|Marion Wood conducts|
Exteter University Symphony Orchestra and Choral Society
in rehearsal for 'Music to Celebrate the Olympics'
Exeter University Great Hall
On Saturday afternoon she was in charge of a 'rhythm workshop' at Kay House. Members of the public - regardless of previous musical experience - were invited to take part in a rehearsal of 'Olympic Rings'.
Five groups developed rhythmic performances from different continents. Taiko from Japan was melded with Djembe from Africa, Samba from South America, Maoiri 'Spearstick' from New Zealand and 'Sea Songs' from Eastern Europe (Lithuania to be exact).
On Saturday evening, something very different was happening. Matthew Cann had reconvened 'Antiphon', the choir which sang so beautifully at Buckfast Abbey at Christmas (3rd December). Saturday's concert was just as beautiful, and was recorded on video - so, we can look forward to seeing and hearing samples of that concert before too long.
On Sunday Marion Wood was back at work, this time in the Exeter University Great Hall. All afternoon she worked with the many musical societies of the Student Guild, and members of her own 'Exeter Music Group Symphony Orchestra', to prepare a ocncert of music 'for the 2012 Olympics'. In addition to the Holst (Jupiter and Mars) and Elgar (Nimrod) which she covered at Thursday's rehearsal with EMG 1st March (for the full performance of both suites at the Cathedral on 21 April) Marion also developed 'Ode to Joy' from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, with the University Orchestra and Choral Society.
|Prue Tasman is joined by Miranda Cunis|
In a bewildering series of personnel changes the University Concert Band, Flute Coir, Clarinet Choir, Brass Ensemble, Scholars Ensemble, Choral Society and Symphony Orchestra each participated in the musical work of the afternoon. Choral Society president Lily Hawker-Yates was there all afternoon with the sopranos. Kit Fotheringham, Leader of the Symphony Orchestra also doubled as tenor and tenor soloist. Michael Willmot, another Choral Society tenor, also doubled as Tuba player witht he Brass Ensemble - with the biggest and best tuba of all!
Anya Williams, Kathernie Emery, Barbara Hofer,
Jonathan Woods, Martin Yates
(not to mention Kit Fotheringham)
The premiere performance of 'International Songs of Sea and Water' featured nine songs put forward by foreign students, which featured allusions to the sea of water. From St Ives we had 'Lowlands Low', featuring the story of Tobago Smith from the Caribbean. From Lithuania a Sodauto. From Brunei a story of sheeets thrown to the wind - 'Cabuk-cabuk Bertali Rambai'. From Russia a story of Lake Baikal. From China, 'Boats'. From Thailand 'Loy Loy Gradong' - 'Float little boat' - a song about votive offerings floated downstream on banana leaf rafts during the November New Moon Festival.
|Marcelina Gilka sings 'Hej Żeghujźe'|
While the full performance of 'Music to Celebrate the Olympics' was taking place in the Great Hall in the evening, there was yet more music to enjoy at the Northcott Theatre. In the fourth and last in the current 'Classical Concert Series', the Navarra Quartet played three quartets. First, there was Haydn. The programme listed Opus 76 No 4, the 'Sunrise' quartet. But in the event the musicians played Quartet No 1. The second movement featured the theme of Mozart's Jupiter Symphony, mirroring the performance of Holst's 'Jupiter' from the 'Planets Suite' which was playing next door.
Simone van der Giessen
|Meanwhile Marion Wood|
recovers from a taxing concert
introduces Al Mutanabbi
Tyrrell recounted the terrible story of Mohammed Hayawi, book-seller killed in the Al Mutanabbi attack - 'The Bookseller's Story, Ending Much too Soon' by Anthony Shadid.
|Blood, Ink . . .|
Tyrrell's extract compared the attack to the Mongol invasion of 1258 - when the river ran red with blood, then black with the ink of destroyed books. He finished with a chilling demonstration - pouring red and black ink into glass bowl of clear water, before setting fire to a sheet of printing paper and throwing that in too. A very clear message.
Suadd recited in Arabic, 'A Half-Burned Page on Al Mutanabbi Street' by Dunya Mikhail.
Cathernine Cartwright &
Dr Suedd Genem George
Catherine gave a running translation, allowing English speakers to understand the words, while appreciating the poetic rhythms and intonation of the original.
|. . . and Fire!|
stands in for Melica Lewis
Suadd finished with 'The Needle Sings the Book' by Lois Marie Harrod, Behind her a sheet of Arabic script had been burned, creating a hole in the paper, and then stitched together. The imagary was easy to follow.
Dr Suedd Genem George stayed after the recital to discuss issues of politics in the disputed Arab regions - and related political issues in this country. Suedd is Palestinian, and also familiar with the situation in Iraq. Her professional life is concerned with confronting and overcoming racial discrimination in this country.
Suedd also drew our attention to the 102nd 'International Women's Day', which will be on Thursday. Originating in 1909 as 'National Women's Day in the USA, the event gained international recognition by 1911 and, following the (sadly ineffctual) peace demonstrations in 1913 by Russian women, the date fo the event was moved to it's current date of 8th May.
|'Cellist Hilary Boxer &|
Flautist Ruth Avis
Exeter Central Library
Monday 12 March
Later, following a run-down of local musical (and theatrical) events, there will be time for music by local musical luminaries - harpist Elizabeth Jane Baldry, guitarist Chris Glassfield, 'cellist Hilary Boxer, flautist Ruth Avis.
Plenty to look forward to!