The winds recede

Sunday's concert, "North Winds, South Winds", was a success. Thanks very much to all those who came and supported - it was a very impressive, receptive and appreciative audience. It was a challenge putting on such a demanding programme, but the orchestra definitely rose to the occasion and did a fantastic job. It is horrifying to realise that the time signature changes totaled around 160, and the tempo changes also added up to something drastic. Looking back, I thought it was a shame that we didn't get to run the pieces more during the rehearsal period and hear them in their entirety, as some certainly aren't done justice until done so. But I guess, we always have the best intentions.

North Winds, South Winds 2

It was very refreshing seeing so much New Zealand music being performed, AND with five of the eight composers being present. It was great having the older works which have been widely performed, alongside two premieres, and other works by younger composers. I had a few comments saying that NZ music is in very safe hands ... which it is ... of course. Judging from feedback, it seems the audience had a great time. I think they really enjoyed the balance in the programme, the top standard and of course the intros (thanks Harold).

It was a joy working with the wind orchestra. They have a wonderful committee which seem to take care of absolutely everything. The standard is excellent and I hope that I can work with them again sometime in the future.

North Winds, South Winds 1

My piece, Guardians of the North, went well. I placed it at the end of the programme, which could have been trouble after the workload before it, but it sounded great. I had made several revisions since its premiere in 2007, including a new ending, which I was very happy about. It now seems to sit more comfortably with the players, which is definitely a good thing.

The "North Winds, South Winds" have definitely receded, but what a breath of fresh air! Another concert down, more New Zealand music is in the mix - that makes me happy.

"North Winds, South Winds"

A concert of New Zealand wind music by the Auckland Wind Orchestra, conducted by Ryan Youens. Don't miss this wonderful event featuring selections from New Zealand's finest wind music.

Auckland Wind Orchestra

  • Aue! - Christopher Marshall
  • The Ballad of Settler McGee - Philip Norman
  • Earthbound Wings - Yvette Audain
  • Far Star - Matthew Crawford
  • Forest Sketches - David Woodcock
  • Guardians of the North - Ryan Youens

Including two premieres:

  • The Pensieve - Zyia-Li Teh
  • Rotorua - Phillip Anderson

3pm, Sunday 18th October

Aotea Chapel, Auckland Methodist Mission, 370 Queen Street, Auckland (opposite Town Hall)

$15 waged, $10 unwaged (door sales only)

Reconstructing the constructed

Over the last week I have been revisiting an old work of mine, re-orchestrating, re-arranging and re-discovering. What a blast. I have never done it before, well not to this degree where I have completely left it for several years. In some ways it is rather strange, to revisit what I was thinking - the way I orchestrated seems rather odd, but back then I thought it was marvelous. I have:

  • Taken out some chunks, added a few bars and written a new ending.
  • Removed some of the percussion instruments and have incorporated that material into other instruments.
  • Stripped some passages right back and have re-grown with some new material.
  • Overall I have refined the orchestrations, which I was never truly happy with, and have made it a much sturdier piece.

I generally like to leave a piece once it's done, and give my energy to a new project. But, since I was given the opportunity, I have greatly enjoyed the process and have learnt truckloads. The piece is definitely still the piece it always was, but now it has a little extra spice, character and finesse.

The piece is Guardians of the North, which was written for, and premiered by the Opononi Music Summer School in 2007 with help from Creative New Zealand funding. This thoroughly revised version will be performed by the Auckland Wind Orchestra on the 18th October, 2009 at Aotea Chapel on Queen St in Auckland.

Where to from here...

Okay so I'm at the stage where a number of projects have now concluded ... so what's next? Well I had a good "getaway" on the weekend - definitely not a holiday though. We went on a two day tramp in the Hunua Ranges and now ... I am VERY sore. lol Anyway was good to get out of the city for a bit. So now I have numerous projects to get back to which I have been dying to get some time for over the last month or so. These include various compositions - some piano pieces, an orchestral work plus revisions to Rakaia and Guardians of the North. Also needing to finish a string arrangement for Rhian Sheehan which will hopefully be leading to some more work, and have another scene coming through to orchestrate from Scott Hunt.

So I'm looking forward to spending some good quality time on these projects over the next few weeks. Stay tuned for ongoing details.

Opononi: It's on track ... second time around!

Hey everyone, Well I thought I had better post an update on how the piece is going for those who are following the progress. Well initial stages were going ... okay, but then I got so frustrated so I started afresh. Second time around I've taken a new approach and it seems to be taking shape a lot better. The next week is crunch time. Stay tuned ...

The new work for Opononi begins & Creative NZ to support

Hey everyone. Well great news ... Creative NZ will be funding the new work being written for the Opononi Summer School. The work ... of course ... was going to be written anyway, but it is FANTASTIC to get support for doing so. So the work begins. I have been playing with ideas for some time now, but in the next week or so it'll get well underway. I will post progress updates here from time to time so pop in every now and then. Use the link here to go straight to posts exclusively on Opononi. There is also a page with general info on the project here.