Articles tagged with: Vivaldi

Seclusion Discs – Owain Browne

Seclusion Discs – Owain Browne

Music has been a very important part of my lockdown experience. At first there was silence: long-anticipated projects cancelled

Seclusion Discs – Karolyn Curle

Seclusion Discs – Karolyn Curle

We have asked our friends and tutors, while they are marooned in isolation, which 8 tracks mean the most to them, so we can share some new listening ideas with you and find out a bit more about them. This week, Office Manager Karolyn Curle, introduces her picks.

Our Office Manager, Karolyn, joined the Jackdaws team in May 2012 having previously worked at the Merlin Theatre in Frome as the Front of House Manager. If you have booked on to a Jackdaws course or event in the last eight years, chances are that you have emailed or spoken to Karolyn personally.

“I’ve really enjoyed delving through my record collection and musical memory for this piece. Music has always played an important part in my life, and although I’m not a great musician I appreciate the ways in which it has influenced and empowered me. My love of singing in choirs has brought me a lot of pleasure, particularly in recent years, and created some wonderful friendships along the way”

Track One: Abba – Dancing Queen
There was always music playing at home and in the car during my childhood, but this was the first song that made me aware that music could make me ‘feel’ something. The first notes take me right back to my first year at school and a disco in the main hall; the music embraces me and I’m filled with the joy of the moment, it still makes me smile!

Track Two: Vivaldi – ‘Gloria in excelsis’, Gloria
I enjoyed and embraced all musical opportunities at school and was fortunate to have some wonderful teachers. My time at the small village Primary School was filled with recorder lessons and ensemble groups and lots of singing; choirs, assemblies and church services. However, my favourite activity was the weekly BBC ‘Singing Together’ radio broadcast – according to my teacher, Miss Kynaston, I was an enthusiastic member of the class!

At Secondary School I learned piano and clarinet, and continued to enjoy singing in choirs and school productions. The highlight was a performance of Vivaldi ‘Gloria’ under the direction of Head of Music, Ruth Phillips, in a local church. This was my first experience of singing choral music with a large group, as an alto in the chorus, the opening bars still fill me with that sense of nervous excitement.

Track Three: Fairground Attraction – Allelujah
Through my teens I loved having a record player in my room, buying new vinyl with money from my Saturday job at the Roman Baths. I was drawn to music with a folk/roots base and female singers in particular. It was hard to narrow down the choice here, in the end, Eddi Reader won. My choice is not the wonderfully popular ‘Perfect’, still heard on tv and radio today, but the more wistful ‘Allelujah’ which brings the album to a close. I love the dreamy, wistful quality of this waltz, the sweeping range of the vocals and the positive and uplifting lyrics.

Track Four: Oysterband – Love Vigilantes
I had great fun during my ‘year out’ working at Our Price in Bath, where I met so many amazing people who introduced me to an even wider range of music. There were two branches of Our Price in Bath at that time – the cool shop was on Union Street, where new releases and cutting edge sounds filled two floors and then there was the more sedate branch in old Southgate shopping centre, that’s where I worked! We sold an awful lot of Phil Collins and Eric Clapton I seem to remember…

This track is a favourite find from that year and blends my love of folk with a new discovery of Indie; an Oysterband arrangement of a New Order track.

Track Five: The Cranberries – Dreams
I studied English and Drama at Worcester College of Higher Education; Delores O’Riordan and her band provided the soundtrack for my final year and Dissertation writing! Having heard ‘Dreams’ on the radio (John Peel show, I think) I eagerly anticipated the album, which I bought on cassette tape (so that I could also play it in my car, of course!) the day it was released. I played it over and over, singing along with these anthems which seemed to sum up the angst I was feeling at the time.

‘Oh, my life is changing every day, in every possible way’.

Track Six: Hayseed Dixie – Holiday
Fast forward a few years, several house moves, a wedding and two children later and we’re on the road on family camping trips with Hayseed Dixie on the car i-pod. This song reminds me of those days, driving down through France with the car/trailer/van/bikes all packed up, to our favourite spot in the Loire, Le Chant D’Oiseau. Although ‘Holiday’ isn’t actually about a holiday it’s sweeping fiddle and chirpy banjo & mandolin never fail to remind me of family time and these journeys. Hayseed Dixie are an incredibly talented bunch of musicians, I’ve seen them live a few times and they never fail to entertain.

