Jon Farey’s London Sinfonietta Academy Diary – day 4

As the London Sinfonietta Academy week goes on, Sunday’s Musicians of Tomorrow final performance is getting ever closer! Here’s Jon’s latest entry from day four.

Grab your free ticket for the final performance at Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design here.

Day four of the London Sinfonietta Academy. Bright and early first thing today we ran through Xenakis’s Jalons. Quite a start for 10am! It was great to work on it with the rest of the ensemble after yesterday’s sectional on it, and it was interesting to hear where my part slotted in with the others. In the sectional yesterday we also worked on the different playing styles and how in the type of music that we are learning this week we should aim for a different sound to the typical orchestral sound that we are usually taught, it was great to put this into practice.

After the Xenakis we worked on Rune Glerup’s Divertimento to take us through to lunch. It has been great to work on a piece dedicated to our conductor Pierre-André Valade, he really knows exactly what sounds and colours he wants in the music. The biggest challenge of the piece is a pianississimo semi-tone dissonance that I have with the clarinet. Tutor Mark van de Wiel gave some great advice, that we should find how it feels when it works and to then be a technician and reproduce that every time.

Now that we are over halfway through the week it is starting to feel like we have made real progress – we are getting to a point where we can comfortably run a piece and know where we slot in. During the lunch hour we managed to commandeer one of the table tennis tables in the entrance to Central Saint Martins. What fun! I haven’t played since primary school (naturally I was beaten hands down by the talented Jamie Kenny (double bass) and Toby Street (trumpet)):

After lunch we finished the day with a quick rehearsal of OG and then a session with Richard Causton, the composer of the new commission for this week. It was great to get more of an insight into what he wants from the piece and it also meant that myself and Toby had another chance to perfect our harmonica entries!

Pierre-André and Richard Causton deep in discussion about the new commission:


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