Recordings completed

Well that’s the last of the recordings done in the studio. I’m now busy working on the editing and post production to get the music sounding just right.

I’m not sure whether I mentioned the track selection but following our helpful feedback from our earlier concerts I’ve whittled the tracklist down to 12. I’ve mixed down three tracks so far and I’m really pleased with how they’re sounding. I’m putting together a promo CD at the same time and some of these track excerpt I’ll put up on this site as soon as I can. It’s all so hectic getting this album complete…

Second Album In The Works

It’s been pretty busy over here at, ahem, Fordante Towers – following the arrival of a couple of microphones for the recording sessions next week I’ve been experimenting with different recording techniques so that when these fine musicians get into the studio I’ll be concentrating on the musical performances rather than microphone placements.

For those interested I recently purchased a large condensor and a ribbon mic following some helpful advice from folks with more classical recording experience than I could ever hope to have on the forum over at SoundOnSound. Thanks guys!

In getting the temp tracks and performances ready for the recording sessions I’ve actually been sidetracks a little and inspired to compose more music for the follow up album – but one thing at a time, let’s get this one in the can first.

Debut Album Update

Just a quick update as I’ve received quite a few emails recently following our tour as to when the debut album will be released. Well the good news is that we’re going into the studio at the end of May so although I can’t give any definate timescales at this stage, I would expect it to be completed mid/late summer.
I’ll keep you posted.

Arts Alive Showcase

We’ve just returned from the Arts Alive Showcase at Clun in Shropshire where we were asked to perform a taster from our concert program so that the rural touring events organisers within the region could have an idea as to how we sounded should they wish to include us in their programming. I’m happy to report all went well although we’ve never set up, tuned up, put on the Venetian masks and been ready to play in such a short space of time before. One of the acts at the showcase couldn’t turn up so we were on a little earlier than expected!

I would like to thank Sian (and Mel) from Arts Alive for including us in their menu and having this opportunity to perform our music. I didn’t realise quite how many acts there are looking for openings to be included in these showcases and touring menus – so I very much appreciate being given this opportunity and I hope we didn’t disappoint.

Arts Alive Showcase
Fordante on stage at the Arts Alive Showcase in Clun

I was approached after our performance by one of the promoters to say that the performance of Gabriel’s Oboe had brought tears to their eyes. Initially I wondered whether were out of tune, but I didn’t need to fear as they commented it was the emmotion of the piece of music that had had this effect. To be fare, that’s the second time someone has come up to me about this beautiful piece by Morricone.

More photos from Chelmarsh Concert

I thought I’d post some other photos from our Chelmarsh Concert.

Here’s a picture of our cellist, Bec, who has just come on stage masked and yet deep in concentration as she usually is mid performance.

Fordante Cellist
Fordante Cellist

Another photo with just the three string players and yours truly on keyboards.

Fordante violin, viola, keyboards, cellist - oboe out of shot
Fordante violin, viola, keyboards, cellist

Debut Concert Tour finshed on a high

I guess all the good things come to an end at some point and last Saturday evening was no exception. Fordante finished the debut tour on a high, obviously sad that it’s been completed but feeling very happy once again with the great audience feedback we’ve received.

Chelmarsh Concert
Chelmarsh Concert

Back in mid 2008 when I started creating Fordante after spending several years composing the music I really had no idea of how we would be recieved. After all, it’s not like there’s a plethora of new and accessible classical music. So trying something different was always going to be a risk which was why I was glad that the UK Arts Council could recognise our potential in supporting us. Having said that, I never intended to create music that was highbrow or difficult to understand – for me melody and emmotion are king – so having something pleasurable to listen to on first or second concert hearing was important to me back when I began writing the music for Fordante. (And for such a short tour it was great to recognise faces that were indeed coming back for a second time!).

So I feel a big thank you is in order for both the players who are bringing my music to life and to our audiences for supporting and enjoying the music that we’re making. And don’t forget to stay in touch for announcements of forthcomming concerts – some of which have already been confirmed – watch this space…

Audience Feedback

I’ve just added a page called Feedback with, not suprisingly, some of the feedback we have had from our series of concerts so far.  I must say that I’ve been overwhelmed by the positive and supportive comments and I particularly appreciated the following:

“Really enjoyed the whole evening – the music was accessible – even to non-musical people like me!”

I liked this remark because it sums up precisely what I’ve been trying to achieve with the music of Fordante – to create music that is both enjoyable and accessible.

Audience feedback
Audience feedback

Albrighton, Broseley & Cleobury Concerts

Sadly, we are nearing the last concert in our premiere tour around Shropshire having just completed three consecutive Saturday evening performances at Cleobury Mortimer Parish Hall, the Victoria Hall in Broseley and the Red House in Albrighton (near Wolverhampton).

The feedback from all of the shows has been very positive and appreciative which is obviously great to hear.  We were overwhelmed with the comments of well-wishing and constructive support.  There were questionaires available to offer any suggestions to how we could improve as I’m very keen to know how we can make the concerts and our music as enjoyable as possible for everyone’s benefit.  While I’m on the subject I’ll take this opportunity to thank the audience members for taking the time and even writing complete pages of useful comments!  Many of these we have taken on board resulting in changes to the layout and programme.

Cleobury
Cleobury Mortimer

Bridgnorth Concert review

I thought I’d take this opportunity to reprint a section out of the write up from the glossy Shropshire Review magazine that’s just been printed:

“The music is described as crossover classical and has been specially composed by Phil for the tour.  The work has been much praised for its universal appeal, reaching out to both classical ad contemporary music lovers with equal success. ”

“The group made its debut in December playing to an appreciative audience who were entranced by the unique sound of the baroque/big screen fusion, seamlessly blended. This is genuinely new music, not pastiche or the reworking of established classics and must be regarded as a genre in its own right.  Catch it while you can.”

Film Soundtracks
Shropshire Review magazine front cover

Concert now includes well loved film music

We’ve decided to include some well known and loved film music into our concert – music that has inspired and influenced me over the years and are soundtracks that I listen to again and again.

Fordante feel that these tie in well with the programme and are a few of my personal favourites from some of the most talented living film composers, so I have been busy arranging and orchestrating the music from the following soundtracks for our ensemble:

  • ‘Schindler’s List’
  • ‘The Mission – Gabriel’s Oboe’
  • ‘Titanic medley’
  • Music from the ‘Gladiator’
Film Soundtracks
Film Soundtracks