It’s Day 4 of Bath International Music Festival which continues until Sunday 29 May. The festival began with Bath’s Biggest Free night of music Party in the City. 40 venues, 2 new outdoor festival stages in Parade Gardens and Queen Square and schools, bands, choirs all performing and some CROWDSURFING at Komedia.
Take a look at the 2016 Festival so far in our Festival Gallery view gallery
I’m a cellist, composer and mum from London. I’ve got quite an unusual musical career as I write and perform my own music largely, and travel the world to play my concerts. I also do session performances or recordings for a diverse artist base from opera to hip hop and I love it.
I never wanted to play the cello! But luckily for me, my career wasn’t dictated by a choice I made aged four and a half. I was very fortunate to be in a primary school in inner London that participated in a scheme run by the Centre for Young Musicians, whereby cello and violin lessons were offered to primary aged children, and when the initial letter came home in my bag outlining these lessons I said a resounding no. One term later a gap appeared in the cello group, and I went along with my friend in order to escape some other activity in the school day, and here I am now! Without doubt it was the brilliant, enlightened and what I now recognise as freeing approach of the teachers, especially my teacher Vicky Miller that inspired me continuously and enabled me to sculpt my own career as a solo cellist and composer.
When I first started playing my solo concerts I used to feel fraudulent standing on stage saying I was a cellist, as I’d never played a big concerto with an orchestra, in fact I’d never really played professionally at all prior to this point. Even though I was in the grimy dives of North London I still felt this inadequacy, I’d get terribly nervous and shaky-bowed, and even now contemplating my forth solo album, many EU dates and sixth tour of Australia I still have a sense of this now and then. I think it keeps things real for me though, I am more confident now in my abilities and more importantly I’ve reached this glorious understanding that there is more than one way to be a professional cellist!
What or who have been your biggest influences?
The inspiration for my writing is pretty much un-boundaried, it’s whatever moves me, with music obviously being the main point I’d say. I’m a huge fan of Bach, Debussy, Pärt, Kodály, Tavener and Bartók, and these sit happily alongside my outright love of Whitesnake, Jane’s Addiction and Nine Inch Nails to name but a few. I find poetry inspirational, certain concepts in psychology too (mainly Jung!) and art as well – especially Mucha. Another massive influence is the landscape around me. My latest album ‘Five Incantations’ (some of which I’ll play for you) is a prime example of this. ‘Five Incantations’ firmly began life in Australia, during my tour in 2015. When I am in Australia I somehow feel able to connect to a more vital or spiritual source.
Beyond Australia, back home in the UK my friends are a constant source of inspiration to me. I have many great colleagues and friends in both musical and non-musical careers, all of whom are constantly supportive, offering words of wisdom, unbiased opinions and direction, thoughtful comment and at times wine! All of this is part and parcel of what I do, I feel my friends make my music with me, and I feel very lucky to have their support, their energy and their time.
Have you spent much time in the city of Bath?
Not much time, but I’ve absolutely loved each visit! I have a very good friend and collaborator who lives in Bath, poet Mohan Rana. We perform spoken word and improvised music concerts together, it’s something very special indeed. I’ve actually been to St Michael’s on my last visit to Mohan, though I didn’t realise at the time I’d be playing here so now I’m really excited!
What are you currently listening to?
Right now I’m listening to music by Rose McDowall as I have two session performances coming up for her and I need to learn it all again! I’m also preparing for a classical recital in Leipzig so I’m also listening to awful practice recordings I’ve made of the Kodaly sonata and two of the Bachs. But as far as what’s in my car, ‘Warrior’ by Anilah, absolutely beautiful, breathtaking and powerful, and a relatively obscure (these days) band Saraya (‘Saraya’ 1989), great female fronted rock group. That, and a daily dose of ‘Let It Go’ (my daughter is four!).
See Jo perform at St Michael’s Church Friday 20th May 9.30pm. Plan your night at Bath’s biggest FREE party here.
