Sax players wanted for City of London festival

Sue

If at first you don't succeed try try try a Gin
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Received this on another site for anyone interested:

Hello -

My name is Janet Marshall and I am the Event Manager at the City of London Festival.

As part of the Festival this year, we are running a project 'The Leviathan' which has been written by John Harle - and I am trying to recruit 800 saxophonists to take part - any age, any ability, all you need is a sax.

The event will take place at midday on midsummers day (Sunday June 21), where several processions will make their way through the City of London coming together on London Bridge to play the new piece all together.

Please check us out at www.colf.org.

If you are interested in joining us please mail: saxophone@colf.org for a registration form.
 

Djangette

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Intriguing ... here's another link

http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/news.php?id=33345

Can't find out much more :(

I'd like to know about the score and organisation musically as am puzzled how this is going to work - or is it just a visual thing?

Technically, who is going to look after cases, maybe you have to carry them as well as play? Or maybe it's going to be a scrimmage at the end?

Isn't Sunday lunchtime the worst time to try to get together a mass of jobbing saxophonists?

Did anyone see/hear/play in Andy Shepherds 200 saxophone piece? Is there a link on Youtube?

I once saw 10 trombonists on stage at one time ... I don't recommend it. On the upside they made a good target and it's good to know where they are ;-)
 

Phil Edwards

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Had a reply from my email to saxophone@colf.org, here's what it says...

Thank you for your interest in the Leviathan Project, we are delighted that you would like to join us! The project takes place as part of this years’ City of London Festival, and the three day ‘Sustain!’ programme, curated by John Harle, that falls within the programme.
Please find attached a registration form which we require you to complete and e-mail/post back to us in order to take part.

The performance will take place on Midsummer’s Day - Sunday 21 June - at 12 noon from various starting points around the city. We will let you know your starting point nearer the time, but all points will be accessible by tube or train. Arrival time will be from 11:30 in order to tune and warm up. As part of your group you will process through the City on a specific route whilst playing music composed by John Harle. As all the groups meet at the North end of London Bridge we will come together and continue to process playing in unison. The entire performance will not take much more than an hour from start to finish and light refreshments will be provided at the end.

The music will be very simple, and ready to download in both notated and recorded format. We will notify you once it is ready. This should be within the next couple of weeks.

The form has a tick box so you can let us know what instrument you will be bringing on the day - this is just so we can create a good mix within the groups - for those of you who play more than one sax, the choice is entirely yours! Similarly we have asked you to specify your ability level - this is for the same reason, to create an equal spread throughout the groups.

If you are under 16 we will require a parent or guardian’s signature and a contact number in case of an emergency on the day. Those responsible for under 16’s are welcome to process with the groups on the day.

The project will be recorded and downloaded as a piece of continuous audio and video that will last indefinitely. More details will be on the site when you download the music. If you do not wish to be recorded or filmed then Leviathan is not for you. We have asked you to tick to acknowledge your consent to this.

The City of London Festival cannot accept responsibility for the possessions, instruments or cases of any of the participants, although we will provide a van that will take instrument cases from the starting points to the end point on London Bridge.

Finally for the moment, please do forward this e-mail and form to all your friends and colleagues who play - it doesn't matter what age or level of ability - all are welcome to join! It will be a fantastic event.

Regular updates will be sent out via e-mail, so once you have registered, please do keep an eye out!

With best wishes

Janet


Janet Marshall
Event Manager
City of London Festival
Fitz Eylwin House
25 Holborn Viaduct
London
EC1A 2BP
 

kevgermany

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So how do you get back - and what do you do with your sax case while you're processing the music? Or are you expected to go on public transport with a valuable instrument, completely unprotected? I guess a gig bag with ucksack straps may be an option.

I've got this vision of someone volunteering a bari - and flaking out at the end, too knackered to get home... Or how about a bass, on a trolley?
 

c9off

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London SE/Kent & Rickinghall
So how do you get back - and what do you do with your sax case while you're processing the music? Or are you expected to go on public transport with a valuable instrument, completely unprotected? I guess a gig bag with ucksack straps may be an option.

I've got this vision of someone volunteering a bari - and flaking out at the end, too knackered to get home... Or how about a bass, on a trolley?
"we will provide a van that will take instrument cases from the starting points to the end point on London Bridge"

Case transport has been taken care of as above quote... 800 odd cases on a van, hmmmm maybe time for a beer........
 

jadoube

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Fleet, Hampshire
So, who's participating in the Leviathan project? I'm down for the Ludgate group.

Even though its very simple I'm not sure about memorising it, never tried to do without the dots before. :eek:
 

jadoube

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Fleet, Hampshire
I was down for the Moorgate bit but having seen the music. Not that interested now. Too much hassle with all the sax cases.

