Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Academy showcase

I'm working to a mega-deadline at the moment which involves finishing the Nene composition by noon today when I'm due to play it for the first time to Peter and Beth from the Northampton music school. I worked all day and night on it on Sunday and every second of yesterday similarly ensconced under a pair of headphones. It was not the greatest day, therefore, to wake up, half deaf, with my ears full of wax. Without wishing to go into too much gory detail, I spent a good ten minutes at the start of the day with a series of cotton buds attempting to alleviate the problem. The results were as satisfying as they were astounding! This morning I shall need to do something similar...

I've reached the point on Nene where it feels like I'm going mad. I'm working in such a level of detail that I've started to lose objectivity. This usually means it's time to put it away for a few weeks and throw myself back into the world of Liverpool in 1965. It's actually rather nice to be able to oscillate between projects for this very reason.

My one little non-Nene related activity yesterday was a trip down to Euston to see the graduation showcase for actors from the musical theatre course at the Royal Academy of music. It was a satisfying show, with songs beautifully orchestrated and performed by students at the school, under the more-than capable baton of Peter McCarthy (who actually conducted our wedding.) A rather large cohort of performers were doing their thing, bordering perhaps on slightly too many, so, unlike the Trinity showcase, I didn't get great a massive sense of their abilities across the performing spectrum. What I do know is that they're all wonderful singers, both individually and as an ensemble. In fact, as an ensemble, they make an incredibly exciting sound. They should form a choir! I'm pretty sure that the vocal training these kids are getting at the Academy is second to none. I rather liked the fact that many of them felt classically trained. None of them did any dialogue, however, so it was a little difficult to gage whether or not they'd be able to actually handle text. These showcases are such a lottery. If you end up with a dud song or you're off your game for that single hour, there's a high chance you'll be kissing your chances of finding an agent goodbye. It's really brutal. Mind you, it's a deeply brutal industry, so why sugar cote the shit sandwich?

Ex-Brasser, Jack Reitman, whom I was essentially there to cheer on, did a great job. I was very proud. I was also pleased to see another Brasser in the pit orchestra in the form of young Steve who has played French horn for pretty much every performance of the show. His playing is absolutely superb. I think there's very little which can beat the sound of a well-played French horn. Obviously apart from a well-played 'cello or violin. That sort of goes without saying...

So that was my day. I finally finished writing at midnight at which point I instantly fell asleep... Hence writing this this morning before going into overdrive on Nene to prep it for its unveiling at lunchtime. Wish me luck!

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