To our supporters:
Our debut CD, featuring the premiere recording of ‘Barlow Dale: Four Characteristic Pieces,’ (Martin’s ‘cat pieces’) simply wouldn’t have happened, but for a book, a series of chance meetings, coincidences, a fair bit of luck, and a chat in a bar in Devon! In fact, the journey from conception of these pieces to the imminent release of our CD is an example of how strange and unpredictable life can be. We are very excited to be able to share the story behind the creation of our CD, which represents our very personal musical journey together. We invite you to support us in our project and help us to reach our target to enable us to release the CD in January 2018.
It all began in the 1970s when Martin’s aunt, Ruth Siverns, wrote her book, ‘Barlow Dale’s Casebook’. The book featured various cat characters and the then 17 years old Martin took inspiration and composed four fun, jazzy pieces. Whilst the book was published in 1981, the pieces themselves were never published, and there was only ever one original handwritten copy of the music. The next step in the journey was when Martin shared a photocopy of his youthful composition with clarinettist, Michael Whight, when they played together as teenagers in Hampshire Youth Orchestra. Luckily Michael, one of the few clarinettists to have played and to have a copy of the still now unpublished pieces, held on to his copy. Many years later in 2005, when Michael Whight was principal clarinettist in the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, I chose to study with him at Trinity College of Music. One day, Michael produced his copy of Martin’s composition, suggesting that I might like to learn it. I immediately fell in love with the ‘cat pieces’, and played them regularly in recitals from then on.
The final link in this somewhat unlikely story was a chance meeting that took place in 2009 at the Dartington International Summer School in Devon. I was playing in the Dartington Festival Orchestra, and Martin happened to also be at Dartington teaching on a composition course. One evening I realised that the composer of the pieces I had taken to my heart was in the same place. I plucked up the courage to approach him at the bar and a long conversation over several drinks followed! Martin was touched that the cat characters he had lovingly brought to life over 30 years previously, (long before I had even picked up a clarinet!) were still alive and well and being performed and enjoyed by audiences. Equally, it was a pleasure for me to meet the composer of the pieces I loved playing so much. From that moment, now over eight years ago, Martin and I formed both a lasting friendship and a musical relationship as duo partners. We have since enjoyed playing the ‘cat pieces’ together many times in our recitals.
The other pieces on our CD are all personal favourites that have featured regularly in our recitals together, and are tied together with a theme of 20th century pieces for clarinet and piano by British composers. Bax’s music is so wonderfully unique in its combination of British lyricism and Celtic mysticism, whilst the Ireland is a true classic for clarinet in its virtuosity and demonstration of all the different characters of the instrument, arguably one of Ireland’s best chamber works. The Horovitz is full of vitality and spirit with a beautiful middle movement that shows off the lyrical and expressive qualities of the clarinet so well.
The CD will be released in January 2018 by Prima Facie Records, an independent label founded by Steve Plews and Giles Easterbrook, that specialises in producing premiere recordings of new works by British composers.
It is with huge thanks to Graham Potter, our sound engineer, as well as the goodwill of Steve Goss at Surrey University and Rosanna Whitfield and her colleagues at Whitgift School for the use of their wonderful facilities and pianos, that our CD of British clarinet music is now recorded, edited and mastered and ready for production. The plans for the design, manufacture, production, distribution and marketing are all in place for the CDs to be produced by the new year and to be released in January, and your support will be invaluable in enabling us to raise the funds that we need to achieve this goal in what is a tight timeframe.
With all our gratitude for your support!
Nadia & Martin
How will our funds be used?
We have been incredibly lucky to have had the kind generosity of our friend Graham Potter, sound engineer with ‘Sound Affects Mastering’ www.soundaffectsmastering.co.uk, for providing at least £1000 of his time, professionalism, experience and expertise in advance, to record, edit and master our CD for us and get us to the point where our CD is now ready for production and the deadline in sight! In addition to the recording cost, the full remaining costs associated with our project include CD production, packaging and postage, (£1000) design and realisation, (£125), product management, publicity and distribution of both hard copies and digital media, (£500) MCPS licence, (£150) PR support, (£150) Crowdfunding campaign costs, (£200) and the CD launch recital venue hire, piano tuning and catering costs, (£350) as well as the original costs of recording venue hire and piano tuning. (£250) This totals £3725. Martin and I between us will cover some of these costs ourselves and our target for this campaign is therefore £3000, which covers the main elements of recording, and the costs to the label of production, distribution and marketing of the CD.
