orchestra

Now is our moment to get out and proud. Statement architecture is rising fast around the City and beyond. What if suddenly one of the truly awesome jewels of the London horizon was a building devoted to classical music?
The showing of The Godfather at the Royal Albert Hall accompanied by a live orchestra! Sounds dreamy right! The Godfather was the latest in a series of classic films with live orchestral accompaniment at the majestic venue.
Waiting Room has five 'orchestra alones' - each one, two and a half hours long. That might sound like a lot, but for well over 80 minutes of music, it doesn't actually equate to many run-throughs, let alone detailed examinations, of the nineteen movements that correspond to the different choreographic scenes.
So by all means let us have more women conductors, as well as conductors from working class backgrounds and conductors from non-musical or non traditionally influential families and from less obvious areas of the world - but above all let us have talented, professional, artistic, insightfully passionate and inspired conductors.
How does one think up a load of dance music? Which comes first, the dancing chicken or the musical egg? Many people have asked me whether you need to see the dance in your mind's eye, and to some degree, I found that yes, you have to- not the way a choreographer would of course, but as a musician who understands rhythm at least...
Should we wait for the end of a symphony or a concerto before applauding? Yes indeed, if we want to avoid the condescending sshhh! of our neighbours at Salle Pleyel, Carnegie Hall or any other concert hall.
In these straightened times we need to seize the opportunity to work together: identify where our, and others, specialist skills lie and combine them for mutual benefit. I don't want to overstretch the orchestral analogy, but it is pretty clear that those of us in music education still have a lot to learn from music!
It is this talent for communication that is the unknowable factor in a conductor's role. Whether it is developing a creative, co-operative atmosphere in rehearsals or somehow projecting their feelings around the orchestra until it reaches the last viola in the back of the section a second before the beginning of a performance.
Having seen Spira Mirabilis in concert, and in rehearsal, I can't quite tell you how the magic happens, but it does. Somehow, instead of relying on someone else to take the lead, they all do it. Nobody is a passenger. Everyone's driving. Which doesn't mean it's a swarm of egos either.
Every summer I sit amazed and delighted at the BBC Proms audience who so enthusiastically, and yet often politely, applaud between movements while I so often sneakily snigger at the woman, a being of the utmost conventional practice, sitting in front who would always shake her hear in utter disapproval at the vulgarity of such a concept.