Caros Audiophiles, something a little unusual this week, a little eclectic: An orchestra performing without instruments!
The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain appear every year during the BBC Proms classical music festival at the Royal Albert Hall in London. I have watched them many times and they are, of course, exceptionally talented young musicians and inspiring to watch.
This year they presented a new work, specially commissioned for them, by contemporary composer Anna Meredith.
This piece, ironically as you will discover, is called HandsFree. It is fun and unexpected, especially because they are performing in such a grand and venerable institution. Imagine a "flash mob" of gospel singers, let's say, in Jeronimos.
From the point of view of the musicians, one of the NYOGB principal percussionists described the experience like this:
"HandsFree has been a fantastic journey this year; showing the NYO in a completely new, fun and accessible light. One of the really great things about it is that it bridged any possible gaps within the orchestra and also enabled players to come to know even more people in other sections, which consequently helps the overall teamwork and enhances our playing greatly. I have especially enjoyed being a team leader, which meant leading group rehearsals and teaching the piece, and these skills will definitely help me later in my career. HandsFree is perfect for the NYO as it requires huge amounts of skill and concentration but also shows our virtuosity and musicianship!"