MY View - Gig Review
After watching Hans Zimmer live with a full orchestra and choir at Wembley Arena earlier this year I was inspired to perform my music with a bigger supporting cast than usual. It took A LOT of planning and so much went on behind the scenes to make this concert happen. I had to speak to and listen to many musicians before I found ‘the ones’. I knew we had limited rehearsal time so attitude was key as well as their ability to learn rapidly! I found an incredible ensemble of creative and talented individuals and thankfully it worked beautifully as we started to piece together the live show.
The final lineup included 3 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos, 1 double bass, trombone, flute, and vocals.
Some of the behind the scenes work included finding a photographer, videographers, lights, venue, rehearsal studios, flyers, CD’s and of course selling the actual tickets! So with all that and more going into, I was more nervous when I stepped on stage than I’ve been for about 10 years. I walked out to a huge applause and a packed venue which was beautiful to see.
Growing up I used to get a physical reaction to feeling nervous (I think I’ll reveal this at a later date) but that kicked in during the first half of the first song, ‘Purple Sky’. Thankfully once we got going I got fully into the performance and let go of the nerves. It felt so good to be playing my music with all the musicians and to an engaged audience. It’s a song that’s it so dynamic - it builds, and then it’s quiet, and rebuilds and then a huge ending. Here’s the album version of ‘Purple Sky’:
My song ‘Rise Again’ was next which felt like by this time ALL the musicians had settled in and were comfortable. The audience gave a huge applause at the end of each piece which was amazing - it felt great to get that energy back from everyone in the room and gave me confidence to give even more in every song.
After a few more songs (Including ‘Winter Sun, Summer Rain’, and ‘Xiro’) I played a medley of popular songs with the orchestra. I crafted this very carefully. I wanted to play a song with a slight religious sentiment as we were in a church so we performed Jeff Buckley’s ‘Hallelujah’. I of course wanted to contrast this heavily to show my range of influences so included songs from Dr Dre through to Ludovico Einaudi (very nearly included the Pokemon Theme song.. nearly!). People sang along and reacted to all the songs and it was a fun break in the run of the set.
I then had blindfolds handed out to all the audience members to put on - I wanted to create an even more immersive and personal experience of the music. This way everyone could go in to their owns minds, imaginations, thoughts and feelings without the visual of me and all the instruments and the other audience members. The song I played to this was ‘Mercy’. Various members of the audience told me that they cried during this part of the night and that a lot of emotion came up for them. As one man said “I’m not one to cry but I wept”. It’s very special for me to know that my music can connect and have that type of effect.
I performed another song I composed called ‘The Other Side’ that I was inspired to write after seeing this quote on social media: ‘Everything you want is on the other side of fear’. The quote resonated with me at that very moment of reading it and that song came out.
We then geared up for the end of the concert with ‘Fifty Horses’. It felt powerful to play and as we finished there was a huge applause and a standing ovation. There were calls for an encore so we settled back down and to finish performed ‘Purple Sky’ once more. This time better than the first as any nerves had disappeared and we all just gave an authentic performance.
I would like to thank all the people and companies that came together to make the night a success - all the musicians - Jonathan, Aemilia, Karina, Joelion, Jordi, Mariona, Hetti, Sarah, Pola; Casio Electronics, St Giles in the Fields, Edgar, Infinite Pixel, Pianist Magazine, Ikki, Mouna, Martine, James, Ben, Sergeo, Bonnie.
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