It may seem these two disparate concepts are hardly related, but they often go hand in hand.
Many of us are labelled at birth by our parents, as the ‘clever’ one or the ‘creative’ one or even the ‘hopeless’ child, which is merely based on how they want us to live their lives.
I had a phone call last year from a close friend, distraught after her elderly Mother had thrown out some of her favourite clothes and childhood possessions. Marianne had recently moved back in to look after her since her Mother’s physical and mental health had deteriorated, but had taken a short break away from the daily grind of being a constant carer.
On her return she had found her wardrobe and chest of drawers invaded, with half of the contents given away to charity. My friend who already suffers from anxiety and self-doubt, was thrown into a major frenzy – and it took her several days to return to any sort of normality, blaming herself for abandoning her Mother.
This was however, the turning point for Marianne, who realised after several months of counselling that it was in fact her Mother’s way of getting Marianne to carry the rage and anxiety she had been feeling herself prior to her outburst.
Added to this Marianne had always been told that out of all of her siblings, she was the one who was the major disappointment, and would never make anything of her life. On the contrary, she has been a high achiever, even more so than her two sisters, but who constantly seeks her Mother’s approval, which is never recognised in spite of her major accolades in her successful career in the City.
How many times do you hear in a marriage or relationship breakup, that the man or woman has to leave because his partner is ‘crazy’. This always sits uncomfortably with me, because you can bet that they will go on to meet someone else and evoke the same pattern of behaviour in their new relationship.
Therapists and psycho analysts call this ‘projection’ as they are in fact again getting their partners to carry their anxiety or feelings of hopelessness so that they don’t have to.
If this is hard to digest, let me give you a very simple example of how it works and how toxic this type of ‘projection’ can be. A close friend who is also an exceptional therapist had a new client several years ago who was suffering from depression, so badly that he wanted to end his life. My therapist friend David spent the entire session baffled by his account of what had happened since his wife’s departure, and at the end of the session told her he felt he was carrying his partner’s feelings of desperation. He left feeling a lot happier.
Two hours later his estranged wife called him saying she was feeling suicidal and wanted to give the relationship another go! He thankfully declined, and as far as I know, has remained anxiety free ever since.
I hope this may be helpful to those of you who are suffering with anxiety and depression, because if you look closely, you may find some of it may not even be yours to carry.
If you or anyone you know are struggling please check out the following websites for
help or just for someone to talk to
Virtuosic Pianist devises incredible dice and mathematical chart system to follow Nature not convention…
Available from 24th March 2021
“Conventional Western music is like a statue; my music is like a tree”. A bold statement perhaps, but one that Edward Chilvers justifies on his forthcoming album, entitled ‘31 Pieces’ and released on 24 March 2021 on Mozart Records. He is different. BBC TV said of him, “Composing music has never sounded quite like this”. The Times added, “Edward Chilvers has revived a tradition used by composers including Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart of creating pieces driven by randomness”. Steinway & Sons has extended an invitation to Edward to perform and talk about his work in a live streamed event from London’s Steinway Hall at 7pm on 16 December 2020.
As Classic FM said, “For Chilvers, this method is the future of music”. Whilst the album, factually, is made up of ‘31 Pieces’, Chilvers sees the work as not something that is or should be broken into segments but rather something that has been conceived and executed as a contiguous whole with elements fading into one another, with silence or inertia never gaining the upper hand. The music on ‘31 Pieces’ will never be performed twice in exactly the same way. The music captured on the 3CD release itself serves as the ‘parent’ version – whilst each of the 3CDs works as a standalone record, together they have a deeper unity.
The foundation of Chilvers’ work is in experimenting with speed radios and mode, its DNA is coded with the infinite variety that reflects that existing within Nature. When he rolls his dice, the unpredictability generated rages within the strictures of the format that he has created. A statue, by contrast, is immutable and a competent pianist will always play a traditionally formed piece in the same predictable and perfect way. A tree can be recognisably an oak, but each one is different due to the impact of myriad variables like wind, or soil type.
Chilvers uses unique technical and theoretical tools to both liberate and structure his compositions which use – principally – multi-tempo patterns and tonal mode systems as the roots of the pieces. A dice system is often used to randomise these variables (tempo patterns, made, also key and phase patterns) and many of the 31 pieces grew out of these dice rolls. The whole process is built on defined combinations of ratios that has led him to nothing less than a form of ‘New Music’. Sky News called the process “fascinating to watch”, whilst BBC Radio 4’s Today programme called him a “Musical dice man creating pieces driven by randomness”. The hope is that these skills will become normal technique for the pianists of the future, and a freer multi-‘dimensional’ way of playing will blossom and evolve.
Edward Chilvers was a driven and passionate player who practiced constantly in pursuit of that perfection. He hated school and left as soon as he could, and then spent 12 years of chasing perfection before what he describes as his dawning “recalibration”.
As he says, “This a leap forward from mono-tempo music, which faces the same fate as black and white film, though it will remain a beautiful part of the musical universe”. It is an analogy that bears inspection, speed and pattern are what defines both music and light – and the ‘red’ in a colour film only appears so because of wave speed. Multi-tempo music is so packed with possibility that the only reason that it is not already omnipresent is down to the simple fact, as Edward Chilvers’ methods prove, that it is so difficult!
