Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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Exit Interview: Matthew Grindon

Thu 26 Jun 2014

Our Marketing and Press Officer, Matthew Grindon, responsible for a lot of the content on this website and on social media, left the OAE team last week for pastures new. We put our Exit Interview questions to him…

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Struggling with Sound

Fri 29 Nov 2013

OAE

My ex-housemate has always liked Philip Glass, so I got us a couple of tickets to see him perform Music in Twelve Parts at Southbank Centre the other night.

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February Podcast: Sir Mark Elder, Laurence Cummings and frothy tea…

Thu 9 Feb 2012

It’s time for the latest packed edition of the OAE podcast, this time with added snazzy intro music. In this edition we speak to Sir Mark Elder about Berlioz’s Romeo and Juliet, chat with Laurence Cummings about Bach, talk to composer Sally Beamish and writer Melanie Reid about Spinal Chords, a new piece for the OAE as part of the London 2012 celebrations, plus there’s a chat with OAE Digital Content Officer Zen Grisdale about his role at the OAE (including how he like his tea…) and lastly we talk on the phone to Double Bassist Cecelia Bruggemeyer about her top CD picks. Phew!

The podcast can be streamed or downloaded below and will also be available on itunes from tormorrow.

Full details of all our performances

OAE Podcast February 2012 by OAE

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Zen. The man who cam. (AKA yet more on the Rattle tour)

Wed 10 Aug 2011

Important work, getting to know the orchestras with a few beers!

Yes we’re still eking out news from our Simon Rattle tour…

It was the first trip with the Orchestra for our Digital Content Officer, Zen, and here’s his account of the tour:

Often described as the ‘intrepid’ cameraman, I have to say I embarked on this trip, my first OAE tour experience, with a fair dose of trepidation. How would I fair in this close-knit orchestral group for almost 4 days – or more importantly how would they react to having a camera almost constantly in their faces?

The brief was to capture as much footage of the tour as possible and edit it down to a video of duration no greater than 2’59” (a length that was agreeable to the various venues and agents) and to get to know the players better.  A familiarity with the players is very useful when harassing them for a voxpop.  Many have already been subjected to on the spot interviews and know how I usually pounce in rehearsal breaks, but Kings Place where we often rehearse allows plenty of hiding places, not so a packed Eurostar carriage…

Getting to know the players better was something I got stuck into straight away.  The brass/percussion section took me under their wing on the first night in Brussels (a rare night off for the orchestra) confirming the stereotype with a comprehensive tour of the local bars.  I survived, but barely.  The next morning I emerged from the hotel in a daze only to see both coaches departing on their way to Luxembourg… were they trying to get rid of me already? My surname ‘Grisdale’ had been crossed off accidently along with ‘Griffiths’, Kevin our young conductor.  Nevertheless they saw me waving in a panic and let me on board.

So I made it to the Philharmonie Luxembourg, which is a beautiful concert hall in a rather bleak part of town which is largely a building site, a lot of construction going on.  The hall inside is impressive with boxes that look like mini blocks of flats.  After filming the rehearsal I sought to approach Sir Simon Rattle for a few quick words.  In a previous OAE video about CPE Bach I managed to get Sir Roger Norrington in front of the camera as he sipped his tea during rehearsal break and he happily divulged all things CPE.  This technique I wished to apply to Sir Simon Rattle.  Unfortunately it was not to be, so we agreed to postpone it to the final London date at the Royal Festival Hall.

The Labèque sisters were up for it and Katia insisted that I film them as much as possible in rehearsals etc.  However an interview was not on the cards as they were both not feeling well (really they weren’t) but they gave me their word that they would also do it at the Royal Festival Hall…

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There's nothing interesting happening today

Wed 27 Apr 2011

At lunchtime today my colleague Megan produced 10 metres of hand-made bunting from her bag (as you do). We were all pretty impressed with it and immediately started to put it up in the office. While we were doing this my colleague Zen starting filming and taking pictures – I remarked that it would be great to get some pictures for the blog as ‘there’s nothing else interesting going on today to put on there’. At this point Megan remarked to me that in fact there was a 50 piece orchestra rehearsing two floors below us and that was maybe quite interesting.

Of course she’s right.  Its amazing how quickly something like that becomes routine and ordinary, and you have to be reminded how special it is. After lunch I took the escalator down to level -2 here at Kings Place to listen to the Orchestra, conductor Roy Goodman and pianist Artur Pizzaro rehearse Beethoven’s 4th Piano Concerto. Lovely as Megan’s bunting is, listening to the OAE play Beethoven is always going to trump most things. Here are pics of both bunting and rehearsal.

William Norris, Communications Director


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Let them eat cake…part 5

Wed 1 Dec 2010

We were considering how to cheer ourselves up on an incredibly cold and grey Monday morning, when Zen (our Digital Content Officer) brought out this Lemon Polenta Cake:

It was so moist and very, very welcome!

We’ve got only got a few more bake offs before Christmas, so we’ll be putting them all up on the blog to refresh your memories (possibly with their recipes) before deciding on the winner.

 

Yum yum!

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Zen, new OAE digital content officer: first Nightshift experiences

Fri 3 Sep 2010

 

My first exposure to the OAE was at the last Nightshift at Wilton’s Music Hall, and it was a totally awesome introduction to the orchestra!  I was set the exciting task of capturing footage from the performance and recording vox pops of members of the audience and orchestra and editing it down to a short video clip.  Extra exciting for me in that I had recently become a big Purcell fan, but I was a little worried that I would become too absorbed by the performance and not be able to concentrate on the filming!

The show was indeed great, (although I kinda wish I could go back in time and enjoy it again without the camera..) with a very relaxed atmosphere but I found it amazing that even though the audience was given free reign to talk, make noise and come in and out at will, everyone seemed to be completely entranced by the performance and stayed very quiet throughout.  In fact at one point a member of the audience angrily and very loudly shouted ‘Shut up!’ to someone who was chatting – unfortunately,  leader of the orchestra Matthew Truscott who was talking on stage at the time thought he was referring to him!  The chats onstage in between pieces were insightful and funny and I think created the perfect mood for the event.

After the encore (Purcell’s ‘Curtain Tune on a Ground’ from Timon of Athens – which has since become a favourite song of mine) I grabbed the tripod and raced down to catch audience feedback and get those vox pops I needed.  My apprehension in obtaining willing participants was unfounded; pretty much every audience member I approached was gushing with praise for the concert/gig and in no time at all I had more than enough vox pop fodder for the video.  You can see the resulting video clip below, hope you enjoy it!  (sorry about audio quality.. we are purchasing new equipment to solve that)

Subscribe to the OAE YouTube page at http://www.youtube.com/OrchestraEnlighten to keep updated with the latest videos from OAE.

Next Nightshift is on 20 October at QEH.  More info here: http://www.oae.co.uk/thenightshift/

 

 

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