And so it begins. Our first detailed planning meeting with the Manager of the Peterborough Music Education Hub, Michael Cross, and with the Head of the Technical Team at Peterborough Key Theatre, Gary Linley, to scope the two pilot presentations of The Mozart Project Live! there on 19 and 20 April.
In addition to getting to know the theatre, the space, lighting, sound, access for the piano, camera positions and a whole lot else besides, we had the opportunity to meet a group of journalism students at Peterborough Regional College and their tutor, Mart, to raise awareness of this ACE-funded project locally through the making of a promo film – the students’ first experience of film-making in a journalistic context. Jane Booth and John Irving were presented with a range of questions about our project and over the course of the next couple of weeks, the students will edit the footage into a short film about the project which we will link to here once complete.
Here are our thoughts about one or two of the student questions:
“Why did you choose to focus on Mozart?”
Mainly because his chamber music suits the instrumentation of Ensemble DeNOTE so well, and also because this is music we’ve played a great deal and know intimately. We’re keen to present our passion for this music in a new way, and to engage new audiences. It helps that John has worked a lot on Mozart in his writings over the years, so we can approach the early autograph scores and first editions of these works a bit more closely that we might otherwise. There’s always something new to learn in this music. Recently, when we were rehearsing a quintet arrangement of Mozart’s Gran’ Partita, we had a facsimile of Mozart’s autograph manuscript to hand, and Marcus, our violinist (who is also a composer) was absolutely fascinated by this – especially the really detailed articulation marks Mozart had added into the score (originally for 13 Winds). So this kind of insider knowledge really fires our enthusiasm for making the music speak afresh in our performances.
“Do you think your show will appeal to young people?”
Well, we certainly hope it will! It combines live performance with the digital technology of The Mozart Project – the multi-award-winning iBook of the Year 2015 which brings Mozart’s music to readers and audiences who access their information ‘on the move’, on tablet devices with lots of different layers of information (text, audio, video) just a click away. We’ll make this experience come alive on stage as we act out some of the hypertext links from the original iBook (projected behind us on the theatre stage). By working with Stage Director, Wendy Allnutt, we’ll be maximising the visual dimension – showing how Mozart’s music can be seen as a collaborative act where the performers work together to achieve results as a team, listening, watching, responding to each other. More than ‘just a concert’!