SAM 2015 Day 04 05

Ruben Zahra with his “Hairy Goat” Bagpipes rehearsing with Joe Richards

One of my favourite things about Sound and Music is the amazing mix of evening performances lectures and workshops that are given each day. So far this week we have heard Kuljit Bhamra performing Indian music with his band, Nathaniel Mann – talking about his work with the Pitt Rivers Museum, sound painting with Laura Jurd and this evening’s performance from Ruben Zahra – Maltese Musician.

Ruben and Thomas rehearsing last night for the first time.

Ruben and Thomas rehearsing last night for the first time.

This evening was a little different as the group performing played together for the first time last night! Violinist – Thomas Kemp, Bass Clarinettist – Jordan Black, advanced composition key tutor – David Horne and Percussionist – Joe Richards formed a band to play with Ruben. Now, personally, this is exactly the way I like my music. It felt like everyone on stage was playing as friends for friends. Despite this being their first performance together the band were incredible to hear, the musicians were clearly having so much fun and this was transmitted through to the audience. Ruben introduced us to a number of traditional Maltese instruments which he explained were very challenging to tune to a classical tonality. All of the instruments were reed instruments in various forms and the bagpipes were particularly stunning made of goat for the bag and bull horn for the chanter. The sounds that all the instruments made are hard to describe but the fusion of the folk with the classical and jazz influences from the band really made quite a sound and personally I found it was fantastic to engineer the session as sound technician and really enjoyed the fusions that we’ve enjoyed this week.

The concert was our last evening workshop of the course it’s now full steam ahead for the final concerts.

SAM 2015 Day 04 08Of course the key tutor groups have also been together for 5 hours today plus another 2 hours of artist time which allowed students time to discuss ideas with musicians, try things out with them and see what works and what doesn’t or just to take some free time to enjoy the peace and calm of the Purcell School grounds. Rosie Toll – Percussionist on the Composition for Film course – spent quite a bit of time this afternoon putting together various sounds from crumpled paper, snare drum with brushes, banging the lid on a dustbin hitting the side of the bin, cymbal on the top of the bin, multi-tracking of a swanee whistle all of which which ended up being produced to form some surprisingly realistic sounds of a train. I’ll try and extract the sounds tomorrow for you all to hear…