Colburn Collaboration, Café, Crotchets and Coffee

View from Colburn suite

It’s a beautifully sunny day in downtown Los Angeles.  The birds are singing, a cool breeze blows through my window as I sip my morning coffee (Peet’s, to be sure) and gaze out from the penthouse guest suites at the Colburn School at the resplendent Disney Concert Hall. In a few minutes, I’ll head down to the seemingly unlimited supply of acoustically pure practice rooms (open 24 hours a day!) to do my warm-ups and some memory work on the Adès and Hartke in preparation for our show in La Jolla tomorrow. On the way I might pick up a healthy snack at the Colburn Café which is a far cry from any campus dining hall I’ve ever been to.  A great selection from carb-conscious nibbles to indulgent sweets.

This state of the art facility is home to 110 or so of today’s brightest upcoming young performers who have come to hone their skill, expand their range and hopefully open their minds to consider new and different ways of expression.  For the next week, 8bb will make our home here as we collaborate and cross-pollinate with several of the top students here.  On Sunday April 26 at 3pm we will present a program where we’ve split the group down the middle and filled in the gaps with young players to perform Stephen Hartke’s Meanwhile, the seminal Pierrot Lunaire of Arnold Schoenberg starring the inimitable Lucy Shelton, and Steve Reich’s Double Sextet.

Yesterday we held our second rehearsal for Meanwhile which is getting some extra attention this week since we’ve asked the students to memorize the score and learn our choreography for the piece.  The group as it appears below in the gorgeous Olive St. rehearsal room is 50% Aussie and 50% American.  Tim now has a chance to speak his native tongue in rehearsals, excusing himself to the dunny, correcting someone’s unevenly executed, semi-quavers and planning for a bloody bonzer arvo trip to Amoeba Records.

Hartke rehearsal at Colburn

Did I mention the students are good?  Bloody good. Well prepared, musically sensitive and all around fun folks.  I’m sure more documents of this exciting project will come out over the next week so keep a look-out.  I’ve got to get to the practice room!

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