Since our intrepid oboist Mana returned from Japan, it has been foot to the floor for Team Magnard, as per usual. Less than 24 hours after stepping off her plane, we dragged Mana to the Royal Opera House (I say dragged, but it is probably her favourite place in the entire world, so whether jetlagged, unconscious or not, she took very little persuading!) to participate in their Welcome Day themed around the ballet Giselle. We spent the morning working with children and families visiting the Opera House exploring how music can tell stories, and focusing on the Giselle story. We then performed the piece the children helped compose, with the participants, in the Paul Hamlin Hall, immediately prior to that day's matinee performance of the ballet! Phew. I'd say that was a rewarding, if challenging morning's work for anyone, and our poor jetlagged-zombie-Mana rose to the occasion fabulously. Some wonderful pictures below.
However, the main event of the last couple of weeks had to be Piggies on Disc. After months of preparation and planning, the Revolting Rhymes and Marvellous Music disc has finally been recorded. Three wonderful works by Paul Patterson and Martin Butler (with whom we had a very productive, if brief session on Dirty Beasts immediately prior to the recording) were put down in the Trinity United Reformed Church in Wimbledon, in a slightly scarily short amount of time, but somehow it managed to be loads of fun in equal measure. Our fabulous producer and guru Andrew Keener kept us going with his astounding attention to detail, encouraging words and hilarious anecdotes, and our engineer Oscar kept the scary amounts of technology ticking along, as well as being primo brownie-supplier and accent coach for our narrator Kenny's Spanish pig! To top it all off, we were lucky enough to have Maestro Paul PatterSchwein, as we have now christened him, in attendance for the whole 1.5 days of sessions - our Three Little Pigs and Little Red Riding Hood are as authentic and composer-approved as can be! Afterwards, over our well-earned celebratory lunch at Bill's, we reflected on how gruelling, tiring, and challenging, and also painful (as poor Suling can testify, see photo below) the process was, but so unbelievably rewarding, and hopefully will produce a Marvellously Revolting Result.
So. Revolting Rhymes and Marvellous Music is officially coming. Teasers, and more details to follow. Enjoy a few snaps from the sessions below.
Joe and Team Maggerz.