Are we nearly there? Happy Solstice/ thank you!

WEP_0338At this time of year, far away at the North Pole, elves – some people believe – are frantically working to wrap gifts ready for Santa Claus to deliver around the world. Who can say if that is true, but here in the U.K, while people have been lighting Chanukah candles and others are preparing for Christmas, shopping, baking, carol-singing or not…a team of artists are working their socks off to get ready for a collaborative installation on Winter Solstice, Friday Dec 21st at the Regency Town House Annexe Basement. Our research and development project Snow Q – a reimagining of Hans Christian Andersen’s Snow Queen story along contemporary themes – began at Summer Solstice six whole months ago. And now we are almost ready to show you – for one day only – what we’ve been up to! We hope you’ve booked tickets (free) and can come along. Wear woollies! It will be zimno zimno/ccccccold. For those who can’t, we’re making a documentary about it and will be uploading that and some sound recordings after the project next year.

Lampshade1Right now the visuals team Dagmara and Wendy are putting up the artwork with help from Regency Town House’s curator Phil Blume. (Dagmara is sewing as I type.. ) Amy Clark and David Manion from Glyndebourne have not only very generously lent us the most extraordinary light equipment but already installed it for us – bear in mind this is a historic building with no sockets! Simon Yapp our sound engineer is installing VGA cables and Rasberry Pi’s. Nevermind speaking Ponglish! They’re talking keystoning, video mapping…Plus there is lumens to take into account…obviously. (Others of us use notebooks, pencils – cut and paste is the pinnacle of our technical achievement …)
WEP_0340Rita mutters lines to herself and sleeps with poems under her pillow. Mark stays awake. Ellie dreams phrasing and tone. Emails fly back and forth non-stop. Phone calls, meetings. Apparently we’re still 1 projector short…WEP_0321WEP_033548394047_1013760298830722_4005019267937337344_n

Looking back at the last 6 months, we want to thank all of you who have been following us via this blog. Thank you for taking the time to read about our journey from tentative ‘what-are-we-doing?’ right through to: ‘well whatever it is, we’re doing it, NOW!’ And a huge thank you to those of you who talked to us and let us include your thoughts in our posts. You’ve enriched them and made this blog much more interesting.48389815_216460055956315_9018116249858605056_n

WEP_0353Please stay with us. Your support and any feedback you care to give make all the difference. Without you we’d be a sorry bunch of elves indeed. Enjoy the Rasberry Pi!


Photos at Regency Town House Annexe Basement by Wendy Pye





Probably the most Patient Man in the World/Behind the scenes with Simon, Peter and Ellie

In a small studio in Kemp Town in Brighton magic has been taking place. The magician is sound engineer Simon Yapp.  He’s already recorded Rita’s performance of some of Maria’s poems and is now working with Maria’s collection of sounds – plus a list of requests – for a sound poem. Could he get some better crows because the ones Maria had were too muffled? Sure, said Simon. Maria, Dagmara and Wendy then visited and told Simon that on reflection we’d like to change the sound poem completely and could he enhance the sounds in a different way. I see, said Simon.

We used some of Simon’s sound recordings of Rita at the Snow Q Preview for Lewes Live Literature on Dec 1st and they went down very well.  Recently Peter and Ellie Snow Q’s talented viola player have been in to record Peter’s music. Without Simon’s patience and immense technical skill, a lot of what you will hear on Dec 21st simply wouldn’t happen. If you’ve only just joined this blog the 21st is our collaborative installation at Regency Town House Annexe Basement re-imagining Hans Christian Andersen’s Snow Queen. If you haven’t booked yet, hurry! Tickets:

We’re very proud to introduce Ellie Blackshaw here. She will be bringing Peter’s music to life both via recordings and live on Dec 21st. We feel lucky to have her on team Snow Q. This is what Peter says about her:

20181126_142709Last Monday, Ellie recorded most of the music I have composed for Snow Q, which is where the photos were taken. My previous blog gave a number of reasons for why I composed the Snow Q music for solo viola. Those that I gave were all perfectly valid ones but I inadvertently left out one of the most important.20181126_124145

I have known Ellie since her early teens and therefore outside my immediate family, longer than almost anyone else with whom I am in regular contact. Over several decades, the number of occasions we have performed together in orchestras, chamber ensembles and other ad hoc groupings must by now run into nearly four figures!

As both a violinist and viola player – only Americans use the expression ‘violist’ – Ellie has probably played more of my compositions than any other performer but until now I had never actually written anything specifically with her in mind. I therefore decided to remedy this with the Snow Queen music.

I was very happy to hear Ellie’s developing interpretations for the first time at the recording session. We had previously rehearsed the music but that was more in the nature of a ‘read-through’. I’m therefore really looking forward to the next one and also, of course, to the live performances on the 21st.

Tickets from: