Drake Music: Planted Symphony

I’m always working on something I can’t talk about, and I think it’s yawnfest when musicians post about stuff like “can’t say too much yet” so I don’t usually acknowledge anything – but here is one of those things, which I can now talk about! Phew. 

So, this was complicated. While I was preparing for the huge SAGE Gateshead event, I was also in the studio recording for the new version of Drake Music’s Planted Symphony. It’s the busiest I’ve ever been, recording this and rehearsing the new show was… intense. 

For me it was a really bittersweet opportunity: Lucy Hale, the composer behind this work, had apparently long wanted to work with me and the gloves. Tragically, she passed away from COVID in 2020. It was decided that a team would be assembled to finish the work, which is when I found out about Lucy’s ambitions to work with me. It was humbling, and obviously very sad. 

This marks, I believe, the first time the MiMu Gloves have been used an ensemble instrument to play a score. Turning dots on a page into gestures and into music was not something I imagined would be possible; on piano middle C is where it always is, with gloves that’s meaningless. I had to design a whole method of playing. I’ve also never recorded remotely like this before, but it all felt very natural by the time I pressed the big red button. Recording the gloves, and pushing for the perfect take, was really fun. And really hard work.

I was small part of the puzzle, though. It was an amazing team, and Cassandra Gurling did an especially incredible job finishing the work and making the music happen. It sounds incredible, and I can’t wait for people to experience it. 

Planted Symphony will tour as an interactive experience later this year; first run is in Milton Keynes, and more dates will be announced soon. I and many others from the team will be at as many dates as possible, so it would be lovely to meet some new faces on the road x 

More details of the Milton Keynes run HERE: https://ifmiltonkeynes.org/event/drake-music?fbclid=IwAR1Le6sMfu_HFreCZobLpAV2YKll2hkkGHC-oYsYbhoxjdxYbk5lS_YG2M8

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