I had forgotten that a Friday night in the great hotel on Parr St, would not necessarily mean I get sleep! I did get my own special distant mix of about three different clubs through the floor tho..! Anyhow, very cool to be back to play the Capstone again. Doubly so, as this was the venue for the recording of the Glimpse, which was a first for me (using a Steinway D of great quality, and also having a true ambience of the beautiful venue). Great to chat briefly with some of the guys from Mercury nominated Led Bib (10yrs a band already), and also to be involved with a festival from its inception. Cool banner outside the venue! (see above). Organiser Neil Campbell and Gabrielle were rightly running about, and I was introduced to a few students from the University to do an interview. Always great when the questions have been given such consideration – it would have needed more time to deal with them as I wanted! Look forward to seeing the result guys.
I think starting off with the Glimpse, is a nice reverse to the first few times it was performed (as an encore). After an initial wait (as I did ask for folk to move so they could see the keyboard if they wanted!), it was grand to be reunited with this instrument again. It has become even more at one with its surroundings, and it truly deserves to last a century (based on the skills acquired from the previous half millennia!). It was thus extremely sad to hear of the closing of the piano dept in Harrods yesterday (right there on the tv first thing in the hotel …). The store that provides everything? Not anymore… There are a great amount of wonderful pianists around from many genres who could provide inspiration- any time they wanted (live performances in the store?). All pianos provide an important link across many cultures, and traditions, from manufacture to music making. It changes everyone who comes into contact with one. Each piano experience on this tour, and generally for me, has been equally important – and always broadens the relationship. I think that is a big mistake on their part.
I hugely enjoyed the Mompou (works so well on this piano). Closing off with Cumulus – it all passed too quickly. Seemed like the first note suggested by the audience for the improv was popular (!) There was some healthy signing cd activity thereafter, and it was an honour to meet someone who has 6 of my albums! Caught a bit of Kit Downes soundcheck (great band), and some lovely music from two bands in the foyer (A Sharp Trio – so much young talent around!) . I do think this Fest will go on to great things, and it has made a fantastic start. Congrats to Neil once again and all who have made it possible!!!
Trinity Laban Conservatoire Of Music and Dance next