Monday, 15 August 2016

Day three in the school house

Our third day of rehearsals was every bit as lengthy as the second one. It may even have felt a little longer. I'm pretty sure everyone's beginning to feel a bit dishevelled after three successive early starts.

One of the joys about NYMT is the fact that it's fully catered. We have all our meals provided for us, so when we start to flag at the tale end of a session there's the promise of hot food waiting, which at a certain point becomes unnaturally alluring!

We're sharing the school this week with the illimitable Swedes, who are a permanent fixture of the NYMT's summer. I think I'm right in saying that they're all sponsored by Benny from ABBA, which feels almost too cliched (and fabulous) to be true! They come for a week, and are taught by NYMT staff, usually putting together a series of little show montages. We don't have much to do with them. We're busy in rehearsals and they're doing their own thing. We were merely aware of an influx of insanely blond(e) people who speak the most perfect, accectless English and don't know how to queue in the canteen!

We're working our way sequentially through the show, running what we've done up to that point first thing in the morning. We got as far Keighley yesterday, which someone told me is a quarter of the way through the show, a fact I slightly struggle to believe, but if it's true, it's great news.

I have been deeply and universally impressed with the cast. They're a tremendous and fascinating set of young people with brilliant senses of humour and a great collective work ethic. Many of them have little books in which they're keeping copious notes. I spent my day yesterday paying particular attention to the ensemble performers, all of whom were doing a grand job. The energy and precision coming from Frankie and Elliot in particular was quite extraordinary. That kind of commitment to the cause never goes unnoticed.

I did a soft launch on the Pepys Motet album yesterday afternoon. I sent out some emails and put the video up online to give anyone who was interested an opportunity to pre-order a copy of the album. So if you're reading this, and you want to hear our beautiful creative endeavour before its official release on September 2nd, why not buy one?

Making the album was such extraordinary hard work. I started writing the piece more than six years ago. It's the reason why I've been writing this blog every day for six and a half years. So handing it over to the world feels a little frightening, and hugely emotional.

So if you're reading this blog, humour me, take pity on me or love my music enough to buy a copy!

I know people don't tend to be that interested in buying music any more. Most people seem wants to download stuff for nothing. But it's a tenner, and for that you get a wonderfully presented CD with a lovely booklet inside. You'd spend that on a bottle on wine, and the warm feeling you'll get from hearing the motet will hopefully last a little longer!

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