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BEING DUFAY IN FOLIGNO

The Dancity Fesival, where Ambrose Field and I present the next Being Dufay  on June 26, is a riot of multi-media events with a siginificant ECM flavour. We were all asked to provide some footballing thoughts, the festival presumably thinking that if you can’t beat them, join them (Ambrose being the Field of play, of course).

These were mine:

“Ho conosciuto mia moglie nel 1966 quindi non potevo a quel tempo interessarmi di calcio.
Nel 1994 la canzone per i mondiali dei ‘Tre Tenori’ era numero 1 in tutto il globo dunque l’album ‘Officium’ dell’Hilliard Ensemble era fermo al Numero 2.
Quest’anno però ‘Being Dufay’ ha avuto un successo inaspettato, come Totò Schillaci in Italia 90…”

(with thanks to Ned for the Schillaci reference…)

We have performances in Germany and Slovakia over the summer, and we will soon be scheduling performances of the new programme (once we’ve thought of a title) for 2011.  Ambrose’ new piece will be a stunning audio experience (the extracts I’ve heard are like nothing I’ve heard before). It still has the old/new agenda, but this time he tributes fifteenth century composers who are tributing their own predecessors.  I’ve always found composers working with other composers’ music very moving (even just thinking about singing the three note ‘Ockghem’ motif in Busnois’ In Hydraulis can bring a lump to the throat), and this album and its associated multi-media event will do that in excelsis.

The Sound & The Fury in Vienna

The Sound & The Fury get together twice a year to record Franco-Flemish polyphony. The line-up varies at top and bottom depending on the music, but normally consists of David Erler (countertenor), Klaus Wenk and me (tenors),Thomas Bauer (bass) – whose idea the whole thing was – and Richard Wistreich (bass).

Kloster MauerbachThe recording project is a collaboration between Bernhard Trebuch of ORF and the artists Markus Muntean & Adi Rosenblum. We’ve made 10 albums to date, all on ORF’s label, and this July we will return to Kloster Mauerbach just outside Vienna to sing more music by Ockeghem and Caron. There will be a live broadcast on ORF at midnight on July 9th (probably including the Ecce Ancilla mass). The eccentric timing is at least an improvement on the last live brooadcast,  when the temperature in the church was minus 12 with all of us wearing all the clothes we had with us and the audience covered in blankets.

It is, of course, a bunch of (mostly) old (-ish) blokes getting together to do the music we love and have been doing for longer than most of us can remember, and our sessions locked away in the monastery (we sleep in the cells) are among the most enjoyable things I do.  There is an added frisson provided by the fact that although we ‘know’ how the music goes, it’s nearly always new material that none of us knew existed, and there’s always lots of it so little time for re-takes. It’s a high-risk process…

Tampere Vocal Music Festival 2011

Details of how to apply for the ensembles and choir competitions have just been announced. You can download entry forms here. Tampere Concert HallThe Tampere Festival is one of the great vocal music weeks of the year anywhere, and I’m delighted to be back chairing the ensemble jury after doing my year as artistic advisor last time. For vocal ensembles the festival means maximum fun, lots of networking and plenty of performance opportunities. Some 30,000 people reckon it’s THE place to be in the second week of July every other year.

Work not in progress…

Liz Haddon and I have postponed what would have been our final ‘work in progress’ session. We’ll be finding interesting places to do similar events once I’ve left the day job at the end of September.

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