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Blog Archive: October 2006

real music

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Categories: clarinets
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I went to a lunch yesterday, hosted by a classical music organisation, where the speaker was talking about real music. This was actually a clarinettist who has had a well known career in both the orchestral and solo field and has made many recordings. He was comparing classical music to other genres as being like the difference of experiencing Shakespeare or a TV soap. It was all related to what we are offering to the children of today. I also have the opportunity of going to many of the pop industry events where I listen to pop musicians talking just as passionately about their art but they do not seen to have the same problem about sharing the business with classical musicians. I suppose they are realistic enough to know that there is no competition, just music.

As a clarinettist, although my speciality was contemporary classical I also had a show “Players Worktime” which was based on 50’s rock and roll – a real passion of mine – where we featured songwriters such as Lieber and Stoller. It also included part of the Mozart clarinet quintet and our audiences enjoyed it all for what it was.

This was actually one of the main reasons that we created the tutti.co.uk web site. The internet has provided a wonderful opportunity for people to hear every kind of music. The pop side has been terrifically well represented and we wanted to make sure that there was a space for classical music as well, particularly contemporary classical. On the internet people just listen without having to put what they hear into a category – I do not like the word “classical” but it is one whole lot better than “real”.

I must get back to my filing – what a drag! We have recently taken on some terrific scores of piano music by the Russian composer and pianist Nicolai Kapustin. His writing is an explosive contemporary cross of classical and jazz – if you get the chance you must listen to his music.

File, Geraldine, file!

More next week.

Geraldine Allen

passionate celebrations

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Categories: british composers
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Good morning!

As I have been composing professionally for the last 23 (ouch!) years, a fair bit of my time is taken up with composer business and most of this has been conducted (pun not intended) through the Composers’ Guild of Great Britain and then the organisation into which it evolved about 7 years ago, the British Academy of Composers & Songwriters. This august institution has a membership of around 2,500 (mostly British) composer and songwriters. It looks after the interests of British music writers and celebrates their work. So, today I am off to the Gold Badge Awards at the Savoy in London – a lovely occasion where accolades are given to teh people who support music writers, rather than the composers and songwriters themselves – so, musicians, producers, promoters, publishers, technicians, even inventers and thinkers – all the people without whom composers & songwriters wouldn’t get their music out there! Maybe, one day, tutti will get a Gold Badge for all the work it does in promoting the music of contemporary British composers and their performing champions. Here are just three to tantalize you! – John McLeod Graham FitkinTimothy Salter.

Well, I’m off to put on my best bib and tucker and have some fun!

Sarah Rodgers

music and more

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Categories: clarinets
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Hello I am Geraldine Allen another member of the tutti.co.uk team, living in North London England. My background briefly is that I spent over 20 years working as a professional clarinettist until I had a road accident which stopped my playing career. After that I had to develop lots of different talents but it is amazing what the experience of being a professional musician enables you to do. This week has its normal variety of activities, I still do some teaching mainly to adult players , most of whom started playing in their youth and then have had to give it up for various reasons and have come back to it in later life, normally with abounding enthusiasm! One such person this week wanted the definitive answer to whether you should put the clarinet away between practice sessions or whether it is OK to leave it out on a clarinet peg. The most important element to this is to keep the bore of the instrument clean and dry. It is preferable to pull it through, ensuring that the joints are dry before putting it away. However, if you are practising for 3 or 4 hours a day as I was at the height of my career, then it is OK to dry it and put it on the peg. I would normally always put it away at the end of the day though. One of the pleasures of working on the tutti.co.uk site has been to distrubute performances of many of my clarinet colleagues who have a fascinating repertoire that I look forward to sharing with you over the coming days. Let’s start with Janet Hilton – head of the woodwind department and professor of clarinet at the Royal College of Music in London playing the music of Hoddinut, Harper and Machonchy with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

Enjoy!

Geraldine Allen

passionately busy week

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Categories: Jewish music
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Monday morning, 8.O8 GMT and I’ve already put in two hours’ work. Being passionate about music is extraordinarily time-consuming. This is the usual hectic week. Last Monday, with another hat on – Impulse Music Consultants – we were organising a huge event at London’s Roundhouse. This was a passionate about ‘Jewish’ music event with the whole evening full of music by an incredible array of Jewish song-writing and composing talent, performed by Michael Ball, Michel Legrand, Maria Friedman and Brian Conley with Maureen Lipman and Don Black – how’s that for a line-up. (Oops! shouldn’t be saying how’s that with the Ashes imminent!!) Anyway, organising the Roundhouse-Fest has meant that a lot of other pressing work has been temporarily on hold so it is now catch-up week. There is constantly a lot of new stuff coming on to the tutti catalogue, from organ music to recorder music to music for massed double-basses, and then there are the Christmas specials to line up not to mention a whole bunch of examination music. This is a relatively new line of ours, but it is proving very popular with teachers and students who otherwise have to go to the nearest high street music shop to put the music on order – with us it’s same day despatch. Have a look here.

I also have a meeting of the Trustees of the British Music Information Centre this afternoon (yet another hat) so had better get off and read the paperwork.

More tomorrow.

Sarah Rodgers

yes, but what sort of music?

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Categories: inspiring music
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Fair enough question. I can’t speak for the rest of the team, so this is more about me. True to say I am passionate about all sorts of music, if it is original, exciting, challenging, arresting, uplifting. I want it to grab my attention, stop my train of thought, change my mood, stimulate my own creative work. Although the main focus for all of this for me is in the contemporary classical music world, I recently went to an inspiring performance of a neglected mid-nineteenth century work. It wasn’t something I’d want to hear every day, but this performance had been prepared with such dedication and was performed with such relish and energy that it was truly breath-taking. It was the opera La Juive by Fromental Halevy, written around 1865. At tutti we like to identify and give a showcase to music which we think will be inspiring. As it happens, we don’t have a recording of La Juive but we have a lot of other premier recordings of previously unknown works. Here’s the link for just one of them: Handel’s opera, Silla. OK, I’m off to see the in-laws now, so no more posting until Sunday. Except maybe another member of teamtutti will have introduced themselves before then. Where are you guys?

Sarah Rodgers

passionate about music is us!

Posted on
Categories: contemporary classical music
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Well here we are, with our first post on the passionate about music blog. My name is Sarah Rodgers and I’m a composer. I live in London, England and I write classical music. That’s only the start of the story and I’m not going to be able to get it all down today so please come back for further instalments. There will be contributions from others who share musical passions – some the same and some different – and all from different aspects. There’s Geraldine who is a clarinettist, Olly who is a violinist, Catherine who plays the piano and organ, Michele who is a trumpeter and Rachel who drives fast cars (she’s passionate about that, too!) We are all part of a team which works on promoting contemporary classical performance, recording and composition and we get this out to the wider world through our website tutti.co.uk. The tutti team is passionate about music and looks forward to sharing that passion with as many people as possible.

More soon,
Sarah Rodgers

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