Trip to Auckland!

I’m going to Auckland tonight. Given my history of hurriedly writing blog posts at Dunedin airport just before boarding, I thought I’d give myself a two-and-a-bit-hour head start.

The scores I need for my trip to Auckland. Thanks to Alison at the Music office for doing the binding.

Plenty of projects for my four days up in Auckland.

Seeing the family. Always a pleasure, never a chore. Mightily convenient for an airport pick-up too 🙂

Beatrice. A cor anglais solo feature, just a 1-minute thing, extracted from a larger work. Tomorrow day, the APO plays it in an Education Concert in the Town Hall. I might have to say something from the stage.

Relish in Immature Bombast. This is the biggie, the piece for organ, drum kit and orchestra. My hope is that none of the three instruments feel like they need to hold back in volume. The organ can go for it (piloted by Timothy Noon), it can compete with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (conducted by Hamish McKeich), and the kit player (Jono Sawyer) doesn’t have to do that awkward classical-crossover thing of playing down when he’d rather rock out.

I’ve written half the piece. Hopefully I’m on the right track and I can write the rest without a whole heap of revision.

The Piano Tuner’s Performance Appraisal. I wrote this in nine days for the Estrella Quartet. They’re four piano students at the University of Auckland, tutored by Stephen De Pledge, who won the ROSL competition last year and have a tour to the UK in July/August. My programme note is this, verbatim:

ELLIS, Robbie (1984-): The Piano Tuner’s Performance Appraisal. File under (N) Novelty; (P) Piano Music; (S) Serialism.

General Intransigence. Commissioned by a high school orchestra, the St Peter’s & St Mary’s Sinfonia. Their conductor is Antun Poljanich, also Music Director of Auckland Youth Orchestra (who I’m writing a piece for later this year). SPASMS is performing General Intransigence for the first time on Thursday next week – I won’t be able to see it, but I can come to a rehearsal. Early morning start before school… man, I haven’t kept such hours since I was in the Westlake Concert Band, and I have to get from Greenhithe to Newmarket in peak hour. Whaaa.

Comedy Fest. My first in many years in which I am not a performer – so no performer’s pass and no standby free entry into gigs. Lame. That’s like, totally, discrimination against South Island residents. Never mind that I’m not doing a show, I totally would be if I was living in Auckland or Wellington.

Watching the Gala on TV, I quite liked the look of Milton Jones – hope to get to his show at The Classic. He stands out from the others, I quite like his style.

Auckland Art Gallery. Hanging out at an exhibition opening down here in Dunners got me a free ticket to an exhibition in Auckland. Thank you, Chris Saines (Director of the Auckland Art Gallery) – I’m looking forward to Degas to Dali.

Various coffees. Enough said.