Thursday, 24 May 2012

5...4...3...2...1....We're ready for lift off....

Rehearsals have been continuing for our performance this week.

Different Trains has proved quite a challenge for a number of reasons.  The piece uses three pre-recorded string quartets on a backing CD alongside the live quartet. Rehearsing it requires that we have an adequate sound system as being able to hear the intricacies of the backing track are essential if we are to fit our individual parts in correctly. Our biggest problem seems to have been the page turns!  The parts have very few rests, so no option for the usual photocopy of the odd page to aid a turn – we find ourselves having to turn the page, count bars rest whilst trying to pick up a new pulse all at the same time.  We are feeling pretty confident now, just looking forward to getting into the auditorium on Saturday to rehearse with the equipment we will be using and getting used to the different equipment and acoustic.  It’s a fantastic piece and we’ve really enjoyed getting to know it.

We’re meeting with Paul Whitty this week to rehearse his piece again. He has been down in Devon recording Jackie Oates singing some folk songs which will feature strongly in the piece, and he and Emma also spent another rainy day in Thorverton recording more Devon earth sounds. 

Simon Belshaw’s piece, Between the Moon and the Earth, is the more straightforward of the three pieces for the players.  Similarly to the Reich, we have to fit our parts around the backing track, but the slower pace of the music gives us more time to collect our thoughts.  The combination of the amazing film footage of the Apollo astronauts and the beautiful harmonies in Simon’s music are what makes the piece so mesmerising.  We’re looking forward to playing this during the Family Sunday afternoon on the 27th – children can’t fail to be enthralled by the images projected up on a big screen in the auditorium. 

This project has been in the planning since last summer – it’s hard to believe we’re finally approaching our first performance.  We’re all very excited and looking forward to  Sunday………   Hope to see you there!        JH

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