My heart.

The world premiere performance of a new work by Donna McKevitt, commissioned by the VOCES8 Foundation for Paul Smith’s ‘Renewal?’ concert for Live From London Summer 2021.

‘Keeping Quiet’ by Donna McKevitt sets a translation of the Pablo Neruda poem with beautiful simplicity and time to reflect on the text within the music, echoed here with dance by Giulia Tonelli and Lucas Valente.

Performers:
VOCES8
Apollo5
Caroline Dale (‘cello)
Roger Chase (viola)
Directed by Paul Smith

Music performance recorded at the VOCES8 Centre, London by the VOCES8 Studios team.

Ballet performance filmed at Tanzhaus Zurich by Nicole Davidson.

www.voces8.foundation

Text:
KEEPING QUIET
Now we will count to twelve
and we will all keep still.

For once on the face of the earth
let’s not speak in any language,
let’s stop for one second,
and not move our arms so much.

It would be an exotic moment
without rush, without engines,
we would all be together
in a sudden strangeness.

Fishermen in the cold sea
would not harm whales
and the man gathering salt
would look at his hurt hands.

Those who prepare green wars,
wars with gas, wars with fire,
victory with no survivors,
would put on clean clothes
and walk about with their brothers
in the shade, doing nothing.

What I want should not be confused
with total inactivity.
Life is what it is about;
I want no truck with death.

If we were not so single-minded
about keeping our lives moving,
and for once could do nothing,
perhaps a huge silence
might interrupt this sadness
of never understanding ourselves
and of threatening ourselves with death.
Perhaps the earth can teach us
as when everything seems dead
and later proves to be alive.

Now I’ll count up to twelve
and you keep quiet and I will go.

Pablo Neruda (1904-1973), “Keeping Quiet” Extravagaria (translated by Alastair Reid) Jonathan Cape, London, 1972, pp.27-29 (original Estravagario, Editorial Losada, Buenos Aires, 1958)”

09. November 2021 · Comments Off on Embouchure · Categories: Oboe, Videos

The oboe embouchure can differ from person to person. I am a “corners forward,” “flat chin,” and “less reed!” sort. If you look at videos on YouTube you will find many who play with gobs of reed in their mouth (my sound is horrible then!). I simply can’t play with what I call a “bunchy chin” yet I see others who do that. I just heard from Barry Kroeker (Hi Barry! Very nice to “meet” you.) and I’m with him on embouchure, so I’m sharing his video here.

I think those who play on a short scrape reed might do things very differently: I play, of course, on the longer, American scrape. I think this might also be the reason that you see many of us here play with our oboes closer to our bodies, while those in other countries play with their oboes further out … some nearly like trumpets. But having never played on a short scrape I’m only guessing on that.

08. October 2021 · Comments Off on Ah, Bach! · Categories: English horn, Listen, Oboe, Videos

These two, Diana Doherty and Alexandre Oguey, are a married couple, playing in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. This is just a wonderful way to start my day and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. The start of the video is such fun, and the music making is glorious!

16. August 2021 · Comments Off on One Minute Oboe Lessons · Categories: Oboe, Teaching, Videos

Dr. Aaron Hill, a fabulous oboist and instructor, has a new series! Check it out. I highly recommend his videos. (If you recall he also did Ferling Fridays!)

12. July 2019 · Comments Off on Keve! · Categories: Videos

I always enjoy seeing a new Keve Wilson YouTube video! Even more, I enjoy listening. Brava, Keve, and bravi tutti to you all!

Keve Wilson and The Tesla Quartet perform Bernhard Crusell’s Divertimento in Greenville, S.C. as part of the Chamber Music Society of the Carolinas. Inessa Zaretsky, Artistic Director

14. June 2019 · Comments Off on Roger That! · Categories: Videos · Tags:

From 2013:

From February of this year:

14. April 2019 · Comments Off on Thank you, Yo-Yo Ma · Categories: Videos

05. March 2019 · Comments Off on Cute! · Categories: Videos

… I’m not sure the kids knew quite what to think! Some look like the volume was a bit much for their ears and I often wonder how singers deal with that when they are singing so close to each other!

From the YouTube Sacla’ page:

Sacla’ the Pesto Pioneers and Italian foodies favourite, served up a great surprise at a Buckinghamshire primary school and staged an impromptu Opera in the canteen one lunch time.

Four secret opera singers, disguised as canteen staff, broke into song bringing the room to a standstill with a rousing medley of the Italian classics by Verdi, Puccini and Rossini.

From soaring soprano to booming baritone, the singers’ stunning performance thrilled the unsuspecting school children whose shocked and surprised reactions were captured on camera by a six strong film crew behind the scenes.

30. January 2019 · Comments Off on The Baroque Oboe · Categories: Baroque, Oboe, Videos

… the prior video then took me to this one. Such fun to hear and learn about!

Co-Principal Oboe Katharina Spreckelsen on why the quirks of the Baroque oboe make it so exciting.

30. January 2019 · Comments Off on Haydn’s Oboe · Categories: Oboe, Videos

This is a fun and informative video. I’m grateful to my friend Carolyn Fahm for bringing it to my attention!