Recital Preparation continues...

The final months of the ANAM year are usually jam-packed with celebrations, festivities, farewells, and recitals. Despite the cloud of uncertainty lingering, our team behind-the-scenes are working day and night to ensure that musicians can look forward to performing their recital repertoire, one way or another!

With an ever-impressive ability to face any challenge head on, our musicians are finding creative ways to practice at home. They’re using kitchenware in lieu of percussion instruments, and even transforming living rooms into makeshift dance studios. 

Hannah Pike (piano, QLD)
Cooking in my kitchen is becoming increasingly more difficult since I'm using so much of my kitchenware in my practice! Thankfully I have a piano at home now, so I am still able to practice even with the uncertainty of the current climate. I just hope my neighbours love hearing me practice Hindemith as much as I like playing it. You know what they say: my neighbours have good taste in music... whether they like it or not!

Darcy O’Malley (trumpet, TAS) 
My recital preparation is going well despite a few challenges due to recent lockdowns. The main challenge is, of course, the inability to rehearse with my Associate Artist and fellow musicians, which has led to the recital being postponed. However, I am thoroughly enjoying immersing myself in the four fantastic works which make up my program and very much looking forward to performing these works with my wonderfully talented colleagues and friends at ANAM!

AlexandeMeagher (percussion, VIC) 
While in lockdown I've been spending a bit of time working on my ANAM Set commission by Graeme Leak, which includes empty space in the middle to include some footwork. While I haven't been able to bring instruments into the preparation, I've been able to clear just enough room at home to work on a bit of the choreography. It is kind of fun interspersing note learning and score study with a few kicks and cartwheels. Occasionally kicking furniture by accident is less fun... 

Daniel Chio (cello, QLD) 
Lockdown no. 6 is proving to be pretty difficult since you want to practise but also at the same time, not drive your neighbours crazy! Nonetheless, it is nice to have Caleb [Salizzoaround meaning that we are able to rehearse the Debussy every now and then when we're not sick of seeing each other.

Noah Rudd (oboe, NZ)
Lockdown, the perfect time to practise? There is certainly the time, it's more about keeping things interesting.  I am really excited about the program I have put together for my recital, so I am just enjoying the journey of learning each piece! 

Josiah Kop (horn, QLD)
Preparing this program from the concrete steps of the MCG, from the vacant stage of the Sidney Myer Music Bowl, to playing for all the birds and my adorable King Charles Cavalier in the park near my family home in Vermont, I've found new sound, new vibration, and limitless abandon of space.

As counterintuitive as it may seem, never have I felt such an openness and freedom.

James Littlewood (bass trombone, VIC)
It has been a fun challenge to explore the vastly different soundworlds of each of the pieces in my recital. The prelude written by the TSO's percussionist Gary Wain is gentle and melancholic, and his quasi-improvised writing complements Fabien Gabel's Fantaisie dans le style de Richard Strauss, despite the latter being in a much more lush and romantic style.

I'm looking forward to rehearsing William Grant Still's Romance with harpist Samantha Ramirez, which features beautiful long melodies that contrast with the contemporary extended techniques required for my collaboration with composer Cat Hope for the ANAM Set. I'm thoroughly enjoying reading Jonathan Safran Foer's novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, which is the main source of inspiration for the final piece in my program by Slovenian-American conductor and composer Daniela Candillari.

Lily Bryant (flute, ACT) 
Recital prep is really difficult in lockdown, but it's a nice chance to really get to listen to and study the pieces, so that I know them inside and out by the time I'm able to sink my teeth in to actually playing them! For me it's also really nice to have some quintessential romantic flute repertoire in there that allows me to really explore and luxuriate in the sound and colours of the flute. 

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