I understand about the music, I'm hoping it will still be a bit of fun.

I may whisper to my children that carrying a sax case for an old guy would be charitable. Otherwise I may be playing while carrying my case in backpack mode. I've little desire to ferret through a pile of 800 cases at the end of it all.
 

Bobby G

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Hello everyone, again! What a time to find my way back to online saxland. I heard about this project for the first time literally three-and-a-half hours ago on BBC R4's "Front Row" programme. I heard that even if you haven't registered you can still turn up at Aldgate station at 11 on Sunday morning (or any of the others if the info on the website is good) which gives you time for a quick rehearsal and guidance on what's actually happening.

Downloading the sheet music is very easy, and even for a virtual non-reader like myself it's fairly easy to work out. Mp3 of the parts is also available, although I wasn't able to burn it to a CD.

Apart from the conducted part on the bridge, all players will be playing to their own internal time, alternating between a phrase and an improvisation on a certain scale (different for Eb and Bb instruments, and different for each start point) and is notated as ff, fff, or ffff so is expected to be very loud and chaotic before the great 'coming together' on the bridge, which will be more structured but very, very loud.

I've decided I am definitely going to go, starting at Aldgate. It would seem that the last few weeks listening to Marshall Allen and John Gilmore in Sun Ra's Arkestra might be about to pay off, or at least have put my head in the right place for this project. No, scratch that, I don't like the word 'project' - call me an old hippie (well, I am the same age as the composer John Harle) but I think this event could qualify as a 'happening' or a 'blow-in'.

See you there, hopefully!
 
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Taz

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Nice to see you back Bob, and have a blast tomorrow ;} And anyone else thats going. Let us all know how it went.
 

Bobby G

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Wonderful Welwyn Garden City, Herts
Well, to start with I can say it's the single best musical event I've had the utter joy to be involved with in my life, bar none. I did have a blast in every sense of the word.

Our group gathered at Aldgate from about 11, those of us who hadn't registered did so, and we got down to the serious business of chatting to fellow players, checking out horns etc. All kinds of people were there, a lot of older people like me (and beyond!) but plenty of younger studenty types and some pretty young kids too, a very good mix really.

For ease of transportation I took along my curved soprano in a bit of bubblewrap in my laptop bag complete with shoulder strap, mainly to avoid the hassle of finding my case among hundreds in the vans at the other end. Many others had arrived with horns of different sizes (including a few baris) with back-pack cases.

There followed a bit of informal 'practising' i.e. playing the main phrase to your own 'internal time' in smallish groups, or generally tuning up/mucking about etc., during which time I found I had been 'cornered' by a film crew of some sort who had focussed quite tightly on the bell of my little curly sop, and was asked a couple of questions about it to camera to my surprise. I think, although there were several soprano players in the group, mine was the only curved one and seemed to be drawing attention from some quarters.

Next up, we had a slightly more formal 'rehearsal' to get an idea how the 'phrase/improv around the scale then repeat' part might sound, plus a run through of the more structured part of the piece. More than a bit messy, but I think the conductor/instructor liked it like that.

Following that, we moved off down the route, playing the piece to our own internal time and crikey what a glorious, joyful, chaotic racket it was! We were close enough together to hear each other, sort of, so some ideas and improvs were clearly being tossed around from one to another, but the overall impression, especially to the bemused-looking onlookers must have been one of an unholy din, which of course was what it was supposed to be.

Every once in a while we'd stop processing (but not playing) presumably to regroup until we found one time we had stopped at the coming together of all four groups, at whoch point the noise definitely increased and became even more chaotic, as we were playing in four different keys, nominally; it may as well have been a hundred and four. Up til this point there had been something utterly hypnotic about making such a joyful racket among so many other people - occasionally stopping playing just to listen for a while before diving back in - which increased as all the groups moved towards Marker 1 at the north side of the bridge.

As we passed the Marker, all improvisation stopped, and the relatively simple phrase was taken up by everyone, again in their own time/tempo. So, no decrease in volume but a somewhat less disorganised sound as everyone by that time was at least in the same key.

We then came to a halt, still playing the phrase, in front of the conductor's podium, where he attempted to conduct the written part of the piece. Due to the fact the column of players was stretched a way back from the podium and sighting John Harle may have been a bit difficult for some, this part of the piece was quite messy (but in a really good way) but at least harmonically accessible (in theory anyway). After blasting out the final few conducted chords, we processed off the bridge to the South, all playing a low concert C in unison with a gradual decrescendo as we left the bridge. This part, after the chaos and raggedness of the past half-hour or so was unbelievably haunting and moving, and I left the bridge feeling totally blissed out and strangely calm.

All in all, a life-affirming, life-enhancing, and maybe even life-changing experience which I'd love to do again if the opportunity arose, and I met some damn fine people along the way.
 
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