Track Seven: Handel – ‘His Yoke Is Easy’, from ‘Messiah’
This is one of my favourite choruses to sing, especially the way in which the music starts to sweep along towards the end, with longer notes and beautiful harmonies.
My Mum and I joined the choir of the first Frome Voices project in 2012, to rehearse and perform Handel’s ‘Messiah’. It was wonderfully uplifting and challenging at a time when I needed the support of music in my life, having recently been made redundant from my job at the Merlin Theatre due to cuts in Arts funding. Little did I know that the job at Jackdaws was just around the corner…

In January this year, Frome Voices again chose Messiah, and I once again found myself in the community of altos, making new friends and enjoying the sheer pleasure of singing the score. However, coronavirus restrictions arrived; rehearsals were stopped and the performance remains postponed, but this definitely isn’t the end of my journey with Frome Voices.

Track Eight: Johnny Flynn – Treasure
This song is the title music for the tv series ‘Detectorists’, one of my favourite programmes; currently available on i-player if you’ve not yet experienced it’s quiet charm. For me, this song evokes a feeling of appreciation for seeing the beauty in our surroundings and the small pleasures to be found in nature. I’m missing being at Jackdaws in my riverside office, but have been taking walks along the riverpath locally in Frome instead, listening and watching the spring unfurl day by day.

I’ve been a member of Jackdaws Songbirds community choir since 2007. Caroline Radcliffe our choir leader arranged ‘Treasure’ for us a few years ago, it was a delight to sing!

‘I heard the calls of all the songbirds, they sang all the wrong words’

Song Story Success!

Song Story Success!

Jackdaws Song Story 2016 with William Carslake and Flora CurzonOn 29 June, the final large-scale Jackdaws Education project of 2015-16 saw children from four Somerset schools perform their own response to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons in a special performance at Robert Blake and Elmwood School in Bridgwater.

Using the sonnets which inspired Vivaldi during his original composition, each school developed a response to a particular season with the team. Vivaldi’s sonnets tell a story of the weather and the impact upon humans but our students wanted to update this story to make it more relevant to them, so the four seasons were recomposed to tell of the way we have mistreated Mother Earth, Gaia (ancient English for Earth) so that both her and mankind are now suffering from extreme weather.

All schools agreed that our story needed a superhero; he was to be called Sascha, from Alexander, meaning defender of Mankind. Sascha tries to help Gaia and the people of Earth defend themselves against the weather and the evil duo of the fly-tipping Dr Cuckoo and Lord Bacchus, head of the big oil corporations, poisoning the rivers and oceans.

Ultimately, the people realise they have to work together to help Sascha and unite to save Gaia. Though they succeed, they realise there is still a lot to be done and at the end they pledge to do a better job of looking after the Earth.

The music, mostly adapted from the famous suite of violin concertos, also featured special selections from Vivaldi’s Gloria, and was performed live by Music Director & pianist, William Carslake, violinist Flora Curzon and Jackdaws Artistic Director, Saffron van Zwanenberg. The children performed in choirs and in percussion orchestras.

The unique Song Story project was designed to introduce children to the music of the great composers by engaging them in a live performance, using the composer’s music as inspiration to a dramatic narrative of their own creation.

Song Story 2016: Vivaldi’s Four Seasons

https://www.flickr.com/photos/fakeplasticalice/3123649457/in/photolist-6eqQrx-fCJMuo-pxJ1fX-dGBbKP-rTWghx-n1vLWS-53f1SC-nZvh9P-9gtRUS-7egSfW-dbLtWi-nFezv9-53aLqR-nXBWHU-nFfoai-97yDr3-ir9an-7LQAkH-97vwXc-3ixD9k-n1uakT-4VKxjw-9g3HiP-pb5CAn-5L2wa8-8vYXh2-nZvg4n-dJRghq-8vGFZq-53aLkV-7YEe7F-aRU4ov-bnzitw-n1vKKJ-gzeSg2-gvx7uv-6yqhtu-8x4ERN-8vDEB4-aG3aQB-C8V8FG-zyNm1f-ekonpL-5LjGga-53f1Z7-z74VMU-ySGhMT-ABWdqz-n9UBNJ-7vSh1MFinal Performance: Wednesday 29 June
Elmwood & Robert Blake Science College, Bridgwater

Song Story 2016 explores Vivaldi’s vivid Four Seasons.

Four SEN schools – Elmwood, Avalon, Critchill and Selworthy – will investigate Vivaldi’s evocative work with conductor William Carslake, violinist Flora Curzon and soprano Saffron van Zwanenberg in series of workshops, culminating in the grand performance of their own musical response to the work on 29 June.

The unique Song Story project was designed to introduce children to the music of the great composers by engaging them in a live performance, using the composer’s music as inspiration to a dramatic narrative of their own creation.

A Song Story Performance

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