NYO Week 1: “I’m not tired and never will be!”

Okay, I have a question for all of you, especially the NYO folk.

When you ask someone,

“Hey! How are you?”

…how many times, I repeat, how many times have you received this reply?

“I’m good thanks… Tired though.”

Yes, you’ve heard it before, the typical unimaginative answer so often uttered by an orchestral musician.

Nobody has been the exception to this yet. Not one person in this orchestra. I am determined, however, to avoid using this phrase and construct spectacular alternatives every time. Please, let’s inject some positive energy, as they say here. We haven’t even reached the end of the residency yet.

Anyway, here’s a quick summary of week 1. Enjoy.


Sectionals finished yesterday morning, and we said goodbye to our incredible tutor, Kyra Humphreys.

We will miss hearing the barking dogs outside the building and the deafening rain against the windows that swamped our pianissimo playing.

I love our section; we work so well together. Our productivity seems to have improved greatly as we were even making progress by Day 2:

 photo 0DEE8B0A-7C8C-4ED4-9CB2-3A0082439083-3061-0000043CABBCEEE0_zpsc824b53a.jpg

N.B. This photo does not reflect the quality of Natalie’s playing at all. Gi was just tired.
(See what I’m getting at?! Tired!)

Mealtimes have been a joyous occasion.

 photo 1037092B-D502-4F37-AE66-51BE45B4A7EB-3067-0000043D1740D429_zps6fa6ac4e.jpg

I’ve been mauled by a Scottish Big Bear many times:

 photo 3A417261-4FFE-49CF-8B51-FFA164B869A4-3067-0000043D1BC91C9A_zpsd8e4d42d.jpg

Break times are well spent, on playing our own instruments…

 photo A9555D3E-4070-4615-9FCD-04EB6BDCDFA3-3067-0000043D22B3055D_zps78bdeed3.jpg

 photo 217A825C-F445-42D5-B876-6B5377FC0793-3067-0000043D2789FAE5_zps15abea09.jpg

After a few days, we were reduced from our full string sectional format (violins + violas + cellos + basses) to smaller ‘octet’ style ensembles, which enabled us to become more aware of interweaving textures in the music and communicate with players seated further away. Desks from the front were grouped with those from the middle and back of other sections. My group was aptly named Lions – such ferocious players, we must be.

 photo CF077416-21AE-48BB-8270-6F3CB36ADC36-3067-0000043D2B7F6504_zps00b5127a.jpg

From 10am – 1pm today, we had our first rehearsal with NYO Principal Conductor, Vasily Petrenko. We thought we were working hard already, and then he arrived only to make us play spikier, shorter, and prettier, like in this movement.

Everybody also took part in the community projects for the Derry City of Culture celebrations. The majority were involved in Play at Our Place and Inspire Day. Play at Our Place consisted of NYO members working with young musicians to create a mini-concert in the young musicians’ living rooms.

Inspire Day, the activity I did, similarly invites local young musicians to work with NYO members side-by-side, but in a full orchestral setting. On this occasion we were lucky enough to be conducted by Vasily as well! (I need to start writing about/editing material from today… Eeeek.)

My friends take a well-deserved flop on the mats after a crazy day:

 photo 05A83D08-18CA-41FC-9D9F-48C7ED84F1C9-3687-000004FAE4A19282_zpsf85fc07c.jpg

And then we all went a-bowling…

 photo AF481BD0-3C01-4052-8817-C0BE2C196A86-3690-000004FAFA277545_zpsb8477ac3.jpg

Borrowed from friend's Twitter

Photo taken from a friend’s Twitter

…and walked to the river, eating MacDonald’s fries as the rain began to pour down.

 photo FD513B81-0C54-4B32-94BB-5CACDDD41E4E-3690-000004FAF4A062CA_zps57990834.jpg

Tomorrow: a lie-in, and also the arrival of the choirs! Waah!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s