Pictures at APO’s Exhibition

Recently, a unique opportunity arose through the amazing people at Jelly for Reading’s local artists and young composers to come together to create a piece of music, commissioned by the Aldworth Philharmonic Orchestra. Inspired by the concept of Mussorgsky’s ‘Pictures at an exhibition’, each of the four composers would select a piece of visual artwork that would evoke a musical response from them. They were to be mentored through the process of writing the music, even receiving a workshop from world famous composer Sir Mark-Anthony Turnage CBE, before their final pieces were to be performed by the orchestra’s 80 musicians in the beautiful concert hall at Reading town hall.

Julie Simmond's 'On the wing'

Julie Simmond’s ‘On the wing’

The composers had been found through a competition masterminded by the APO and were aged between 12 and 18. One of the orchestra’s own cellists was also invited to contribute a piece, with professional composer Roger May responsible for the short movements that linked them all together. The works of Mark Andrew Webber, Julie Simmonds and Jim Attewell were selected by the competition winners at Jelly’s studios and my light painted series on the Holy Brook was chosen by Roger to represent the movements leading from one composition to another.

During the process, I found it difficult to imagine what the final performance would be like, and when in finally came in January 2016 after nine months of preparation, I have to say I underestimated the scale of the event. Listening to the performance was incredible and I was deeply touched by how much effort had gone into it. The music is now available for you to hear on the pictures at our exhibition website and the event has even been nominated for the ‘Event of the year‘ award by Alt Reading. Make sure you drop in and vote if you can.

Roger May used my work to represent Mussorgsky’s ‘promenades’, a series of short, themed movements, as the performance moves from one piece of work to another, with the winding course of the Holy brook leading the way through the music. I love his musical responses to my work and I will share them with you below, but I do recommend you listen to the work in its entirety on the Aldworth Philharmonic Orchestra’s Soundcloud page.

 

Road Trip!

Phew… Back home from an epic road trip across Europe to Croatia, having ticked off a total of ten countries along the way. We covered 2200+ miles and  stopped at some of Europe’s finest locations sampling some of the local food and drink, and when everybody had gone to bed I crept out with camera and tripod to bring back some images for you. Here’s a quick tease, hope you enjoy…

Open for Art

Every year I seem to see some great art events going on in my home town of Reading, and I often think it would be a great experience to be involved with such a thing but by the time I realise what’s going on it’s far too late to participate! This year, I was collared by the friendly bunch at Jelly Studios well ahead of their next ‘Open for Art’ event, “A three-day Town Centre arts festival to showcase Reading’s hidden talent and creative industries” and I’m really glad they did, they are a top bunch, oozing knowledge, passion and drive. Meeting up to brainstorm ideas has been great fun and I’m sure every artist in Reading would benefit from popping in to say hello.

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Tbilisi Loves You!

I’m back from nine days in Georgia with Xiao Yang and wow, what a place. The country is so rich with amazing locations and we really indulged ourselves with many long days, which turned into nights, and then into day again.

We spent half the trip in and around the capital, Tbilisi and then ventured into the mountains to the amazing town of Chiatura and got to ride on ‘Stain’s cable cars’. I really don’t know where to start with the images right now, it is going to take a long time for both my computer and my brain to digest all this information, but to keep things flowing, here’s a small selection of what we got to shoot whilst we were out there.

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The Photography Show 2015

What a week. I totally missed the solar eclipse whilst filling a van with stock, and didn’t have the time to make it up north to shoot the most intense aurora in 20 years, but I can live with that; The Photography Show was awesome. Four days of hard work on the London Camera Exchange Group stand was brilliant fun.

I received some great support running up my talk. When it came to it, the Streetscape stage was perfect, so was the crowd and somehow I managed to get away with blabbering on for twice as long as I was supposed to.

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