This week’s breaking news is that my new piece White Storks for string octet is now available online.
On Sunday 19th July 2020 Shipley Arts Festival broadcast their Wilding Concert on Zoom. It was the festival’s 6th concert to reach the audience via the internet during the COVID-19 pandemic. The concert included pre-recorded performances from three venues in and around Shipley in West Sussex.
I am really delighted to have been asked to write a new piece to celebrate the return of white storks to the UK after over 600 years and to have had the chance to work with the Shipley Arts Festival. The world premiere of my White Storks string octet came towards the end of the concert, filmed and recorded the previous weekend at the Knepp Estate in Shipley, where the storks have been re-introduced. The new octet was performed by members of the Bernardi Music Group and accompanied by dancer Vikkie Mead.
Now in it’s 20th year Shipley Arts Festival, led by violinist and artistic director Andrew Bernardi, is exhibiting an admirable doggedness and determination to keep going under difficult circumstances and is succeeding in entertaining and moving a growing audience at a time when we all desperately need creative and cultural stimulii. The whole concert can now be viewed on Andrew Bernardi’s You Tube channel. along with the previous 5 concerts of the 2020 festival.
The new commission has attracted some media interest with plugs on BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM as well as interviews on Radio Sussex’s Breakfast Show with Mark Carter (our interview is 1 hr and 50 mins into the show) and a magazine show, Local World which goes out weekly on two community radio stations in West Dorset: Abbey104 in Sherborne and KeeP106 in Dorchester (my interview with presenter Jenny Devitt and an extract of the new piece is 13 minutes into the 23/07 programme).
I am so grateful to all involved for giving me this wonderful opportunity. They are all named at the end of the concert film. Do take a look.
Of course now, I’m noticing storks everywhere – This morning I went to our drawer of postcards collected by both me and Steve over the last 40 or more years and the first one a picked up was this, produced by German postcard makers Editions Michel + Co in their Sundshine cards category. There definitely seems to be a story here – but what?…… if this rings any bells with anyone, I’d love to know.