of being a PC user, I finally saw the light and purchased a new Apple MacBookPro. Wow, wow, wow. Just the look of it is enough to satisfy me, but it's performance is amazing. I've been running Sibelius 5 on it and what a joy that is. I do everything I need to do in no time, then wonder if I have actually done it all cause seemed so completely stress free. lol I'm now Microsoft free which is great. Am using iWork in place of office. It seems far superior and is seamlessly compatible with office documents (on import AND export). So the point of this blog, is to, yes, encourage you all to see the light also.

Film score and Brazil

Ok well I’m working on this film score at the moment, orchestrating it and a bit of arranging. Lol it is very ... interesting. I’ve seen different scenes, heard stuff from the composer and seen the teaser website (www.chickencargo.com) – and after all of that I’m completely confused other than knowing it’s a sci-fi comedy. lol Anyway it's going great and deadline now is January 2008 so things are going to step up a bit. Stay tuned.

 I’ve just confirmed the premiere of “Mei Speroâ€? in Brazil early next year by the Sphera Ensemble. A specific date and venue is still being finalised but it should be a fantastic event. I’m adjusting the instrumentation slightly to suit the ensemble a little better. The original instrumentation of cor anglais, clarinet, horn, trombone, percussion, harp, viola, cello and double bass will now include some violins. Anyway, will post more details as soon as they are available.

Academy and Supervising

Hey everyone, well last weekend was the final of the Auckland University Academy of Music for 2008, and perhaps as we know it. On Saturday was the actual last day, and then Sunday was a chamber music festival followed by the concert in the evening featuring the ensembles, percussion groups and orchestra. I was stage managing for the day to help out and was heaps of fun. Anyway next year they are completely changing the running of it and supposedly taking away the chamber music elements and small teaching classes such as musicianship, but keeping the orchestra and larger ensembles. Of course that is an absolute joke as those aspects are where people actually learn and develop. Anyway if that all goes ahead there will simply not be an Academy of Music anymore which is a big shame as it is/was such a fantastic resource for Auckland emerging musicians. On a cheerier note, Trinity examinations are well into action once again. I am a supervisor for these exams and so am now out most days of the week until December. Some days are horrible and busy, but most are great and I can get a lot of my own work done which is FANTASTIC. Of course it’s great fun looking after the examiners as well – usually VERY English, delightful old men.

Oh and by the way coming up is the North Shore Junior Orchestra end of year concert and auditions for the 2008 orchestra. If you're interested, or know of someone who may be, visit: www.nsjo.org.nz.

Get Luke to New York

Luke Di Somma, a friend of mine, has been accepted into the Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at New York University. He is based in Christchurch and is a fantastic composer and musical director and has many shows to his credit. You can check out his bio at his site, but my point is, for him to get to New York he needs $200,000. Yes, that’s correct. How is he going to get it? That is a very good question.

www.getluketonewyork.co.nz

Go check out his site and read up on all the awesome stuff he has been up to. If you happen to have a spare $200,000 sitting around then make sure you get in touch with him. If you don’t, he would still love to hear your support.

Where to from here...

Okay so I'm at the stage where a number of projects have now concluded ... so what's next? Well I had a good "getaway" on the weekend - definitely not a holiday though. We went on a two day tramp in the Hunua Ranges and now ... I am VERY sore. lol Anyway was good to get out of the city for a bit. So now I have numerous projects to get back to which I have been dying to get some time for over the last month or so. These include various compositions - some piano pieces, an orchestral work plus revisions to Rakaia and Guardians of the North. Also needing to finish a string arrangement for Rhian Sheehan which will hopefully be leading to some more work, and have another scene coming through to orchestrate from Scott Hunt.

So I'm looking forward to spending some good quality time on these projects over the next few weeks. Stay tuned for ongoing details.

Kristin Symphonia gets Bronze @ KBB Festival

Hey everyone, well this week one of my orchestras, the Kristin Symphonia, performed at the KBB Music Festival at the Auckland Town Hall. They did very well indeed. There was some interesting acoustic problems going on as the timpani especially was positioned so far away. Generally though they did extremely well ... the first movement from Dvorak's Ninth in particular was superb. In the end we got a BRONZE award. A little way off gold (we're saving that for next year) but we are very happy with the result, as it is the first time in the orchestra's history that they have received an award at the Festival.

It was my first Festival of this type, so listening to the other orchestras and seeing how everything works makes me excited about the prospects for next year.

Rakaia ... premiere

Well well well. This afternoon was the premiere of "Rakaia" and it went very well. I wasn't playing in it so could really enjoy it. The percussion finally got it all together and sounding fantastic and the strings got (almost) all of their notes in. Everyone gets a little excited as it goes through ... including the conductor, so the tempo pushed a little but overall it was fantastic and had heaps of great feedback from the audience.

Rakaia Premiere

Above is a photo of Auckland Symphony during the premiere.

By the way I just want to clarify ... it said in the programme that I won the 2006 Young Composer Award. This was in fact not the case, I was commended at these awards. I hope no one is mislead by this. Not sure who wrote my programme bio up.

If any of those reading this went to the concert, I'd love to get your comments and feedback. Please send them through to me here.

I'm looking forward to next week's concert at the Bruce Mason Centre. For details see the news.

Rakaia ... final rehearsals

Okay so as per my last entry, yes we spent a good amount of time on "Rakaia" on Wednesday night. It was fantastic. Everyone finally got their head around it (... it seemed so anyway). I think many of the players are not familiar with this sort of music, so it has taken a while for things to sit naturally. Technically it is not too challenging but things just do not sit as you may expect as a player. Anyway after that rehearsal I went home a happy composer. Then ... today was the final rehearsal. We ran it twice and it was FANTASTIC!! I am so pleased with how it is sounding. I've been pretty pedantic about how I want it, and only today I felt that all of that paid off. Of course on concert day (tomorrow), it will rise to another notch so I can't wait.

By the way, if any of the members of Auckland Symphony are reading this, then THANK YOU so much. It is sound fantastic and I know a lot of personal practice and perseverance has gone into it. Many many thanks.

Stay tuned for how the premiere went.

Rakaia ... rehearsals

Well we've have a few rehearsals now for "Rakaia". It is definitely coming along nicely. Finally the percussion are getting into it so they are driving it which is fantastic. The violins are getting more notes in every time we play it as well. lol Anyway big rehearsal tonight where hopefully we will be spending heaps of time on it so looking forward to it. Stay tuned ...