Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Whoops - inaccurate reporting

Brian has told me that the piece for the recorders wasn't an arrangement but an original piece. 

You can't trust reporters!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Another world premiere!!

Just to finish off February in style Brian had another piece premiered yesterday.

His Welsh teacher is a primary school teacher in St Davids and asked him to arrange the folk song they had set for the Eisteddfod for her recorder group.  They performed it yesterday and it went very well apparently - he got lots of compliments on it.

Entertainingly the boy who plays the bass recorder has to stand on a chair to play it because it is taller than he is.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

More good news

February is being a brilliant month for the Noyes family!

Brian's son Richard has found out that his film has been accepted by the Tokyo Film Festival.  Richard made the film last year - a short which he wrote and directed (and funded) himself.  He has submitted it to a few festivals but this is the one he really wanted it accepted for because it has an international reknown for short films apparently.

So - what a week!

Brian has a cd recorded and Richard has his film accepted.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Recording in Russia

Today has been an exciting day because Parma recorded Brian's piece 'Shadows of Memory'.

The recording took place in St Petersburg, though the only way  you could tell was that people were talking Russian in the background - one recording studio looks like another.  The conductor is based in USA but is Russian so he was talking to the orchestra in Russian. 

We were connected by Skype and were talking to the guy from Parma (Bob) and the recording engineer (Dirk) as they ran the session.  It started at 7am (our time) and they did the recording in sections.  They had rehearsed it the day before for an hour or so and had obviously run it through then to get a feel for it and to know what it should sound like. 

The recording engineer ran the show pretty much, telling the conductor what worked and what didn't, pointing out places where an instrument was out of time or out of tune.  It was fascinating because in a concert the conductor is king, but in a recording the engineer is at least equal if not slightly more in charge. 

The sound on Skype wasn't great, and got worse after 9am when people started work and there were more people using the line, so Brian couldn't hear detail, but when he asked about speeds and dynamics they adjusted things as he asked them to.   The session lasted till 11am and they had done numerous takes of all of it by then. 

They  now send the recordings back to the studio in the States for the post production creation of the cd itself.

It was really exciting and a little bit boring all at the same time.  Mostly exciting though!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Lovely weekend

This weekend we went to Stratford to the theatre and then on to Helen's for Saturday and Sunday.  Altogether a thoroughly enjoyable weekend. 
What prompted all this was some complimentary tickets we had to anything at the Theatre Royal in the winter season.  So we chose The Taming of the Shrew.  I realised that I had never seen it but I was prejudiced against it.  However, I thought maybe I was being harsh but actually I wasn't.  It is a problematic play where the shrew is tamed by mentally abusive behaviour.  However it was very well done and a great cast and very funny until the final humiliation of Kate. 
Anyway as we were half way across the country we decided to to go to on to South Wales where we had a lovely social time and were enthused enough about Stratford that we have bought tickets for a Comedy of Errors in the summer.  Helen and Brian are coming too.

The only trouble with a lovely weekend away is that work is a bit meh on a Monday morning.  However there was an email about an article in the Cambridge News.  It was covering an article we had  published about cancer in tasmanian devils.  Very amusingly the online article had mistitled the captions.  So under the picture of the devil was Professor Mike Stratton and under our director it said Tasmanian devil.  Excellent!  Started the day with a real giggle.  Unfortunately our publicity rang up the paper and had it corrected, what a party pooper!

Friday, February 03, 2012

Not performed on the night

Brian's piece wasn't performed in the concert last night, which I was very miffed about - especially as they just said 'it's too long'.  However in a spirit  of fairness I think they actually meant that they didn't have enough rehearsal time to do it properly and perform it that night, which is a more valid excuse. 

Brian did get to hear it though.  They worked through all 6 pieces chosed for the workshop and did record them so we have a recording of the second run through, which is far from perfect but still nice to have.

He was very happy with it.  It has done what he wanted it to do, and sounds really good, even in the not fully rehearsed version we have.  There were lots of people  in the Wales music world there and he got lots and lots of positive comments about the piece which is all really encouraging.  The conductor, Jac van Steen, is back in my good books now because he has told B to keep in touch and will see if he can find a European orchestra which might be interested.

It has definitely raised his profile locally and let people know the quality of his work, which they didn't before and that is important and could be something really solid to build on.

The other thing - and I can't remember if I mentioned this before is that there is an American company called Parma recordings who are going to record the same piece in a cd with other composer's works.  The recording is being done in St Petersburg so B isn't going over there, but will be Skyping into the rehearsals.  He does have to pay towards it, but although not cheap, you couldn't get the quality of the cd and the marketing etc doing anything yourself so he has decided it is a worthwhile investment (not financially but in all other respects).  So when that is available it is sold through Naxos and we can look him up on Amazon!

How exciting will that be??