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Amores Pasados at the NCEM

There’s something really special about doing a gig on your own doorstep. Apart from doing concerts with students at the university I’ve only ever performed in York courtesy of the NCEM and the Conductus Project, and it was great to be able to do Amores Pasados to the most friendly audience imaginable, largely made up of family and friends. It was also special because it was the first time my granddaughters Emily and Grace had been to a ‘proper’ concert, and it made the heart sing to see them there (and Grace making a beeline for John Paul Jones’ leg shows she’s already heading in the right direction).  We were privileged to have both John Paul  and Gavin Bryars up to hear their pieces for the first time. John Paul spent a lot of time with Jake and Ariel discussing tunings and scales for his new piece (and did some exquisite busking on the piano). It’s going to be  quick, he says (somewhat alarmingly).

 

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Twitter was alive with Zeppelin-inspired names of the superlute group these three might create…

Gavin Bryars’ Sonnet 128 from his Nothing Like the Sun is one of my favourite pieces. The original (the recording of our Adelaide performance is about to be released) has a rich texture of Gavin’s signature string quartet (2 violas, cello and bass) plus piano, guitar and cimbalom, and I was a bit worried he might find Jake’s miraculous two lutes arrangement a bit of a shock. He loved it and we managed to persuade him to join us for the postlude. I’d had the idea that as we got near the postlude, an old bloke would get up out of the audience and approach the piano, which he would then play. And sure enough it came to pass. Gavin didn’t knock over any chairs or glasses on his way, but apart from that it was a nicely successful surprise. We’re used to either grand Spanish churches where the lutes really carry or big theatres where we have to use PA, so we enjoyed the intimacy of the NCEM (though I suspect it wasn’t quite resonant enough for the lutes).

We continue to accumulate repertoire. The Warlock and Moeran pieces worked very well this time round, and there are more to come. Our next performances as an ensemble are in Germany: a late night in Blaibach on September 10th, then the Weltmusikfestival Murnau  October 23rd and Enjoy Jazz Heidelberg October 24th. That’s all for this year at the moment. We hope to return to the UK next year, and we  have concerts in Spain, Italy and Argentina in the diary at the moment.

 

 

 

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