Posts Tagged ‘The Listening Chair’

Eric Whitacre and Imogen Heap at The Proms

August 29, 2012
Eric Whitacre at The Proms

Eric Whitacre at The Proms


Warm-Up using music of Bernstein (2 mins)

Eric Whitacre

Alleluia (9 mins)

Eric Whitacre

Leonardo Dreams of His Flying Machine (9 mins)

Music inspired by flying machine of Leonardo da Vinci, using words of Leonardo and performed (allegedly) in the style of Victoria and Palestrina (sounded nothing like to me).

J S Bach

Bach Again (arr E London) (5 mins)

This bore no resemblance to Bach!

Eric Whitacre

Higher, Faster, Stronger (c8 mins) BBC Commission, World Premiere

Inspired by Olympics. Three choirs aranged as medal award, Gold, Silver, Bronze.

Bloody awful noise.

Imogen Heap

The Listening Chair (arr Eric Whitacre) (c5 mins) World Premiere

The Listening Chair a project of Imogen Heap. Literally a chair in which people sat and voiced their thoughts. What is the song which still needs to be written? No common theme. What am I doing with my life? The song represents her life. One minute, every seven years of her life. Who am I now?

Starts like a nursery rhyme cum folk tale cum folk music.

This is the final song of Heapsongs.


Three Spirituals (arr Moses Hogan) (9 mins)

American sprituals. Unusal arrangements, but worked.

Eric Whitacre

Cloudburst (9 mins)

Inspired by a thunderstorm and downpour.

Eric Whitacre

Sleep (5 mins)

Originally set to words by Robert Frost until estate of Robert Frost forbade it.

Bob Dylan

Forever Young (encore)

Take words of Bob Dylan, then compose new music. Does not work!

I listened to the live broadcast by BBC Radio 3 from the Royal Albert Hall in High Definition sound (or at least I thought I was).

I was not very impressed. Came nowhere to the standard of a live concert by The Sixteen.

I wondered why, in this day of live streaming on the net, why all these concerts do not have live video feed?

Eric Whitacre I have never heard of before, and only listened because of his association with Imogen Heap. Not someone who I will be going out of my way to listen to again.

Considering how much one has to pay these days for concert tickets, the tickets were surprisingly cheap, £12 to £16 and on the night £5 for those promming. Maybe because late night.

A concert for the most part I did not enjoy. It was dire until Imogen Heap, sprituals were worth listening to.

A pity the entire concert was not Imogen Heap.

A much younger audience than usual for Proms. No doubt due to Imogen Heap!

I thought I was listening to the concert in HD. It was only towards the end of Imogen Heap I found I was not. It made amazing difference. Until then I was wondering why the sound quality was so poor.

Sounds from a Room: Imogen Heap

June 22, 2012
Thames from Hungerford Bridge

Thames from Hungerford Bridge

working boats on The Thames

working boats on The Thames

A room for London: Thames and Hungerford Bridge

A room for London: Thames and Hungerford Bridge

Atop the buildings on the South Bank of The Thames is a boat.

An odd place for a boat. Part of an arts project A Room for London.

This evening, Imogen Heap live streamed over the net from the boat, and was shown on a large screen at Clore Ballroom, Southbank Centre.

Three projects rolled into one: Heapsongs, the Listening Chair and Sounds From a Room.

Last week via the listening chair, Imogen Heap was collecting thoughts on The Thames, crowd sourcing for her new song You know where to find me, a perspective from The Thames.

Various themes came through which will be incorporated into the song:

  • Driftwood
  • Walking the Thames, Imogen has cycled the length
  • Quite strong, strong tide, but in slack does not move
  • Can we have a conversation with a river?
  • A him, Father Thames

Piano melody came in the early hours of the morning.

Storm hit during the night. The boat was rocking. Would it be blown off into The Thames?

Beautiful haunting piano melody.

Forgot the song, so new.

People stand around, just looking, can do this by a river.

A very public area with private thoughts.

Word cloud, distils thoughts.

Very little traffic on the river cf Thames River Pageant.

From the boat a view over the Thames and of Waterloo Bridge.

Does The Thames want to be young, blue and green?

Two hours sleep.

Pulled the lyrics together late morning.

You cannot force inspiration.

Just explain, not write, then relax.

Inspiration not on tap.

Used to live in a flat in Waterloo

Cannot write under pressure. Time lapse camera click click click …

Water a vital organ.

River has its off day, like us.

Artist’s favourite friend is procrastination.

Had hoped to finish the song, instead see the process.

Do you have a piano in Edinburgh? Filming will take place in Edinburgh.

Relationships, with the river, with each other.

Part will be filmed in Clore Ballroom after the live steaming.

Top Story in The Boatshed Essex Daily (Saturday 23 June 2012).

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