piece 'Towards 5-Sigma', for cello & piano, was premiered last
night at St Mary's, Perivale - part of the West London Sinfonia's annual
chamber music concert.
Taking as its inspiration the
decades-long hunt by quantum physicists for the elusive 'Higgs Boson'
sub-atomic particle, (some term it the 'God-Particle'), the term
'5-Sigma' describes the ultimate level of proof required to confirm its
discovery, based on a balance of probabilities. Scientists at CERN in
Switzerland now believe that their striving has been rewarded...
That all sounds a bit serious, but was huge fun! - big thanks to superb
cellist Lois Mattson, for taking on-board all the extended techniques,
which blended so well with the piano!
Frank Troyka who I only met tonight, after he conducted his amazing L. V. Berkner High School band at the Midwest Clinic here in Chicago, clearly does have a wonderful rapport with his students, to achieve such an astonishing & wonderful level of performance. I have never heard anything like it! Quality to rival a pro band.
In fact everything here in Chicago this week has been jaw-droppingly wonderful. My first visit, but I will definitely be back! All credit to the President Richard Crain.
Here in Chicago at the Midwest Clinic legendary composer Frank Ticheli joins the panel discussing all the issues - except for one - money!! Commissioning fees in the new recessionary climate! But a great session!
(l-r) Michael Omer; Dan Reinstein; Paul Jayasinha Photo courtesy of Lyn Edwards
A visit to the renowned and long established 606 Jazz Club in Chelsea last night, just to listen, saw Michael Omer being invited up on stage to sit in for the final number of Dan Reinstein's closing set!
Professor Reinstein, whose day job is being a leading internationally acclaimed laser eye-surgeon, affectionately introduced Michael as his former teacher of jazz piano, who had taught him all he knew(well, mostly true!), before Michael launched into an opening solo to Freddie Freeloader.
It was an evening of surprises all round, as earlier in the set, another member of the audience turned out to be Christopher Hamill, also known as Limahl - former lead singer in the 1980s band Kajagoogoo. Chris gave us a lovely rendition of 'The Girl from Ipanema' and Gershwin's 'Love for Sale'.
Michael returns to the stage on September 20th 2011, at The Pheasantry in the King's Road, with his next piano jazz-cabaret show. This will be his fourth appearance at the newly refurbished venue, which has now fully taken over from the now closed Pizza on the Park.
So life's a beach! Some downtime here in Jersey before my jazz cabaret show tonight at the Jersey Arts Centre - a lovely theatre with a great atmosphere!
BBC Radio Jersey interviewed me live just before lunch and gave me a fifteen minute spot, including playing two tracks from my "Unwritten ,Unplugged & Unsigned" CD. Carrie & Sarah asked some great questions, and not just about tonight's jazz. We covered my concert hall music, and other output too!
All thanks to sponsors Anthony & Jeffery Chinn of Hettich Jewelers, who brought me over to the island after seeing my show at Pizza on the Park in 2010. A fun evening ahead!
If I had £1 or $1 for everyone who wishes they hadn't given up learning the piano, then I'd be a rich musician! If you're thinking of giving up, then think again - it could make you really popular at parties if you can pick out a tune! Might even help you get lucky in love! But if you really MUST give up on the other hand, then just send me the £1/$1/€1..! I'll donate half of it to charity!
So I just had someone tweet me worried that their piano teacher thought he(age 18) needed to be of grade 8 standard to be able to learn and play jazz!
Something wrong here clearly - I hesitate to say with the teaching maybe! If ever you've seen a young child messing about(= impovising) on the piano, you can see the seeds of improvisation right there, in everyone! Is this a case of having talent "educated out of you"?!
For anyone who can play moderately, and read music up to a point, the Associated Board(ABRSM) Jazz repertoire is an excellent way to get up to speed within a very accessible framework. Visit https://bit.ly/j5beWm
Mozart and flight were the inspirations for a music project which reached its climax at Southampton Airport on Thursday 27 January 2011 at 1pm. Fly Away Mozart brought together members of the renowned London Mozart Players (LMP), students from Woodlands Community College in Southampton and award-winning composer Michael Omer to create a piece of music which received its premiere on Mozart’s actual birthdate (he was born on 27 January 1756).
The College students visited the Airport in October 2010(see the earlier blog) to experience the sights and sounds of the Terminal building and Arrivals Hall. They then spent November working with musicians from the LMP and Michael Omer to create their piece. The resulting 15-minute piece, is based around three elements: the achievements of Geoff Wellum, the youngest Spitfire pilot in the Battle of Britain, the music which Mozart was writing at the same age as Geoff was when he started to fly, and the story of Edwin Moon, Southampton’s first pioneer aviator - his plane Moonbeam 2 left the ground in 1910, from a field, which was to later become the airport which stands on the site today.
The project, which was managed by Southampton’s Turner Sims concert hall, was funded by Find Your Talent-PUSH and Arts Council England. Kevin Appleby, Concert Hall Manager for Turner Sims said “The Airport story has been a great inspiration to everyone involved in making the piece, and Thursday’s event proved to be an exciting finale, in a very unusual but appropriate performance space with the Mozart birthday link an added bonus”.
In an interview for BBC Online Michael commented:
"The teenagers are a great bunch, and working with a small group has been very enjoyable, as they all had the opportunity to contribute ideas.
"Some of their talent is especially shown in their lyrics - one song about Edwin Moon's first successful flight in 1910, at what was to become Southampton Airport, produced some beautiful imagery, whilst the rap "Two Different Lives" is of course in a very contrasting style, and has some great wordplay on how Mozart and Spitfire pilot Geoffrey Wellum, at the same age of nineteen, experienced very different experiences in their own time and place!
Both ITV News for Meridian Tonight and BBC Radio Solent covered the event - the latter taking the opening of the piece "live" on the lunchtime news, with an extended report on Drivetime later in the day.
Michael went on: "The project was put together very quickly as the funding was about to disappear, due to the government's swingeing CSR cuts, so our work would have benefitted from a longer lead time, but the students have done brilliantly. I think we have achieved an increase in their musical awareness - but even better than that, I hope we have given them an excellent environment in which they felt at ease to collaborate with professional creatives, like us!!
"Performing in the arrivals hall was wonderfully mad, and possibly a first! Of course the airport had to carry on as normal with all the bustle and announcements, but we hope that the passengers enjoyed it - certainly different from what is normally to be seen going on in the average airport!"`
It was a bit chilly, but when students from Woodlands Community College visited Southampton Airport on a grey Thursday in November, they were all very upbeat about the upcoming project with composer Michael Omer, which will climax in a performance of their new composition inspired by flight, actually taking place in the airport in December!
Accompanied by Head of Music Owen Bellman, and members of the London Mozart Players, including managing director Simon Funnell - together with team leader Kevin Appleby who runs the Turner Sims Concert Hall in Southampton, Michael and a lively bunch of students were able to get to know eachother during a tour of the airport, and talk about initial ideas for their new piece of music.
LOTS OF IDEAS
Back at Woodlands Community College, after lunch, Michael gave a presentation to the students and staff about his work composing for film and television, followed by a lively discussion session with students, on how the creative process would develop over the coming four short weeks!
CHECK BACK SOON, AND LEAVE COMMENTS,ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE ONE OF THE GROUP OF STUDENTS TAKING PART