Friday, 21 March 2014

Footsteps in the can

I’ve just had a fantastic day down at Tŷ Cerdd’s recording studio at Wales Millennium Centre with the Mavron String Quartet and Francesca Kay recording my quartet, footsteps quiet in the shadows, for a CD.

Although the quartet is only just over twelve minutes, we had four hours of recording time booked so that we could get every aspect of it right. And we still have the editing session yet to come … We had Ty Cerdd’s engineer, James Clark at the control desk guiding us smoothly through the day.

The Mavrons have given eight public performances of the quartet and really have it under their belts. Last week I spent a very long day finishing a final copy of the score and it was useful to copy it out again to familiarise myself with all its details. Here’s a photo of pages from the last movement – although I can use music software, I dislike it and prefer to make my scores by hand.

It was great to have Francesca Kay in the recording studio with us. The piece takes its title from a poem called Unicorn by Francesca from her collection Mythical Beasts. She’s been able to read it at most of the performances, and the transition from her reading into the opening bars is a magical moment which we all now regard as an integral part of the piece. Here she is today reading it in the studio.

Look out for news of the CD itself.

Many thanks to Chrissie, Katie, Niamh, Bea, Francesca, James and Jim for all their work today. 

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