I woke up at 09:30 and am writing this from the cosiness of my bed. Never done this before, somnambulist (sleepwalker) writing. NYO 2012 is over and our course culminated in a spectacular BBC Prom: it has exhausted me. This is what I got up to last night. Listen to it quickly or else it’ll disappear!
Last night I was so ‘alone’ after leaving the comfort of NYO, I started listening to our Radio 3 broadcast in bed. From doing this, I discovered Messiaen is very good bedtime music because I instantly fell asleep during the gentille melodies – then woke again during the thickly textured loud sections. The next thing that iPlayer was channelling through was clapping: our Handsfree! By then I realised I probably wouldn’t finish this at such a silly hour in the morning: 02:00am.
As always after concerts, I bombard my Mum with questions:
Did you like the last piece?!
Did you like the first piece?!
Wasn’t the conductor amazing?!
Did you see the leader drop his bow?!
Did you hear my solo in the second piece?!
I’m sorry I keep going on about this solo in the Gait piece – I’m just so delighted to have done it – a ‘5th desk of second violins’ solo is unforgettable. It is audible on the Radio 3 broadcast if you scroll along to 18:58. I met an old friend in the arena after the concert and he told me he couldn’t work out who was playing it: success! I blended in. It was only a week ago when I was panicking about playing it in the rehearsals never mind the actual performances.
My Mum wasn’t showing any hint of dislike about the Turangalîla Symphony. She said to me:
I didn’t even fall asleep.
I had two reactions to that, one externally expressed at the time and one I reflected upon right this minute:
- Incredulity, shock, bewilderment – all these adjectives: “What?! Really? Was it not too long for you?”
- A little bit of guilt. I feel like I doubted my Mum’s ability to enjoy more abstract/contemporary works. She told me that we communicated brilliantly and she could visualize the composer’s mind at the time. Aw, she’s so lovely.
Why, oh why did they have to put this Handsfree photograph in the BBC Prom Programme?! It’s so embarrassing! I’m the one with the gaping mouth, clearly doing something wrong and different from everyone else.
I tried my best not to look at the TV Cameras filming us – it was so difficult. Joanna MacGregor not only has my respect for her outstanding pianist qualities, but also being able to perform with a lens staring at her constantly.
During the performance I felt I kept letting my mind wander too much. I wonder if that’s because I am aware that I can follow other people in the orchestra all the time – in safe hands – or if I am getting used to performing better? I am not a knight in terms of my nerves, nor do I ever play perfectly. Perhaps I was simply enjoying sitting there on stage, wearing black, seeing Vasily Petrenko and his gel-spiked hair and pondering about how life has been good to me in the past two weeks.
On several occasions I found I was commanding myself to stop daydreaming:
For goodness sake, just count the bars’ rest or you’ll lose yourself and regret it!
I also hadn’t slept well the previous night. It was just my luck that my body decided to torture me the night before a big concert.
Other things happened in the day as well. Creative Hub played in the Britten Theatre of the Royal College of Music during a lunchtime concert. BBC Radio 3 recorded us performing 7 new works from the composers of NYO. There is a small chance of them being broadcast as well. Their brief was to:
- Create a new Olympic event.
- Write a 5 minute piece about it
Despite the extra rehearsal time and earlier hours to be part of this contemporary music ensemble, I’m really glad to have done it. The concert would have been perfect if my shoulder rest didn’t fall off in the first piece, leaving me in a very uncomfortable position.
Enough words! I need more photos before words. I also need to get out of bed. There are things to do today as well, like meeting a long lost National Children’s Orchestra friend at 13:30 for lunch. I’m also attending another BBC Prom – the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, Donald Runnicles, Nicola Benedetti. Several of my friends are in the orchestra – very excited to see it!
Have a good day everybody.