With a couple of friends I held a classical music recital last week. We were SO STOKED at the big attendance and all the great comments we got. Everyone had a great time and it seems it was a tremendous success. Yay us!
We three had a lot of fun preparing for the event, and we really enjoyed playing and singing our favourite music. It is such a joy to share music you love with a really appreciative audience. We held it at the Chidlow Hall, built in 1905 in the Shire of Mundaring, way out east past the hills of Perth, Western Australia. In recent years the Shire wanted to do away with the hall but now the local residents have taken it over and are refurbishing it.
Audience at Chidlow Hall
Many people told us they loved the way we all spoke about the music before playing it. They said they found the music easier to follow and it made it all the more enjoyable. I can well understand that as I got used to hearing quite a bit of spoken introduction in countless wonderful performances I attended when I was a university student. It just seems like common sense to me and I don’t understand why anyone would do otherwise. In many situations it would be disrespectful, and unnatural, to simply walk up to the instrument and play without saying anything.
For my part, I talked about how I used to find Mozart’s music rather boring until I realised I was listening for something that is not in it. When I figured out how his style worked about ten years ago it was a revelation to me, and I think that resonated a lot with the big audience.
I illustrated the Bulgarian rhythm of a Bartók piece before playing it, and showed how it is identical to one of the most common and most loved rock or pop rhythms, sometimes known as the frug. Later someone asked me if that was from Bach, and I realised he thought I’d said ‘fugue.’
Naomi and Tony also gave very useful spoken insights into their guitar solos and songs, respectively (see the full programme below).
I took the opportunity to play a couple of original piano solos. I wrote Androgyne Prophecy in 1977 around my 16th birthday. Puck at Parkerville was completed just a month ago, and depicts the mischievous elf or sprite Puck, also known as Robin Goodfellow, from Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The play was produced in my family’s Parkerville Amphitheatre ca. 1974.
Naomi Millett, classical guitar
Mix Margaret & Friends
Classical Music, Old and New
Naomi Millett, guitar
Toni Arndt, soprano
Margaret D. Jones, piano
Courante and Galliard by Silvus Leopold Weiss
The Maids in Constrite from the Jane Pickering Lute Book
Go From My Window from the Jane Pickering Lute Book
Allegretto in A major Op. 10 No. 4 by Matteo Carcassi
Alla Polacca (Polonaise) by Ferdinando Carulli
Lieder by Franz Schubert (b. 1797, d.1828) (accomp. by MDJ)
Romanze (from Rosamunde)
Liebhaber in Allen Gestalten
An Die Musik
Piano Sonata in C, K309 (first movement) (1777) by W.A. Mozart
Androgyne Prophecy (1977) by MDJ (sheet music available)
No. 6 of Six Dances in Bulgarian Rhythm (from Mikrokosmos, 1926 – 1939) by Béla Bartók
INTERVAL Free refreshments
Sarabande by Francis Poulenc
Llanura by Reginald Smith Brindle
Estudio Sencillos No. V ‘Allegretto Montuno’ by Leo Brouwer
Allegro No. 26 by Brouwer
Movido/Rapido No. 20 by Brouwer
Two arias from Mozart’s opera, The Marriage of Figaro (1786) (accomp. by MDJ):
Non So Più
Song Without Words, Op. 19 No. 3 in A (1829-30) by Felix Mendelssohn
Sonatine (second movement) (1905) by Maurice Ravel
Puck at Parkerville by MDJ (2016)
For many years Naomi was the presenter of The Guitar Show on RTR 92.1 FM community radio. (The show is now called Plucked Strings.)
As a fine soloist and performer she has played guitar or mandola in many duos and other ensembles. She was an Arts journalist with The West Australian newspaper for fourteen years, where she interviewed many leading classical guitarists, and has been a leader in the classical guitar (and mandolin) community of Perth behind the scenes. For many years Naomi has been an examiner for the Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB).
Since having two children and moving to the Wheatbelt in 2007 Naomi has continued to teach, write, perform, record CDs and adjudicate at eisteddfodau, most recently the successful Pilbara Music Festival held in Port Hedland. She works part time in consumer advocate/peer support areas with the WA Health Department.
Well-known to Hills audiences for her many solo appearances at concerts with the Hills Choir, Toni has a great love of soprano arias and art song. Her extensive repertoire includes Lieder and other music by Mozart, Schubert, Schumann and Fauré.
Margaret grew up inside the Parkerville Amphitheatre, which her family founded and ran from 1966 to 2001. See www.parkerville-amphitheatre.com
For five years Margaret studied composition at UWA with Roger Smalley AM. Margaret’s piano compositions have been in the AMEB exam syllabus for many years. See her extensive website at www.mixmargaret.com for sheet music, free recordings and videos, and information about her many musical qualifications and accomplishments. Margaret is available to play her wide repertoire of classical music for private functions, cafes, exhibitions and book launches.
Margaret is an androgyne (a type of non-binary transgender) and is referred to as she or they. Instead of Miss or Mr, her title is Mx (Mix). Margaret has continuously used Mx since 2002 and is one of its earliest adopters. This honorific title was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in its online form in 2015 (see Margaret’s major online article on Mx/Mix, with a little about the singular they).
Many thanks to Kim Graham (Chidlow Progress Association), young Clive (Fuzzy) Millett, and to all those who helped spread the word.
More info (including how to buy scores online): www.mixmargaret.com
7.30pm Friday May 20, 2016 at Chidlow Hall, Chidlow, Western Australia.