Early Stroll Songs Fundraiser

Crowdfunder over the initial target!This morning, thanks to 34 lovely people, we have more than surpassed our original Crowdfunder target for the Early Stroll Songs fund raising effort. And the money keeps coming in! We've set a 'Stretch target' of £1,500. 

The extra money will allow us to extend the education element of the Early Stroll Songs project, as well as giving us the freedom to explore future performance opportunities. 

It will also mean that we can do more publicity and investigate the options for higher levels of media exposure. 

So if you've pledged, thank you - and if you still want to pledge, please do. The rewards and the crowdfunder remain open until 31st May, and the premiere is scheduled for 11th October, when I'll be singing the songs along with John Rutter's Shadows and some Dowland songs, accompanied by Mark Willcocks.

Early Stroll Songs

Have just been reading through the proposed text for the Early Stroll Songs by Ian McMillan. 

As a composer myself (albeit a very low-level one) I'm looking at the words - which are based on Tweets - and thinking: "How would I go about setting these?". The answer is that I have no idea. 

Tweets are a bit like haiku. They are limited in length, but have to hold an entire context. They're complete, condensed and intense. It's this sort of thing which makes them so difficult for me, as a bad composer, to contemplate. I've got no doubt, though, that Richard Barnard is going to turn them into something marvellous for our commission in the autumn. 

But it's interesting doing it this way round: normally as a singer I get the musical score, devour the notes and (as a academically-minded musical analyst) subconsciously concern myself without how the music works, Then I take the important step of learning, understanding, declaiming and absorbing the words. This time I've got no choice. The music's not been written. I've only got the words. Instead of having the words presented to me through the lens of the music, I'm going to get the music added to the landscape of words that I already know. 

I'll try to keep you involved with that process as I start to get the music in the coming months. 

Sea Drift and COP21

One thing had been worrying me about Sea Drift - the big Delius tone poem for baritone, choir and orchestra which I'm performing next Sunday with UWE Singers and orchestra. It's this: Whitman's poetry - in the printed version at least - makes a distinction between the words of the narrator and the he-bird by putting the he-bird's words in italics, while leaving the narrator in normal print. 

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