"CLARINET FANTASIES – 20th CENTURY BRITISH WORKS FOR CLARINET AND PIANO”
Arnold BAX (1883-1953): Sonata for Clarinet and Piano (1934)
- I. Molto Moderato
- II. Vivace
Joseph HOROVITZ (b. 1926): Sonatina for Clarinet and Piano (1981)
- I. Allegro Calmato
- II. Lento Quasi Andante
- III. Con Brio
Martin BUTLER (b. 1960): Barlow Dale: Four Characteristic Pieces (1977)
- I. Barlow Dale
- II. Inspector Merlin
- III. Miss Honeyflower
- IV. Asiam Rex
John IRELAND (1879-1962): Fantasy-Sonata for Clarinet and Piano in Eb Major (1943)
Click on the soundcloud link below to hear a medley of sound clips from the CD:
- Recording Venue: Surrey University, Guildford and Whitgift School, Croydon
- Recording, engineering and mastering: Graham Potter www.soundaffectsmastering.co.uk
- Producer: Steve Plews (Prima Facie Records) www.ascrecords.com/primafacie/
- CD booklet design: David Cox
- CD cover photo photography: - Katie Van Dyck www.katievandyckphotography.co.uk
- Crowdfunding video filming: James Potter
CD Launch Recital - 1901 Arts Club, London - 1st February 2018
Nadia Wilson - Clarinet
Nadia was determined to follow a career in music ever since she was presented with her first clarinet at eight years old. She is now privileged to pursue an active and versatile career as a freelance orchestral, chamber and theatre musician and teacher based in London. Born in Lancashire in 1981, Nadia read music at the University of Birmingham, specialising in performance on clarinet, followed by a performance diploma at Trinity College of Music with Michael Whight and Fiona Cross between 2003-2005.
Her orchestral playing includes orchestras such as the Hallé Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Northern Ballet Theatre Orchestra and concert tours have taken her as far afield as China and the Seychelles. As a show musician, Nadia doubles on saxophones and flute, and has performed on the reed chairs of successful west end shows including ‘American in Paris,’ ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and ‘Wicked,’ and in regional shows such as the ‘Thursford Christmas Spectacular’ in Norfolk, and ‘Oliver’ at Sheffield Crucible. Tours include ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ starring Jason Donovan, and the ‘Sound of Music’ in Cairo and Beirut. She has previously performed as both a house musician and a classical musician on P&O and Saga cruise ships and also loves performing jazz and soul music, playing saxophone regularly in big bands, and with the Croydon based northern soul band, Trambeat.
Nadia is co-founder and clarinettist in the prizewinning ensemble, the London Myriad Ensemble. As winners of the 2nd International Israeli Music Competition in 2009, the ensemble was interviewed and performed live on BBC Radio 3’s ‘In Tune’ programme, and gave a recital at the Purcell Room, London. With a keen interest in commissioning new works for wind ensemble, several new pieces have been written for them, and they have performed at prestigious venues, including St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Fairfield Halls, St. James’ Piccadilly and the residence of the British High Commissioner in the Seychelles. They regularly participate in education and outreach work and their successful ‘Wind Ensembles with the London Myriads’ course at Benslow Music Trust has been running three times a year since 2010.
When not performing, Nadia works as a woodwind teacher in schools, music centres and privately in the London area. Outreach work has included working in Nairobi as a tutor for the Kenya National Youth Orchestra and as project co-ordinator for the ‘Music for Life’ project, supported by the Concordia Foundation, to support music tuition for the some of the poorest of Kenya’s children in the slum school of Korogocho. Nadia has devised and run music courses, such as the ‘South East Clarinet Day’ for amateur and student clarinettists, and she also has experience of running music classes for babies and toddlers as a Monkey Music teacher.
Martin Butler - Piano
Martin Butler was born in 1960 and studied at the University of Manchester, the Royal Northern College of Music, and Princeton University, USA. From September 1998 to July 1999, he was Composer-in-Residence at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton in the United States. He is currently Professor of Music at the University of Sussex.
Martin’s works are widely performed and broadcast both in the UK and abroad. He has received commissions from, amongst others, the BBC (O Rio was first performed at the 1991 Proms), the London Sinfonietta (Concertino, and Jazz Machines, the latter being performed at the 1995 Venice Biennale), the Schubert Ensemble (American Rounds and Sequenza Notturna) and the Brighton, Cheltenham, Canterbury, Norfolk & Norwich, and Presteigne festivals. His chamber opera, A Better Place, was premièred by ENO at the Coliseum in London in July 2001, conducted by Paul Daniel.
From 2006-8, Martin was the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra's first ever 'Composer in Focus'. The orchestra performed several large-scale works during this period, and his tenure culminated in two performances of a major new commission for the orchestra, From the Fairground of Dreams, in January and March 2008 at Brighton Dome Concert Hall, conducted by Barry Wordsworth. Also active as a performer, Martin is pianist with the innovative improvising group, Notes Inégales, and co-director of Club Inégales in London.
Prima Facie Records
CD label featuring world premières by British composers. Prima Facie is the meeting of two minds - Giles Easterbrook and Stephen Plews - both known in the music industry as champions of new music. They have produced or promoted hundreds of projects, many of which have won awards or been recognised as outstanding contributions to the arts.
Risks and challenges
As our CD is already recorded and mastered and the production will be wholly carried out by Prima Facie Records, the main risks associated with this project are of not reaching the target for the campaign in order to cover the production costs that will enable us to get our CD released and available to our supporters in January 2018Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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