These explorations in harmony categorize scales and modes into ninety-six modal groups and are an example of Chilvers’ innate ability to see patterns where others do not. ‘31 Pieces’ is the result of his performances at one specific period of time; every time he sits down to play he creates something new. The tracks on the album fade in and fade out to reflect the constant state of transition, on the album and indeed in life. Each recorded piece is in truth a snapshot of a piece of music that is constructed in a way that forms a loop and so in reality is infinitely long, and coloured by both character and characteristic, like seasons on a distant planet.
Whilst the approach taken by Edward Chilvers on this album may seem, at first look, more akin to the recent feature written for The Guardian by AI than a free-flowing jam session at his beloved Glastonbury [he always attends and performs on pop-up stages], in fact the opposite is true. By scoring a victory over conventional structure, he is now blazing his own trail. Chilvers started by playing up to four different tempos simultaneously, disguising the pulse in his music by using phase patterns deliberately contrasting to the tempos; moving away from conventional rhythmical form.
He then began to compose beautiful etudes as an exploration in poly-tempo, taking a rich understanding and reverence for western classical harmony; and reshaping it.
As he says himself, “I wanted to create a multi-dimensional music to reflect the unspeakable experience of the stilled mind. I’m trying to make laws: polyrhythmic laws, phasing laws, modal laws, structural laws. If I can make good laws then something interesting or beautiful should come out”.
‘31 Pieces’, then, represents not only a beautiful album that hangs together as a whole, but also the rolling back of boundaries. Edward Chilvers draws inspiration from a myriad of influences, from Bach, Wagner and Beethoven through to Boards Of Canada, Squarepusher, Bill Evans, Radiohead, and Meshuggah. However, it was the Bwiti music of Gabon in West Africa, with its incessant, intense use of poly-tempo via harp, voice and drums, that inspired him to seek to stretch the capacity of what is humanly possible to play on the piano.
A truly remarkable talent, Edward Chilvers puts discovery and fun at the heart of everything he does – but this is a serious business. Picasso said, “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist”. That perhaps sums up this unique musician. His ground-breaking approach is captured in ‘11 Pieces’, a beautiful short film essentially encapsulating the concept of the album by blending performance footage and captivating scenes from nature and the built environment. ‘11 Pieces’ has been entered at various prestigious film festivals and will also be made available next year.
Edward Chilvers’ approach on ‘31 Pieces’ is not a rejection of traditional form or structure, but rather of beginning and endings, constraints and repetition; it is an ongoing reflection of Nature. Edward Chilvers frees music in order to allow it to blossom and follow the laws of Nature, rather than being trammelled by convention.
Rock Choir, the UK’s largest popular contemporary choir, stage first live professional choir concert since pandemic began last year!
The concert was part of a virtual weekend fundraiser for Comic Relief held last weekend and has raised £40,000…SO FAR!
‘The money raised by amazing fundraisers like the team at Rock Choir will help some of the most vulnerable people in the UK and around the world find safety and support – and turn their lives around. We’re so grateful to Rock Choir and can’t thank them enough for their support’ – ALI STYLES, COMIC RELIEF
The team behind Rock Choir, the most popular contemporary choir in the UK, is delighted to announce that they have so far raised £40,000 for Comic Relief. For the first time in the history of Rock Choir the team has delivered a LIVE virtual weekend festival, packed full of over 24 hours of interactive content all delivered by the Rock Choir Team using technology skills they developed during lockdown to deliver their online choir sessions.
The event involved different Rock Choir Leaders from across England, Scotland and Wales going live at different times over the weekend and handing over the broadcast to each other in shifts, culminating in the final live concert, professionally produced and directed at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre featuring a live band.
It’s thought to be the first time a professional contemporary choir has sung together in the form of a live concert in a music venue since the pandemic began. The concert took place in line with strict government guidelines but allowed the Rock Choir Leaders to deliver an emotional and powerful performance. The concert took place in an empty auditorium but was streamed live to thousands of households across the globe as families watched from the comfort of their own homes.
Rock Choir is the largest contemporary choir in the world with over 32,000 Members in the UK. All Members and the general public were invited to purchase tickets and join in with the live interactive virtual festival which will see all profits raised going to Comic Relief. Amongst other activities led by the team, the audience was treated to a live singing and stage confidence workshop hosted by actor and musical theatre star Gary Wilmot MBE and his wife Sara followed by an exercise work-out with Mr Motivator and a children’s session with BBC Cbeebies star Katy Ashworth! Dancing, cooking, cocktail-making and karaoke was also crammed in leading to the live streamed concert finale on the Sunday evening.
Caroline Redman Lusher, Creator and Creative Director of Rock Choir comments:
“It was an emotional reunion for both the Rock Choir Leaders and the HQ team as they met at the Birmingham Rep to perform a live streamed concert which created the finale to our huge Rock Choir Comic Relief Weekend. I am so proud of my entire team for planning and executing the weekend – it was a huge success and so far, we have raised 40k for Comic Relief and this total is still rising!
A year ago, we wouldn’t have had the knowledge or the technical skills to deliver a concert like this! Lockdown forced us to deliver Rock Choir online, but we quickly adapted and mastered the technology which in turn has opened up a new and exciting world of opportunities for us. However, we are all desperate to return to physical rehearsals and see our precious Rockies again! Nothing can compare with the power and emotions we feel when we sing together in a room as one.”
Ali Styles, Relationship Fundraising Manager for Comic Relief comments:
“The money raised by amazing fundraisers like the team at Rock Choir will help some of the most vulnerable people in the UK and around the world find safety and support – and turn their lives around. We’re so grateful to Rock Choir and can’t thank them enough for their support”