Four Concerts – Three States & Two Premieres!!!

State 1 –  TennesseeIMG_4759

Nigel travelled recently with writer  Malene Sheppard Skærved to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA to work with Dr Reed Thomas and the Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) Wind Ensemble on `A Richer Dust’ (Symphony No 1) for Speaker and Symphonic Wind Orchestra. ‘A Richer Dust’ explores what it means to live with violence and extremism, the constant companions of human history. The intertwined text and music, ideas and images, weave together voices ranging from those of historically significant figures through to the voiceless, ordinary people living in extraordinary times. For Nigel this was an exhilarating experience witnessing his 50 minute plus epic come to life combined with Malene’s powerful words. H Stephen Smith lent his voice a dramatic reading of the text.

During their stay at MTSU the University recorded `A Richer Dust’ for future CD release. The recording engineers led by Zak Denham made themselves available throughout our visit, taking notes on how best to capture the piece that presented several large issues.

 

A Richer Dust - front cover

 

 

Reed Thomas said publicly on social media:

“A highlight of my career was the premier of “A Richer Dust” a symphony for Wind Ensemble and Narrator by composer and Nigel Clarke and Writer Malene Sheppard Skaerved. What an absolutely incredible work of art. H. Stephen Smith was inspirational in his delivery of the text and the wind ensemble musicians were stunning. For anyone lucky enough to be present, we were all part of something magical. Thank you everyone for your work and dedication to excellence”

 

Here is a sneak preview of some outtakes/’bolt ups’ from our recording session.
Writer Malene Sheppard Skærved experiments with a Mahler-Box made by Reed Thomas for the World Premiere of `A Richer Dust’
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Malene Sheppard Skærved, H. Stephen Smith & Nigel Clarke acknowledge conductor Reed Thomas for his profound and moving reading of this premiere!!
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State 2 –  Louisiana 

 

After visiting MTSU, Nigel travelled on to Northwestern State University (NSU) in Louisiana to work with Dr Jeffrey Matthews and the NSU Wind Symphony and Dan McDonald and the NSU Wind Ensemble. The Wind Symphony gave an electric rendition of `Earthrise’ full of energy and colour. The Wind Ensemble premiered Nigel’s `Old World Overture’ to great effect.
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Dr Jeffrey Matthews and the NSU Wind Symphony performing `Earthrise’

 

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blsStcxQbRc&feature=youtu.usa[/youtube]

 

Nigel with Paul Christopher (Cello professor at Northwestern State University)
Paul gave a wonderful rendition of Nigel’s solo cello work `Spectroscope’ during his stay.

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Nigel holding Jeffrey Matthews extra-large score of `Earthrise’

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Jeffery Matthews after a Sunday afternoon Concert event in Natchitoches – (Jeff’s the one with the bottle by the way!!)
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State 3 –  Minnesota Story to follow shortly
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Harmen Vanhoorne giving the World Premiere of `Mysteries of the Horizon’ with the University of St Thomas Wind Ensemble under the baton of Matthew J George

 

An short extract of Harmen Vanhoorne (Cornet) giving the premiere of Nigel Clarke’s `Mysteries of the Horizon’ (IV. The Discovery of Fire) with the University of St Thomas Wind Ensemble under the baton of Matthew J George on 17th May 2015.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXRMQhN0RWE[/youtube]

Harmen Vanhoorne recording a short section from my concerto `Mysteries of the Horizon’ (I. The Menaced Assassin) under the baton of Matthew J George with the University of St Thomas Wind Ensemble

[youtube]http://youtu.be/Wt2WjOtUrPs[/youtube]

Harmen Vanhoorne recording a short section from my concerto `Mysteries of the Horizon’ (III. The Flavour of Tears) under the baton of Matthew J George with the University of St Thomas Wind Ensemble

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVopo3Wl2y4[/youtube]

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