Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Guest Blog: David Braid on Reconstructing Harmony

Composer / guitarist David Braid writes about 'Post-post-modernism' - the (re)construction of harmony following the institutionalisation of both Modernism and Post-modernism

I believe it can be safely said that Modernism in all its forms ('high', 'experimental-out there', 'atonal', dissonant, 'difficult', et al) is now fully institutionalised.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Guest Blog: Frances Wilson - Thoughts from a reviewer's desk...

Frances Wilson responds to Tom Hammond's recent article on music criticism for the Music Haven Blog:

I read with interest Tom Hammond's recent post in which he queries the usefulness of reviews and the role of music critics and reviewers. I often question the purpose of reviews myself and take the (perhaps rather naive) view that a review should offer an objective overview of the concert, while giving the reader a flavour of what is was like to "be there". I also believe that reviews should not seek to tell the public how to listen - nor instruct the musician in his or her art. As a reviewer (I refuse to call myself a "critic" as the word has negative connotations for me) and a blogger on classical music, I'd like to offer a response to Tom's article, based on my personal experience and the world of classical music reviewing as I see it at the moment.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Tom Hammond: What's the Point of Reviewing Concerts?

Conductor Tom Hammond ponders the efficacy of music criticism, and wonders why - with the growth of online reviewing platforms - there isn't more variety in the types of concerts being reviewed.

I recently conducted three concerts - all with non-professional orchestras and not in famous venues - which were attended by about two hundred people in each case.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Q&A: Lynette Williamson - Graphic Designer

Le tombeau de Rachmaninov - One of Lynette's Latest
Available from Amazon

Rob Edgar spoke to Music Haven’s graphic designer Lynette Williamson about her life and career thus far:

Rob Edgar: Lynette, as a graphic designer, what attracted you to the music industry?

Lynette Williamson: I actually attended the Conservatorium of Music High School in Sydney where I studied piano and viola. After completing my studies, I deferred my place at Sydney University and went to London, where I changed track, enrolled at art college, and left four years later with a degree in Graphic design.

Music runs in the family, and with a brother in London who was a viola player in the English Chamber Orchestra, I had ready-made connections in the music world. On leaving college, I began work as a freelance designer, with a specialism in music covers. Schott gave me the first cover commission - an album of Clarinet Pieces. Following this I did illustration work for International Music Publications (IMP) and soon began working on a regular basis for a number of music publishers, including Universal Edition, Boosey and Hawkes, Faber Music, Lengnick, Novello, and Trinity College London.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

David Matthews: Real Art

Ann Arnold - The Rainbow
Reproduced with the kind permission from the artist

Composer David Matthews ponders the parallels between the zeitgeist of art and music in our time.

On our way back from the Presteigne Festival, my wife Jenifer and I went to see the artists Graham and Ann Arnold, who have a cottage in a small village in deepest Shropshire. They have lived in the village for many years, having forsaken city life in the 1970s when they were members of the Brotherhood of Ruralists, whose aim was to recapture the spirit of Samuel Palmer and the Pre-Raphaelites, in deliberate rejection of the styles and attitudes of many of their contemporaries. The Brotherhood has ceased to exist, but Graham and Ann – Graham now in his early 80s, Ann a few years younger – have continued to uphold its beliefs in their work.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Tom Hammond on Sibelius and The Tempest

Conductor Tom Hammond writes about his performance with the Hertford Symphony Orchestra next May. They will perform Sibelius’s little-known music for Shakespeare’s The Tempest.