Saturday, September 8, 2012

Recording Day for Occhipinti, Buhr and Lussier

Today is the recording day that I have been planning for four and a half years.
Yes, I have done many other projects in between and yes, this one has taken on a new shape that will require two CDs with two orchestras, but the day has come.

It is pouring rain but maybe in it will stop by the time the sessions start at 11 a.m. and before we finish at 9 or 10 p.m. tonight.  Or maybe St Anne's Anglican Church will not reverberate like a drum to the sound of the rain... we'll just have to see.  I have done 10 projects in this building over the years, in the greenhouse, bassoon-melting temperatures of summer and the heater-banging, see-your-breath frigidity of January, but never before in monsoon season.

But I feel happy.  The orchestra is alert and beautiful and our conductor Eric Paetkau is completely connected to the music. Guy is full of spirit despite having a weather-induced headache (the rain is actually better than the pre-rain for him).  He has just two pieces to record today, so he can take it easy in the afternoon.

Yesterday, we heard the new pieces for the first time... it is always a wonderful experience to never-before-played music with a group of great players.

Mathieu Lussier's Oddbird Concerto --- the lush harmonies justified by the great string playing and dramatic percussion.

The new Occipinti, despite it's sorrowful inspiration (every 13 seconds, someone died of AIDS in Africa) is spatial, mesmerizing and has a lyric groove.

The older pieces, Le Dernier Chant de Ophélie (Lussier/bassoon) and man will only grieve (Buhr/corno/bassoon)  feel very real and familiar.

Time to make lunch, dinner and  another reed.  Over and out until tonight.

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