Synchronized

Am rather proud of myself having written my first server application (in PHP no less..). This will allow any number of performers to get synchronized liveNotation for
performances like Floodtide. I’m looking forward to trying it out for real at the Floodtide performance on 24th Feb at Network Music Festival in Birmingham.

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Shrew preview

The Taming of the Shrew previewed at RSC Stratford Upon Avon last night. After a rather rough dress rehearsal I was amazed how many problems and rough edges simply healed up in time for the performance. I guess that is the result of working with an amazing cast, awesome musicians, a staggering creative team led by director Lucy Bailey and the support and machinery of the RSC which is a quite incredible company.

Despite concerns that it promotes sexism, brutality or mysoginy this play ¬†presents a rich view of how relationships and love form. Some have claimed that the TTOTS is not suitable to be performed in this day and age. I say it depends on how you read it. In director Lucy Bailey’s hands this is a tale about the imperfections of real relationships, and a portrayal of how that can lead to extraordinary and wonderful love.

You don’t have to take my word for it. There is this discussion in the Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2012/jan/17/taming-of-the-shrew-rsc?newsfeed=true

or better still come and see the show and make up your own mind.

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Taming of the Shrew

Began rehearsals this week for new RSC production of Taming of the Shrew which I’m composing.

The week ended with the entire company visiting Stratford upon Avon to meet important members of the RSC, hear a talk about ‘Shrew’ by the professor of Shakespeare Ewan Fernie and take part in an enormous pillow fight. The photo shows people gathering – the calm before the storm.

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Flood Tide Orwell

Had a great three weeks visiting Ipswich and working with staff and students from local schools in preparation for performances in May and June 2012. 

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Flood Tide – St Annes

Am now working on a new Flood Tide to be performed at 2pm on 25th November 2011 at St Annes Church, Limehouse, London. This performance will be part of an event about a group of artists who recently undertook a 5 day barge trip along the Thames estuary.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Anne’s_Limehouse

This Flood Tide will be performed by the incredible organist Toril Briese who is currently on exchange from the Royal College of Music Stockholm. She will be playing the beautiful old pipe organ there.

This will, as always, be an interesting challenge to adapt Flood Tide LiveNotation (generated in real time) for organ with separate staves for both hands and feet!

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chipping away

Books about computer programming often stress how important it is to plan your software, to decide about all its funtionality and then break that down into programming structures, classes, methods, variables etc before you start. Well that’s not how I work. Nearly all of my programming starts from the bottom up. Obviously I have some idea about the kind of result I am aiming for but it is rarely, if ever mapped out in detail.

Right now I’m still working on the solo piano version of Hour Angle for ISEA which will be performed on 21st Sept:

http://isea2011.sabanciuniv.edu/other-event/working-contingencies

I’m still dealing with very basic decisions, how rhythms and pitches are chosen, dynamics, playing instructions etc. New for this project as it is for solo piano are decisions like: how many notes to be played simultaneously (a chord) in each hand, whether to give each hand a different playing instruction, whether to make dynamics and instructions specific to each note..

So, lots of questions, better get back to trying to answer them.

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woodshedding

Instead of practicing the trumpet as I used to I now ‘practice’ programming. Today I’m starting to go through ‘The Java Programming Language Fourth Edition’ again. I’ve been through some of it before but feel I have a better overall understanding and would benefit from making a clean sweep from the beginning.

Was doing well until exercise 1.10 and have hit a snag making an array of a new class….

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