15 June 2011
Speak Emerging Artists speak: Anna Ng
The participants in Speak Percussion's Emerging Artists Program write about the intense period of rehearsals and the final performances in Melbourne in April 2011. For their thoughts after the earlier 'creative development week' in December, please see this article on Resonate blog. For more blog articles by program participants, see the Resonate blog.
The culminating concert of the Speak Percussion Emerging Artists Program is the best concert I've ever played in. First and foremost, it was wonderful fun. Also, it was ours - our own music, our own way of presenting it. And finally, an enthusiastic and supportive audience without whom there can never be a performance.
Following the initial 'creative development week' in December, the process of experimentation we had begun certainly did not end once we got home. Ideas and sketches were buzzing in the minds of our collaborating composers. Over the next few months, my collaborator, Micah, and I exchanged long emails discussing titles, techniques and philosophies. It was a challenge at times to confront the sheer volume of ideas to test out, but once we began, the ideas flowed.
It was fascinating to observe how the two of us, with quite different ideas, would pick out the details from each other's emails that we liked the best, so that in the end we had developed a collection of ideas that truly belonged to both of us. I felt a surge of pride and excitement when Micah would say, 'You said something cool about...' My sense of ownership of the piece was further cemented when I received the finished score for the first time, and saw my own name in the dedication. There was my name, actually printed on the score!
The next step of the process was, of course, rehearsal. Eugene, Leah, Thomas and Laura were wonderful in their guidance of the five quartets. There were so many things to consider, such as where to get things like bubble wrap from, how to control the spinning of a brake drum, who would give cues and when, and, of course there were notes to learn. The process was intensive, but everyone involved was completely committed and supportive.
The influence of our mentors during the program cannot be overstated. It was a luxury to have their time and attention, for a chat or some advice. Some of us also took the opportunity to attend Speak Percussion rehearsals in the evening. For me, it was fascinating to observe professionals at work, and it also affirmed my desire to keep playing music. The members of Speak Percussion were open and inviting and made us feel right at home. I feel that this attitude carried over into the running of the program, and the success with which all the participants worked together and supported one another - not just as colleagues but as friends - is a reflection of the leadership from Eugene, Thomas and Leah. Thank you guys!
Read also: Micah Brown's blog article about collaboration with Anna.
Percussion's emerging artists speak for themselves' -
Resonate blog (22 December 2010)
Speak Emerging Artists Program (Speak Percussion website)
© Australian Music Centre (2011) — Permission must be obtained from the AMC if you wish to reproduce this article either online or in print.
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