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Not all audiences are the same: Gurpal and Jonathan

Fri Jul 20 2012

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The latest in our series of interviews of audience and orchestra members featured in our campaign for the 2012-2013 season. This time with Night Shift audience member Gurpal and OAE cellist Jonathan.

Gurpal

Gurpal Headshot

Tell us a bit about you, your work and hobbies.

Hi my name is Gurpal, I’m 23 and studying Video Games Development. Studies aside fashion plays a big part in my own overall personal appearance and how I dress. So I tend to keep up to date with the latest trends and add my own personal twist. On the flip side I am quite nerdy and love all things to do with computers,technology, science as well Video games of course.

How did you hear about the Not all audiences are the same campaign?

I first heard about the campaign from an older sibling of mine, in fact he had seen the marketing video and suggested that I should give it try as he thought my look was a bit quirky and that I might actually enjoy the experience, so I gave it a shot and sent my application pic in.

How was the experience of doing the photoshoot?

The actual experience was really surreal to begin with as it was the first time I had been invited to take part in a photo shoot. Having a make up artist work on me was a interesting experience, I think I remember joking at how I would need to invest in some concealer after seeing the magic she worked on me. Eric the photographer was really welcoming and easy to work with, as well as Jonathan from the OAE who was picked to be my partner on the shoot.

Tell us about what you were wearing for the shoot.

For the shoot itself I brought along a few changes of outfit: shoes, jeans, t-shirts, blazers and all sorts but in the end we settled on my red fabric blazer, a black Terratag t-shirt with a highly reflective print on it. Stone white coloured skinny carrot fit jeans and my metallic blue high top converse shoes. It sounds like a bit much but then again the idea was to have a ‘Strong’ look !

How would you describe the OAE and The Night Shift to a friend?

If I had to describe the OAE and what the Night Shift is all about to a friend, I simply say it’s classical music in a laid back atmosphere. You don’t need to dress or behave in a certain way to attend and it is really cheap ticket-wise. So it’s really a viable option to introduce people to classical music and have a good night out.

How would you say the OAE is different to other Orchestras?

I think what makes the OAE different is that the members of the orchestra and audience have the opportunity to interact with one another for example during the break in the performances the audience is told about the music and where is originates from and after the show you can speak to the members of the orchestra and ask them what you ever you like.

If you could pick one concert to see in our 2012-2013 season which one would it be and why?

The concert I would most likely pick during the 2012-2013 season would be the one that takes place at the Royal Festival Hall on 30 September. First reason being it is in the same month as my birthday so it would be a nice to see the OAE as a little gift to myself. The other reason would be that I am unfamiliar with some some of the names of the composers on the bill so it would be a great opportunity to hear something new.

 

Jonathan Rees

Jonathan Headshot

Tell us a bit about you, your work with theOAEand your hobbies outside of it.

The OAE and I both date from 1986, and I first played with the orchestra a few years back when I was accepted onto the apprenticeship scheme. This last year I’ve been especially busy playing / workshopping / tandem-cycling for theOAE’s rapidly expanding and inspiring education arm. The experience of performing – traces of bike oil still visible – great works of the canon alongside sweeping anthems for massed children’s voices has become a familiar and hugely enjoyable experience. Outside anything OAE-related I’m busy playing cello and gamba with various groups (current repertoire range: Marais – Stockhausen); outside anything music-related I enjoy doing things that involve being outdoors with friends, family and the prospect of real ale.

How was the experience of doing the photoshoot?

This was the first time I’ve been made-up since being a clown for a birthday party nearly twenty years ago, and it was curiously enjoyable.

Tell us about what you were wearing for the shoot.

I wore the customary all-black like the other musicians, but obviously got off lightly, since Gurpal the computer scientist didn’t turn up in tight leather / a near-absence of any clothing whatsoever.

How would you describe the OAE to a friend? How is it different to other orchestras you might play in or listen to? 

Modern-instrument orchestras are increasingly emulating the period performance approach to established repertoire, and some of the results are really excellent (try Leif Ove Andsnes playing Haydn piano concertos with Norwegian Chamber Orchestra). But it’s still not old hat to say that the sound of the period instruments themselves can really bring something extra-special to an already excellent interpretation. I guess the late romantic repertoire (Debussy La Mer, Ravel Piano Concerto) that the orchestra has been playing recently is an example of a rich and still relatively unexplored seam for the period performance movement. Personally I’m looking forward to late Shostakovich on low-grade soviet steel strings.

What’s been your favourite moment to date playing with the OAE?

Two moments – 1.) Playing And there was light [huge C major chord]” in Eisenstadt. 2.) Being utterly amazed at the sheer power and joy of two particular London primary school choirs singing My Cry, 29/06/12, Cecil Sharp House.

If you could pick one concert to see in our 2012-2013 season which one would it be and why?

8th March 2013 with Marin Alsop and Emma Bell, because of the rich and varied programme and in particular the chance of hearing a Schumann symphony played on authentic instruments.

What’s the most listened-to track at the moment on your ipod (classical or non classical)?

I don’t have an ipod, but on my vintage Compact Disc Player I have spent the last few idays listening to a humbling mixture of Mitsuko Uchida playing Debussy Etudes and the Dave Brubeck Quartet in a 1963 recording live from the Carnegie Hall.

 

Here’s a selection of pics of Jonathan and Gurpal, including the final one used in the brochure. All by Eric Richmond.

 

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