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CD Countdown 1: The Beginning

Hi there!! It's now EXACTLY a week until the 29th September, 'Maggerz Day', when we release our Roald-Dahl themed debut disc 'Revolting Rhymes and Marvellous Music' on Orchid Classics!!!!! Everyone at Magnard Towers is SUPER excited and can't wait for you all to hear it. To countdown to the Big Day we thought it might be fun for every member of Team Pig to write a blog post discussing a different aspect of the project, from highlights of our ongoing tour to anecdotes and behind-the-scenes tidbits from our photoshoot, concerts, workshops and recording sessions. The first entry has fallen to me, in which we'll be going all the way back to the very beginning... (a very good place to start).

When the ensemble first formed at the Royal Academy of Music, we were lucky enough to have some coaching sessions with the eminent composer Paul Patterson on some of his music, specifically the suite 'Westerly Winds' which has since become somewhat of a party piece for us. It was during one of these classes that Paul suggested that we have a look through 'The Three Little Pigs', a reduction of an orchestral work with narrator speaking Roald Dahl poetry that he had made for wind quintet and piano. At this point our oboist, Mana suggested a colleague of hers from her days working at the Royal Opera House - a wonderful actress named Rebecca Kenny. Fast forward to our next coaching and all of us assemble in a room in the Royal Academy - all seven of us with Paul. Kenny had never met any of us before apart from Mana, and we had no idea how it was going to go, all probably a bit nervous - we hadn't even rehearsed it, or played the piece through - so this very first attempt was in front of the composer himself. We proceeded to bash our way through the piece through very roughly, and, to put it bluntly, Kenny blew us away.

Her characterisations (even though one Pig was at that point Scottish as opposed to the Spanish incarnation into which it subsequently developed) and her timing were already so fantastic that by the end of it all of us were in fits of hysterical laughter, including Paul! From there the discussions started and the ball started to roll. Our very first outing of the piece was at a Family Day at the Wigmore Hall, and then a trial version of the project was incorporated into a larger scale outreach project at an east London primary school that was the result of our fellowship with the Royal Academy and Wigmore Hall Learning, which you'll hear more about in a following blog post. Subsequently its companion piece 'Little Red Riding Hood' was added, to be followed by Martin Butler's Dirty Beasts (which I personally had been desperate to play for a long time). By then the project was really beginning to snowball and take shape, and by then other aspects of the project were starting to come into being - culminating in this, the launch of our debut CD - the result of months and years of incredibly hard and devoted work!

We can't wait for you to share this fizz-whizzing, gloriumptious extravaganza with us, and we hope that you enjoy reading these daily blog posts ticking down until next Friday, when you'll be able to finally get your hands on our shiny CD. Until then, watch our preview video below, and remember to preorder at iTunes or Amazon!

For iTunes click HERE

For Amazon click HERE.

Team Pig love as always,


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