I was doing a music video shoot a couple of weeks ago for a duo piece by the wonderful composer and flute player Katrina Emtage who wrote "Wind on Waves" for cello and bass flute. It was made by award winning producer Shaun O'Connor. (some great photos from the shoot are on his site)
The amazing outfits were made by designer Lisa Zagone. As I sat there being filmed it struck me in such a dress I was an embodiment of the Augustus John painting of Portugese cellist Guilhermina Suggia so I asked Shaun to take a photo of me to recreate the image.
photo by Shaun O'Connor
I'm looking forward to seeing the end product of the shoot. Part of it I was lying in a pool of icy water, of course it was the coldest day of the year despite winter being officially over… and there was no hot water in the taps. I can tell you it was agony for arts sake…
I was just sent photos from the concert the Cork Symphony Orchestra played with Nigel Kennedy. I was lucky enough to play a duet of a couple of trad tunes with him in the University of Limerick CH and the Cork City Hall. Nigel is a beautiful player and alot of fun to play with!
The toils of a standing cellist on a dynamic set…
play on forward slope
play sloping right
play sloping left
play sloping backwards
No wonder my back is aching!
So it's good to hear it's worth it in this review in the Irish Examiner today….
Everyman Palace, Cork
While, naturally, the transformation of the theatre, and use of the theatrical spaces, plus the costumes, set, lighting, and the appearance of a cast of unexpected characters, all massively contribute to the success of the production, in the final analysis the music and the musicians are what make an opera.
In this case John O’Brien has, once again, gathered around him a group of singers and players who share his vision and create a most wonderfully effective sound world that totally absorbs the listener.
The sudden entrance from the vestibule of the chorus, the cast, the strolling orchestra and the circus performers to occupy the ground floor aisles sets the mood.
Then, from Brendan Collins’ (Tonio) splendid singing of the Prologue right through to Ronald Samm’s (Canio) broken-hearted Ridi Pagliaccio, which brings down the curtain, the excitement/tension never lets up. I was distracted during Cara O’Sullivan’s lovely Stridone lassu by an incredibly brilliant aerial acrobat (Michaela Heyer) performing over her head, but nothing could distract from the wonderfully exciting, unconducted, Bell Chorus, the drama of Vesti la giubba, the tenderness of Silvio, a questa ora, or the marvellous, Marja Gaynor-led, orchestral playing of both the chamber group and the full orchestra.
I'm enjoying the fantastic production of Pagliacci at the Everyman Palace. Our first night was last night. 9 musician/actors playing a reduced score, all by memory and moving about the stage with the singers. We are gods and godesses of the theatre, surrounded by the clowns/circus troupe and a whole gang of chorus.
Here is a promo clip
The costumes are stunning, by the amazing Lisa Zagone.
Four hours of John Cage in the Triskel Arts centre in Cork last night with the Quiet Music Ensemble. Some incredible moments of freedom, beauty, peace, synchronicity, mirth (that was after in the pub) and incredible concentration from all 'sound artists' involved! I played Inlets with Sean McErlaine of QME and Mel Mercier who had performed this piece with John Cage! We had 4 conch shells each, of varying sizes. Water is swirled around inside and amplified, to create excellent glooping sounds. The music also includes pine cones on fire and a conch used as a horn. 32 minutes of glooping. Plus a short 15 minute version at the start of the performance while kids were around. Phew…
“If something is boring after two minutes, try it for four. If still boring, then eight. Then sixteen. Then thirty-two. Eventually one discovers that it is not boring at all.”
― John Cage
RTE Lyric F'M's Presenter Bernard Clarke and producer Eoin Brady were there to record the event, and Bernard did a stunning and pure reading of Cage's Themes and Variations, whilst various other Cage pieces were played around the venue, including Inlets, One10 violin solo from the balcony (lesya Iglody) Chaconne (Keith Pasco), harps, electronica of the Quiet Club and more…
To be broadcast on Lyric fm Nova tonight