|David Stanhope Archives|
|Archive for Feb 2000|
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As the cricket commentators regularly say, "Here's a tip for any youngsters watching out there...", here's my tip for any young composer wanting to hit the big time. Write a very long work for large forces, including chorus and lots of soloists. It is very important that the audience is impressed with the scale of your composition - anything that big must be good, mustn't it? Find a text with a "universal" message or write one yourself - any pseudo-religious or pseudo-spiritual drivel will do. It doesn't matter if you have no musical ideas, just find a sequence of simple meandering chords and spread them out with meaningless patterns of arpeggios and oscillating figures. Keep repeating everything - the mumbo-jumbo of the text with the singers taking turns will cover the lack of musical content. Above all, never underestimate the audience's ability to absorb something totally devoid of merit. As long as you can keep going long enough, they will be sufficiently brainwashed to think you are a GENIUS!
Now to Stanhope news: the New Year extravaganza went smoothly (no rain), and I managed to get home by 3.30 am. Ceremonial Fanfares was performed successfully at the summer National Music Camp, with the 1st and 3rd providing the opening for the two main concerts, broadcast on ABCFM.
There are two more CD conducting projects coming up. In the second week of this month I will be in Adelaide recording a Saint-Saens disc with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra for ABC Classics. The main work is the famous "organ" Symphony No. 3, with Danse Macabre and the Carnaval Of the Animals making up the rest. There are also sessions with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra on February the 1st. This is a children's disc of the "meeting the orchestra and music" kind, a sort of Australian young person's guide. Other sessions for this disc are not until October.
I must mention a delightful day spent at the music camp for wind band musicians held at Broken Bay early in January. The highlight was working with the University Of Missouri band (director Dr. Dale Lonis), who were rehearsing my Folksongs For Band Suite No. 3. I also worked with the Australian band who were rehearsing my Little Ripper March, and talked with conducting students.
I signed an interesting "confidentiality" document recently. I can't tell you anything about the project concerned because doing so will mean facing a firing squad and then deportation. At least I can't tell you until after September.