Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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How to survive The Night Shift…

Fri 8 Jul 2011

Setting up The Night Shift at the Village Underground

 

A day in the life of The Night Shift from Ceri’s perspective:

It’s 9.30am on Friday 24th June, It’s been a looooong week:  Monday Dublin, Tuesday Royal Festival Hall, Wednesday and Thursday catching up and meetings – and that’s just for me!  I assume it’s been worse for the players who also had Glyndebourne rehearsals on the intervening days… Anyway, I should be absolutely exhausted and dreading the prospect of working until at least 12am this evening, but I’m not – this is what we sometimes call “The Night Shift effect”.  (editor – different to the ‘Night Shift hangover…)

I of course love working at all OAE concerts, but for me the Night Shift is something quite special, even if they are at least 10 times harder work – especially in a non-traditional concert venue such as Village Underground (no fixed stage, lights, music stands, seats, air-con, changing rooms – you get the picture). So much of Friday felt like venturing into the unknown, a new venue, new acoustics, not sure we’d all fit on stage, not sure if the musicians would be able to cope with the lack of dressing space, chilling areas (aka green room) etc.

Here is a timetable of my day on Friday and how I made it to 12am still full of beans.

9.30 Arrive at office after early morning gym session – going to need those endorphins to get me thorough today I can tell you.

10.00 Quick staff meeting just to make sure everyone is up to speed with all the arrangements and aware of their responsibilities tonight.

10.30 Pop down to Kings Place Music Foundation to pick up the lit stands (i.e.music stands with lights attached – for the darker ambience we use for The Night Shift) we’re borrowing for this evening

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OAE plays….Stravinsky?!

Fri 15 Oct 2010

Tomorrow night’s concert at Kings Place is a pretty unusual affair. Not only is it a joint concert with the London Sinfonietta, but the second half in particular sees four very unusual things occur. First, we merge with the London Sinfonietta, to create a new ensemble made up of players from both orchestras. Second, together, we play a brand new comission by Richard Causton, Dark Processional (in the spirit of the REMIX festival, it is based on music by Pergolesi). Third, in the second half of the concert, OAE players will use (fairly) modern instruments and play at modern picth. Last, but not least, we’re going to be playing Stravinsky (only the second time we have ever done so). The piece is Pulcinella, and it is the climax of the REMIX festival here. As you may know, it’s based on pieces by Pergolesi and other composers of his time – and we play these antecedents in the first half of the concert. So, all in all a pretty special event – and one thats not very likely to be repeated for a while!

Yesterday we caught up with OAE players who were at Kings Place for that evening’s concert and asked them about the experience of working with the London Sinfonietta and playing the music of Stravinsky:

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Name your dream team and win…

Wed 13 Oct 2010

Wolfgang Amadeus Madonna anyone?

This week we’re collaborating with the London Sinfonietta on REMIX, a 3-day festival celebrating remixing, reinventing and recyling music. Over three concerts we’re going to be looking at how composers have copied, stolen and taken inspiration from each other.

For example, on Thursday the OAE plays Bach’s version of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, while on Friday the London Sinfonietta play music by Purcell rearranged by John Woolrich, George Benjamin and Oliver Knussen…

So, with this in mind we’re asking you to name what your musical dream team would be. Perhaps you would bring Haydn and Beethoven together, Purcell and Vivaldi, Madonna and Mozart…

Let us know here what two (or more!) composers or musicians you would like to see work together and we’ll be awarding a pair of free tickets to Saturday’s concert, Music as Theft, to whoever comes up with our favourite idea. Oh, and if you’re really bored then you could also submit a pictorial mash-up like ours – there will be extra prizes for that! You can post them on our Facebook Page. Deadline is 5pm this Friday, so get thinking…

William Norris

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REMIX comes together

Wed 13 Oct 2010

Yesterday morning was the culmination of what seems like months if not years of work for our concert on Saturday night. A little more complicated than usual, this concert is a mixture of OAE and London Sinfonietta players (our very distant relations who we share an office with). As part of having our headquarters at Kings Place, we put on several concerts here throughout the year and this week is our REMIX festival, mixing all sorts of old and new including mixing up the two orchestras. This all started many moons ago when we decided to have an orchestra made up of players from both orchestras. After working out how to split the booking between the two orchestras, we then had to find OAE players who were happy to dust off their modern instruments to play some 20th century music – Stravinsky’s Pulcinella and a new commission by Richard Causton. Fixing a project with just one orchestra involved presents enough challenges, but dealing with two orchestras whose playing spheres never overlap presented quite a few more! Eventually we managed a final orchestra list, a final seating plan, the right music (we were helpfully sent the whole of the Pulcinella ballet parts instead of just the suite to start with!) and a rehearsal plan.

Sitting and listening to the rehearsal yesterday, it was really interesting to see a rare sight, OAE and LS players sitting side by side, and even stranger to see OAE players playing modern instruments. The rarest thing, however, was when the conductor, Nick Collon, announced that Richard Causton would be coming to the afternoon rehearsal – it’s not very often that the composer of the music OAE is playing turns up to a rehearsal!

Megan Russell, Projects Manager

Find out more about REMIX by downloding the brochure here.



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OAE podcast looking at the new season ahead and more!

Wed 6 Oct 2010

Featuring:

- Staff picks of the new season
– A preview of the REMIX festival
– A profile of OAE Projects Director Ceri Jones
– OAE Viola player and Vice Chairman Martin Kelly picks out some of his favourite recordings.

OAE Podcast October 2010 by OAE

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(Re)Mixing it up…

Tue 14 Sep 2010

In exactly 1 months time, we’ll be kicking off our three day festival Remix, a collaboration with London Sinfonietta.

The festival explores the ideas of remixing, reinventing and recycling into a series of concerts, talks, film screenings and aftershows to be held at Kings Place, London from 14th October- 16th October.

As both orchestras wanted an edgy, fresh approach to our joint campaign for these concerts, we decided to work with Islington-based designers, Research Studios.

Here’s what they came up with (bright eh?):

You can find out more about the Remix festival here.

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