Composers Need Not Apply

The BBC recently reported on an experiment regarding the evolution of music at Imperial College London.  Originating from two loops, the sounds were left to “breed”, creating generations of sound creations. Adding rating choices to these creations ranging from “love to indifference to hatred” created a Darwinian context in which tunes either survived or became extinct. No harm in such an …

Commedia dell’arte

I am currently doing some research on the Commedia dell’arte movement and its development from sixteenth century Italy, which over time spread across Europe. With its gradual diaspora it developed within each region, altering certain details to be relevant to their own cultures. John Rudlin’s Commedia dell’arte: an actor’s handbook goes into the minutest detail of each character, its history, development …

But is it art…

As the Oxford Companion to Music defines music criticism as the intellectual activity of formulating judgments on the value and degree of excellence of individual works of music, or whole groups or genres, it is astounding that the top player of the opera world is so against it, that a leading opera magazine has decided not to review this house’s …

Mourning

Every day we see the turning of the circle of life with new beginnings and the end of seasons.  Some tragedies are as small as the world of one person and other tragedies have an impact on societies, whole civilisations or the whole of earth’s inhabitants.  The large scale tragedies cause us to remember exactly where we were and what …

Circles Completed

This past week saw the culmination of a project, a continuation of a collaboration and a return to my roots. The performance of Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy on 28 April was a special event since I had the opportunity to work alongside an orchestra and choir as concerto soloist. The performance was the result of weeks of focused work towards memorising …

Ludwig in the Sun

When I grew up, Beethoven was sitting on the piano, sternly overlooking my scale practise at 5:00 am before school. When I moved to Scotland, Beethoven travelled along – snuggly wrapped in a towel.  He oversaw many nights when I wrote essays or did my research.  After overseeing my studies in Glasgow for four years Ludwig and I moved together …

Facing the Music

I have always enjoyed jotting down some thoughts on the music I work with, reading letters by the composers and poets I study, collecting postcards of scenes of daily life and other images that inspire me in my quest to meet the muses that moved other artistic types before me to create.  My thoughts would sometimes comprise of two or …