Paula's Place

Paula's Place

Tuesday, 1 March 2022


This video is now a few months old, it's of a concert we played towards the end of lock down two in the summer of last year because of the restrictions of the time we used a reduced orchestra which in turn dictates the repertoire. In the LGSO we are very lucky to be able to put on big works. Not many amateur orchestras can put on some the big works we have played recently like the Rite of Spring or the Leningrad Symphony. I was not playing in this concert, because, well Mozart and Beethoven! I did very much enjoy being in the audience, I think it was one of our finest! Sometimes I wonder if we play the "big" works simply because we can and neglect so much great music because we are reluctant to exclude some players. Personally I really don't mind if the result is this good!

As a musician I am one of those animals known as a "Band Tart" ~ basically a reference to the fact that I'll play with anyone! At the moment I'm playing with an Orchestra and one band, regular conductor of two and guesting with another two. As well as keeping me busy this gives me a chance to keep up with different styles and trends within music. One of the joys of being a musician is that even though I have been playing for over 50 years now, there is still so much I haven't yet played. At our last orchestra concert I was actually playing in every movement of every piece ~ that's almost unheard of, indeed I can't remember the last time that happened to me! Not only was I busy but there was not one piece I had played before. On of these pieces was the Florence Price first Symphony. It is a fine piece of music and the writer was a remarkable character over coming so much simply to get her music played. This week I have come across at least two other orchestras that are working on this same piece. The same happened a few years ago with Shostakovich 7 "The Leningrad", not played for years then several performances close together.

The same thing happens with concert bands, for some reason a particular piece or composer will suddenly hit popularity and do the rounds. At the moment Goff Richard's march "Barnard Castle" is particularly popular. In Brass Bands it is often the selection of contest test pieces that will trigger a trend but I suspect that in all cases is it us "Band Tarts" who will say I played so and so with such and such a band that will put the piece in peoples minds.

It seems to be the same in blogs ~ I have just looked at a few of the Trans Blogs I follow and have noticed a number of them are talking about motivations and experience of transition, not the process, but the motivations. I suspect that we all read each others blogs and get inspired by each other. Well I think for now I will resist the temptation to write about my transition yet again ~ as my wife once observed with great enthusiasm "Not every thing is about gender!"

At the moment I choose to look to the future rather than reflect on the past ~ think about the music I want to play next, and the next great adventure in my life.

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