The 2016 classical programme includes the Philharmonia Orchestra with a beautiful programme of Sibelius and Elgar, a rare opportunity to hear Richard Goode playing Schubert’s final three piano sonatas, Tenebrae singing Bruckner and Brahms, Philip Higham performing the Bach Cello Suites, Kenneth Hamilton taking us on a tour with Franz Liszt in 1840s Britain and much more.
The late night ‘New Meetings’ strand in the beautiful Masonic Hall brings together some of the UK’s most exciting young musicians, creating new collaborations across international borders and in the final concert of the Festival, an English premiere of the world touring Piaf! The Show. ‘Piaf’s are very big shoes to fill, but Anne Carrere rises to the challenge’ The Times.
Party in the City is Bath’s biggest, free night of music and performance.
Every May, to mark the opening night of the 10 day The Bath International Music Festival, Party in the City celebrates the panoramic local music scene and vibrant cultural life that Bath and its surrounding areas have to offer.
Last year, the biggest in the history of Party in The City, 48 venues opened their doors to over 2000 performers and 20,000 audience members.
This year on 20th May 2016, we are coordinating an exciting programme of free events across the city of Bath, including fantastic street theatre, processions and dance that will bring the city centre alive with music and dancing and we are now taking performer applications.
We consider all applications that encompass performing and visual arts; from bands to bhangra and DJs to opera, if you have an innovative performance, spectacular collaboration or something completely different that you think could be in Party in the City, we would love to hear from you!
If you would like to submit a performer application form, please read the PitC information sheet and send a completed application form to email@example.com by 31st December.
Bath International Music Festival kicks off this year’s festival on Friday 15 May with the city wide celebration, Party in the City, spreading over 43 venues, with more than 150 exciting bands, singers and performers. We’ve also joined up again with the national initiative Museums at Night, with museums here in Bath and across the country flinging open their doors for late night explorations.
This year Party in the City continues throughout the Festival, with free music on the bandstand in Parade Gardens on the first weekend, 16/17 May, and again on Sunday 24 May, with a free Family Music Day including more free music from local bands, plus more delights during the week. The fun does not stop, with the 12 day Bath International Music Festivalrunning from 15 – 26 May.
PARTY IN THE CITY HIGHLIGHTS (OR VIEW THE FULL EVENTS LISTINGS HERE)
Street Performance: as well as everything going on at Party in the City venues don’t miss all the spectacular street performances. Samba bands, DJ Disco Turtles and more.
Highlight Tours: (Free) The ‘delightfully absurd’ Natural Theatre Company guide you through the musical streets of Bath.
*Headline Act* Bite The Buffalo: B.T.B have played the UK’s best venues, supported Robert Plant and bring you their version of Stomp, Rock Blues. 9.15-10pm Parade Gardens
Bath Community Gospel Choir: Young Carers South West and Bath Philharmonia 9.15-10pm Bath Abbey
Sing & Samba: A world premiere collaboration of choirs – come along and join the biggest sing-a-long of the night. 6.45-7.15pm The Circus
Bristol A Cappella: Vocal harmonies re-creating well-known pop songs. 9.30-10.15pm Colonna & Hunter
Kilter’s Unsung Choir: Young people’s lyrics about unsung aspects of their lives. Performed by professional choirs. 7-7.30pm Holburne Museum
The Gas Giants: A rare appearance by Will Gregory & Tony Orrell to launch ART & WORK 8-9pm Museum of Bath at Work
Bohemian Embassy: They’ve played some of the UK and Europe’s best venues – with a great live set! 10-11pm The Pig and Fiddle
Maria Muller: International Mezzo-Soprano accompanied by Russian pianist Sergey Rybin 8.50-9.30pm Ralph Allen Cornerstone
Turbo Disco Turtle: An 8 metre long, 3 metre wide, glow-in-the-dark disco Turtle! Bring bubbles to blow 9pm Stall Street Finale
Noctis: Award winning chamber choir performing traditional choral music, contemporary, film scores and jazz standards. 9.30-10pm St Michael’s Church
The Bath Welcome Choir: Popular harmonies and chart songs. 7.30-7.50pm St. Swithins Church
The Full 2015 Party in the City line-up will be available soon in the P.I.T.C brochure look out for announcements!