I did end up conducting Distortions on Tuesday. I was glad the performance went well because the brief rehearsal earlier in the day had been rather a shambles! The whole concert turned out to be somewhat longer than I’d expected. Almost a full two hours from start to finish. It was nevertheless interesting to hear the eclectic range of music performed. Charlie Jackson’s piece for string quartet entitled After IV, and guided to an extent by Bartók’s fourth string quartet was played with conviction by the Silverstone Quartet. The talented Kina Miyamoto performed not only her own new work for piano and electronics, but premiered Lewis Furber’s bleak and moody Dead Preludes for solo piano.
On Wednesday I had the first rehearsal for my Cocaine Nights piece. I’d only finished the music a few days before, and was rather excited to see how it would come together. It’s written for a ten piece ensemble consisting of mixed wind, brass, percussion, bass and myself on guitar, and in some respects is related to Gunther Schuller’s Third Stream movement which began in the latter half of the fifties. My ensemble contains classical and jazz trained musicians side by side and some moments in the piece are ad libbed. It ranges from moments of atmospheric slow music, with pungent chords to fast rhythmic sections, some of which have a downright groove. No doubt those moments will be looked down upon by some listeners, but who cares, they’re not who I’ve written it for.