I know things have been a little quiet for a while, but trust me, this is all about to change with a few exciting premieres coming up! The first of these is with Orchestra Wellington and Arohanui Strings this coming Friday the 18th of May at the Walter Nash Centre in Taita, in Lower Hutt, New Zealand. Arohanui Strings is a youth string orchestra inspired by El Sistema in Venezuela, a programme which promotes social outreach, partnership and self-improvement through music. I've been working as a bass teacher with Arohanui since I got back to New Zealand a couple of years ago. I received this chance to write a piece for them to perform together with Orchestra Wellington thanks to the 2018 SOUNZ Commission for Emerging Players.
The piece meditates on the relationship between the two orchestras, one filled with seasoned professional musicians, and the other made up up of young students who may aspire to take up the mantle of those in the older orchestra. In a sense the two orchestras reflections of each other, and the latest in a series of such reflections between teachers and students reaching far back into the past. Visually, this idea can be represented by the infinity mirror where two mirrors are placed side by side, resulting in an apparently infinite series of reflections that appears to recede far into the distance.
The premiere will take place as part of a pops-style concert, featuring music from Star Wars and Moana, as well as fan favourite like the 1812 Overture.
Chris Watson from SOUNZ also put together the following video in which I talk a little more about the piece. A huge thanks to SOUNZ and Orchestra Wellington, as well as the students and teachers at Arohanui Strings lead by Alison Eldredge for making this possible!