Friday, 16 October 2009

Mr Quartermaine


This week saw the premier of the song cycle Elizabeth: Songs of Autobiography by Samuel Quartermaine Smith, set within the fascinating Norman remains of St Bartholomew the Great. Within these ancient halls, we listened to the powerful and succulent voice of Vanessa Bowers and a fantastic ensemble of three recorder players and one percussionist. The unlikely pairing created a multitude of harmonic coloration set against an adventurous yet utterly controlling rhythmic backdrop and the very own words of Elizabeth I, edited gallantly by John Ramster.
What challenge does music face today as we have set out to create new things and can look back on such greats of the classic past. I am in awe of those people who put on paper what they see created in their minds as something coherently of their own time. I hope to hear more of Samuel's music in the near future.
Further of modern art, this weekend will feature many of the most exciting new artists at the Frieze Art Fair in Regent's Park. Maybe you will spot me there, with a camera in my hand ...