I have been working hard on the material for our performances on this week. Lots more choir, folk and strings group.
Eddie McGuire (Whistlebinkie) came along and talked to us about John Cage, experimental artist, composer and also a poet. We are performed Scottish Circus on Wednesday - a 30 min piece composed by John Cage.
This piece was written in conjunction with the Whislebinkie's who were playing at the one of John Cage's art exhibitions at the Edinburgh Festival in 1984. John Cage felt that some experimental music with a Scottish twist would compliment his work. The score give instructions to the players - there is no notation and no staves.
Players are to play Scottish tunes that they know, starting at different times, moving between the audience, and stopping when they wish for rests. The music heard by the audience changes constantly - and will never be the same twice. Each performance depends on the players and instruments performing, as well as what they want to play - and when -on the day! It was a great experience. Our performance saw us mingling between the auditorium and the foyer in the Music Box.
The performance of 4 minutes 33 seconds was even more interesting. Three movements of silence - with the musicians posed and ready to play but not actually doing so. We performed it on the foyer which was very busy. It was hard to hold the position for so long - without making a sound. But the effect on the audience was stunning. The whole place fell silent spontaneously.
It seemed to have powerful effect on people. What were they feeling? Expectation? Annoyance? Potential? It certainly had an impact.
Eddie McGuire said that although some were sceptical - in all the playing Whistlebinkie's had done it was performing John Cage's pieces that had got them the most reaction including an appearance on TV news. Interesting. It has given me an idea for composition.
In the evening I was playing with the Folk Band. We played The Granton Fish Bowl, by Simon Thoumire and Hamnataing by Chris Stout, recorded by Fiddler's Bid. This is quite nice slow set with a relaxed feel. Next was three jigs, all great tunes, The Northern Highland dance, Mattie and Karine's (recorded by Lau) and the Roxburgh jig, written by Laurie Crump. It was really fast but good fun.
My daughter, Sam, came along to the performance to take some photos - including the one above. She is a guitarist and really enjoyed the bands.
The classical concert was on the 19th January - choir was the best we have ever done I think. The rehearsal of the strings group went quite well. The perfromance was good too.
Here is the link to a Youtube video of our performance of Ezekiel Saw the Wheel