Visit to Umeå, European Capital of Culture 2014
From the 16th of June to the 19th I was in Umeå, Sweden. During 2014 Umeå is the European Capital of Culture. The European Choral Festival, which was held here, invited the SICC (South Iceland Chamber Choir) to perform. The choir are pictured above performing ‘Islands (Ynysoedd)’ in the Opera House in Umeå. This concert was recorded for the Swedish classical music station P2, and required a short break to accommodate moving the microphones to capture this unconventional piece. The audience responded well to both the choir and their choice of programme. The festival was very well organised and the staff were helpful and friendly. Most of the choirs were being hosted in the same hotel, so after the concerts the spontaneous entertainment often included bar-side sing-alongs! It was a pleasure to attend such a welcoming event.
‘Islands (Ynysoedd)’ in Salisbury
Earlier this week I watched my piece ‘Islands (Ynysoedd)’ being performed in Salisbury Arts Festival. This was the very first time in the UK that the piece had been performed with the movement designed in the score. The choir performed so brilliantly that according to the review in the Telegraph, some audience members were moved to tears! If you click on the image above you can read the full article written in the Telegraph.
Southwark Cathedral Premieres
On the 15th November my piece ‘Islands (Ynysoedd)’ was premiered by South Iceland Chamber Choir. With the death of Sir John Tavener in the week leading up to the concert, the evening proved intense and captivating. If he had been able to attend, I was greatly looking forward to shaking his hand and thanking him for his music. I would like to remark on his family’s composure during the concert: I think I would have struggled under such circumstances. I hope that the standing ovation that finished the concert was as much directed towards them, as the team who produced the concert.
The photographs below depict the choir singing in the studio live on air on BBC Radio 3, and rehearsing before the concert in Southwark Cathedral. Thanks to the sound engineer Árni Möller, I have been able to mix a recording of ‘Islands (Ynysoedd) from the concert on Friday. It should be on the ‘Music’ tab of this site, via soundcloud link. If you would like to read the review of the concert from ‘The Telegraph’, click on the pictures below to be taken to their site.