THIS IS CoMA: HANNAH KENDALL & RICHARD WATKINS

On Friday 4 and Saturday 5 March at Kings Place, we partner with Contemporary Music for All to perform some of the organisation’s most iconic creations.
For over a decade they’ve been bringing new music to new audiences through their Open Score project, commissioning flexibly-scored works playable by ensembles of all shapes and sizes.
For the next three Sundays, we’ll be setting quickfire questions to three of the composers whose works we’ll perform in March: Philip Cashian, Roxanna Panufnik and Hannah Kendall.

Our last post comes from composer Hannah Kendall, who’s new commission Into Pieces will be premiered on Friday 4 March. Richard Watkins, the poet on whose work Hannah’s music is based, also faced our questions. He’ll join our players to read his poetry live on Friday.



THIS IS HANNAH KENDALL
HK

What do you regard as your greatest artistic achievement?

Winning the Woman of the Future Award for Arts and Culture in 2015.

What do you fear?
Overly sprouted potatoes. I don’t buy them any more just in case I accidentally forget about one in the back of the cupboard for a few weeks.

Which piece of music has had the biggest effect on you?
This is such a difficult question, but looking back; Franck’s Symphony in D minor was the first substantial work that I performed with my youth orchestra, and where I truly experienced the deep joy one can have through performing music with others. I was in the audience when Steve Reich performed Music for 18 Musicians with many of the original members of the group at his 70th birthday festival at the Barbican. The whole auditorium immediately exploded into a standing ovation afterwards. That’s over 2,000 people being considerably moved by the performance they had just seen and heard. Finally, through being commissioned to write On the Chequer’d Field Array’d for pianist Andrew Matthews-Owen I discovered the importance of developing fruitful and long-lasting creative relationships and friendships with people. I try to draw on all of these experiences in my music.

What’s the most unusual performance you’ve been a part of?
Back in my singing days, I gave a concert in a zoo in Budapest. That was pretty random.

What’s currently on your coffee table at home?
Due to London space-saving living, I don’t have one! But, if I did, it would probably resemble my kitchen table which has piles of books, letters, magazines, articles and leaflets I’ll never read. I’ll get round to sorting it one day.

What was the first recording you ever bought?
Now 29. I spent a lot of time making up dance routines to Baby Come Back and Take That’s Sure in the mid-90s with my best friend.

Describe yourself in three words.
Witty. Determined. Generous.

If you could have any other profession, what would it be?
Well, I just did an online career aptitude test for fun, and ‘Philosophy / Religion / Sociology / Literature Teacher’ came out on top, or ‘Investment Fund Manager’. I’m not sure about the latter! But, I’m passionate about working with young people, which I do often. I’d be very happy teaching any one of those subjects.

Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
My mother. A whole blog post could be dedicated to her. She’s a wonderfully formidable character; driven, encouraging, inspirational, incredibly generous, supportive and visionary.

Tell us your best musical joke.
I don’t know any! Probably because I love the viola and bassoon.



THIS IS RICHARD WATKINS

What do you regard as your greatest artistic achievement?

Probably the project I’m currently in the middle of, is the most ambitious and exciting. The Mixup is 50 artists from 7 cities all getting mixed up in each others’ creative process. Artists all start one piece, work on a second piece started by someone else, and finish a third piece that’s already had two artists work on it. The set of artists are amazing, the work that’s emerging is interesting and the process is incredibly stimulating. We have a show in London for Camberwell Arts Festival in June, a show in Istanbul at Space Debris contemporary gallery in July, and a show in Cape Town in September… with shows to follow in Beirut, Medellin, LA and Stockholm.

What do you fear?
Missing opportunities to create something memorable.

Which piece of music has had the biggest effect on you?
In terms of music – probably Shelter From The Storm by Bob Dylan – or, if I’m allowed, the whole of Blood On The Tracks. In terms of poetry – the poem that woke me up to the potential of words and got me writing was called Acts Themselves Trivial by Paul Hetherington. It’s a fairly mundane poem detailing the trials and routines of a new baby, then it ends with lines that continue to take my breath: Pressing shut the cupboard door / Just one more gesture / As if acts themselves trivial / Define the enormity of love

What’s the most unusual performance you’ve been a part of?
Opening a festival on a platform in the middle of a lake in the hills outside Shanghai.

What’s currently on your coffee table at home?
Just coasters.

What was the first recording you ever bought?
You’re No Good by Aswad on cassette from Our Price.

Describe yourself in three words.
A creative catalyst.

If you could have any other profession, what would it be?
Film maker.

Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
Recently, my two little nieces.

Tell us your best musical joke.
What do you call someone who hangs around with musicians?
A drummer.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: