Here we are now, having just taken the biggest band ever to the BBC Proms for Heldenleben (even bigger this week for Firebird), folk are raving about the potential educational value we have - a bunch of crazy musicians - everybody is talking ‘live’, or ‘interactive’, and ‘community'. It’s what I've always wanted for us and it’s happening! Wow! How much do we all need folk to do more music? Our elected leaders are trying to screw us up to new heights of paranoia. Can’t we join together and shout loudly enough at them, “There is another way!”
Oops! That sudden lurch into politics was provoked by the Jonathan Harvey piece we’re rehearsing at the moment, ‘….towards a pure land’. If you listen to this at home, you’ll probably miss most of it. It hovers around the wrong side of silent and then murmurs its way over the threshold of the inaudible (there are long bits where we actually have to play – and make no sound at all!), but at least there are two huge arcs of shimmering instrumental colour and rhythmic complexity, so you’ll know that we haven’t just gone to the pub. It’s beautiful music. The Buddhist ethos in this music is powerful, it cries out in whispers (we actually have to make whispering noises). Stop, think, listen, be quiet - hear the sounds, listen - hear the suffering, be compassionate. Violence begets violence, the violence we have unleashed in the Middle East has unleashed and legitimized more and more and more violence, and that’s the violence that sits deep in every one of us, just press its button and it legitimizes itself…. if we could only just acknowledge that. Well ... I’m sorry if that’s all a bit off task, but it’s the sort of thing I think about in rehearsals.
Now that’s what music blogging is all about, and it’s on a BBC website! It was written by Anthony Sayers who plays cello in the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and it was posted to the BBC SSO blog. Composer with a big future Jonathan Harvey's ‘ … towards a pure land’ was given its London premier by the orchestra at the Proms on August 9. On An Overgrown Path has been a huge fan of the BBC Scottish Orchestra from the time they were my own home band in the MacRobert Arts Centre in Stirling, Scotland. The enthusiasm seems to be reciprocated as their recommended links read BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, BBC Radio 3, On An Overgrown Path ....
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