Friday, March 23, 2007

Singers and Roses and the Lexus

Back on the 14th March I wrote about a couple of people I knew who were in the Lexus Song Quest: Emma Fraser and Claire Barton. Both have got through to the final six, which is great. It’s going to be an exciting night for Dunedin listeners.
And a bit more about Anna Leese. She’s had a newly-bred rose named after her, by Palmerston North City Council – it was the brainchild of Malcolm Hopgood, the public affairs manager at the Council. Palmerston North, as you might guess, is Leese’s home town.
She said, "It’s an incredible honour. I makes me feel immortal, in a way. My great-grandchildren will say that rose was named after me."
She’s back in Dunedin this week to sing in a concert at the Dunedin Town Hall. In the second half a concert version of Trevor Coleman’s soundtrack score for the tv documentary, Equator, will be performed, with videos from the series showing on an enormous ‘small swimming pool-sized television screen.’ (I want to know what they’re going to do with the thing after they’ve used it. Surely they’re not sending it back to Japan again?)
Talking of screens and orchestras: my last foray into playing in an orchestra was when I got roped into playing the piano part in Vaughan Williams’ Sinfonia Antarctica, which the Dunedin Symphonia performed. The screen side of the thing was that we showed videos from the Natural History series on Antarctica to accompany the music.
I hated playing the piano in this. The part wasn’t impossible to play – and it was buried underneath lots of other instrumental noises much of the time – but coming in at the right spot was a nightmare for me. I can’t seem to count bars the way orchestral musicians do, for some reason. I’m so used to having all the music in front of me (as for instance, when I’m accompanying singers) that having in front of me only my part of a vast wad of notes is very intimidating. I got so nervous about this that I borrowed the full miniature score from the library and had it at hand to check where I was in the proceedings.
The Anna Leese/Trevor Coleman concert is part of the Dunedin Heritage Festival, which I’ve read about (that is, skimmed my eyes across the info in the paper). Somehow I manage not to get to things like this. It takes a considerable effort on my part. Don’t ask me why.
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