Sunday, 14 December 2014

In the bleak midwinter

A lovely Christmas video - featuring Tine Thing Helseth on Trumpet, Birgitte Volan Håvik on harp and Elise Båtnes on violin.

I had the pleasure of playing this arrangement with Tine when she was special guest with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra for their series of Christmas concerts a couple of years ago. It's a really well arranged carol and she is a really fabulous player.

This is the first year for some while now (8 years I think?) that I'm not playing with the RLPO for their run of Christmas concerts. This year, instead of doing RLPO carol concerts, I'm working with a fantastic group of players presenting special one hour performances of the film "The Snowman" with live orchestral backing. Before the film, it's a seasonal introduction to the orchestra and excerpts from the Nutcracker Suite. We are currently on the final part of the tour and it's been pretty full on with 19 performances of the Snowman (and the Nutcracker cadenza) in 7 days!!!!

The Snowman is such a lovely film and the music is so wonderful and perfectly scored. Some tickets are still available for shows this coming week if you fancy a seasonal treat.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014


Paul Mitchell-Davidson's epic suite for mandolin and harp is now on soundcloud.

It's a real journey of a piece and I remember after one live performance a member of the audience came up to me and said, "I've never been to a classical music concert before... that last piece was like surfing a wave!"

Dance of Limewood, Smile of Ash is very still and etheral with astonishing harmonies.

A Joy of Wild Asses is my personal favourite, quirky and pretty manic.

Harvest of the Quiet Eye is a beautiful "folky" and evocative piece.

A Full Moon Rising Red is a real whirlygig epic, full of spirit & feverish dances and is the piece which inspired the "surfing" quote above.

Tapestry by Paul Mitchell-Davidson
Alison Stephens - mandolin
Lauren Scott - harp