Home Centre People Events Publications
Blogs Links Contact Search Sitemap
spacer
In this section:
spacer spacer
 
Errollyn Wallen
arrow 
Portfolio
arrow 
Olympics Symposium
arrow 
About Errollyn CD
arrow 
All the Blues I See
 
arrow 
Flash site
arrow html site
 
arrow 
diary
arrow 
piano sketches
arrow 
Gina Scott
arrow 
Brodsky Quartet and Emily Beynon
arrow 
conversation
arrow 
e-mail exchange
arrow 
first rehearsal video
arrow 
score
spacer spacer
spacer spacer
spacer spacer

All the Blues I See    
Errollyn in conversation

with Roberto Battista and Ildiko Solti at the South Bank Centre in London, November 2003, excerpts from the video recording.


[…] it sort of throws up the argument about music that, you know, we’re taken in so much by the visual. And it’s always what it actually means I sound. ‘Cause actually, some of it is just actually not working, not right. But because I’ve written it, I know that. But yea, it looks impressive,

[…] But what I think is important, to make the point that some, this way of working, which is to write straight into full score, on the computer, is a very different way of working. But it’s actually quite, quite a bold way of working.

[…] But it would take me too long like this, you know, a bar, thirty-to this way, and it takes a long time. ‘Cause I’m going through each, you know, each bar, four parts, all doing different things, takes a long time to write when I put in sketches, say, a mode in line or a harmony, and then later I go on to the textures. But it’s just a quick way of working and it just depends what I’m trying to do. Whether I’m trying to get a sense of the forward motion of the harmony, or the shape…


[…] With this piece, I do want that sense of music being spontaneously created in front of an audience,

[…] and now we associate improvisation with jazz. So when I’m talking about improvising here, it’s not jazz improvising, it’s just active sort of playing with something, not fixing it till, or ...

   

[…] On the surface of it, this is sort of traditional, in that it’s the four movements….but it’s more relaxed, it’s my language, so, you know, I happen to live now, so …. and I’m not consciously trying to break any particular mould, , I’m just trying to…. little things, like I said, while I was in Belize, I decided that I would dedicate the piece to Gina Scott. Now that means something to me. When I think of Gina I think of Belize, I think of, the fact that there’s something about this piece, which is given to somebody else as well. And all these things impinge on the attitude to what you write. I found it quite useful to do it.

   

[…] ‘cause it is so hard to talk about composing; I mean it’s easy in one way, ‘cause you can talk about it, talk about things that inspire you, and it is important to get the visual idea, you know, what’s going on in your life. But also, ‘cause when I’m actually working, it’s about extreme, extreme detail. Do you know what I mean? Whether something...And that goes right on through the rehearsal process.     See, when that stays a group of seven what would be nice, but I don’t know how to do it, to show the history of maybe one or two bars in each movement, that would change.

   

[…] I have to think about what the story might be. And yea, you’re working on one thing, but you’re also looking ahead to something else. And yet, in a piece, to get a piece really good, there’s a point, towards the end of the piece’s life where you just have to, everything has to go out of the window. It’s very difficult because you have to juggle, but then, in your mind, you always know which is one, two, three, right?

   

[…] It’ only little touches, here or there that are very subtle. But they’re the ones who sort of make the piece go towards a point of when it’s sort of finished, see? I hand over to them a score which I think is the best I can do. But the minute they start playing, they’ll be asking me questions which then reveal that there’re changes, subtle changes to be made or even bigger changes that mainly have to do with the execution of an idea, you know, so... most of it would be little things…

   

[…] And some things sound very different for the good, some things sound very different, you know, for the bad. But there’s always things that you learn with, and you’re always surprised, you know, always surprised at however much, however long you have composed this, how different things sound together. And it’s good, ‘cause it means that you’re coming up with, or you’re stumbling across some new combination of sounds, which is what’s interesting. Anyway, exciting...But like this, it’s very notey, you know,

[…] Well, copyists, it’s funny, copyists are paid by the page, you know, who copy by hand...

   

[…] But sometimes I’m working, like now, I try and set myself a goal of writing twenty bars a day, and it doesn’t matter that they’re good twenty bars, I just got to write twenty bars a day. But that’s very good for keeping the flow going, you know.

[…] I think the other thing is, some of the performances might be a revelation to the composers. I’ve had that once when I wrote a piece and I secretly, it had been performed once, and I secretly thought, well I haven’t really, it doesn’t really work on the instrument. And then I heard somebody play it, and they playing it exactly as I imagined it in my head. ‘Cause I thought, well, and then I hear somebody else play it, and it’s not. And I think it should be a, I mean people don’t train to be a performer for twenty years for nothing, they don’t...they’re not just robots, just sort of mimicking. They bring so much to it. And often they bring...they often make pieces of music work that otherwise wouldn’t. Do you see what I mean? If they played in the way the composer envisioned.

   

[…] And what’s nice about this piece, it’s written for, you know, a virtuoso piece, these people are really world class, top players. That in itself is such a treat, it makes me in a way to write up, I feel...I don’t feel...I’m not...I don’t feel constrained in any way.

   

[…] But I’m lucky in that I think that I generally I am a fluent composer and I can find notes from somewhere and I don’t know...that’s what I’m grateful for. And don’t know whether that’s good or bad, that. I really don’t agonise too much about that, you know, just getting the music out...

     
spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer
spacer spacer spacer