my eyes may shut
as I remember how to fly
These were my last words at Handel House. How?
It was the last musical phrase, of my last commission for them, and it was premièred as the last piece in the last programme of my eyemusic festival.
It was brought to life with poise and poignancy by Tessa Marchington (founder and director of Music in Offices) and Ziazan (Bel Canto specialist).
I'm utterly grateful for their dedication and hard-work, and honoured that they arranged the programme so that opera travelled through time and ended in the present with myself, and some excellent composers including Anna Meredith and James Macmillan.
From breeches... (La Nozze di Figaro, Mozart)
...to Greek tragedy (L'Orfeo, Monteverdi)
Three ingenious artists turned up on the day and exhibited their work :
Maya Ramsay took wall-rubbings from Jimi Hendrix's flat, and used manuscript paper so that the woodchip paper created lines which looked like music notation.
Marie Wennersten, producer for Swedish Radio flew in and installed tiny speakers in Handel's Bedroom so visitors could faintly hear his dreams.
Then there was Karen Lear, of Karen Lear Flowers and Queen Lear Fashions.
Karen demonstrated how she had styled Ziazan's costume changes which transported the audience from one era of opera to another, with the addition of just one garment.
And that was just one concert!
I'd also like to thank the following people...
Thanks to Sarah Angliss, for her concert of inventions and mastery. It's be a long time since I've had the impulse to listen again to a whole concert immediately after it's finished, but Sarah's programme was so rich, virtuosic and moving, I know there's more to hear with each listen.
I'm so thrilled to be working with Crewdson and Jodie Cartman on folkloric wearable technology – we featured the Sonic-Bonnet, which will be paired with Crewdson's Odd-Box for the Nest Collective this week.
In the second eyemusic concert, Jessica Hynes wowed audiences with her interpretation of Hendrix – she even added her own beautiful lyrics as a tribute to him. Calum Gourlay wrote exquisite arrangements of Duke Ellington's work for bass and lever harp. Bijan Moosavi brought his original songs, in Farsi.
Thank you, Jess, Calum, Bijan, for your inspirational skills and perspectives.
This concert was featured in the EFG London Jazz Festival, as was my eyemusic concert with Oren Marshall. So, thanks are due to Serious, and to Maija Handover of SoundUK for spreading the word.
I particularly enjoyed interpreting historical and modern Augenmusik with Oren. We improvised a response to 'Jimi's Walls', the artwork by Maya Ramsay. Calum Gourlay has suggested an approach of tracing the wall-rubbings to become notation completely, which I'll encourage him to try with Maya next.
I also wrote an interpretation of an Ancient Egyptian manuscript, where music for a sacred singer seems to be notated with a colour-chart.
Perhaps this is a good place to end my blog (the last blog of my last series, of my last year, yadda yadda)....
It seems apt to end this post with the earliest version of eyemusic I could find as I began it with my most recent piece.
It leaves me to thank the Handel House Museum for commissioning and hosting it, along with my residency. Also to thank the teams who helped with film (Andy, Laurie, Phoenix); and radio (Dr Ed Baxter and Francisco Castilla of Resonance FM, Claire Mattison of LSO Soundhub).
Joel Garthwaite, of Bright Ivy, I am indebted to your management skills.
Ms Charmichael, I am so grateful for the surprise-party you generously hosted for our guests.
Mum, thank you for your help and patience assembling the 'House Music' scores and souvenirs.
Special thanks to mum's familiar, who assisted when the printer malfunctioned.
Keep in touch. I'll be at www.cevanne.com
with more residencies, concerts, and eyemusic.
You can order a signed (and paw-printed) copy of 'House Music', if you like...