Posted on Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Some time back in the mid 90s I got hold of a CD that changed my view of what a clarinet - and indeed music itself - was capable of. This was the klezmer clarinet music of Giora Feidman, and these sounds - the shrieking, the wailing, the laughing, and a pianissimo of extreme serenity - have reverberated through my compositional style ever since. Indeed, I fashioned the blaring opening of my mini-opera 'Seven Tons of Dung' (I knew how to title a piece in those days) after a particular moment on the CD, without at that point realising that Giora had himself been imitating the Shofar, the traditional ram horn used in Jewish religious ceremonies.

So it was hard to beleive, 15 years later, when Giora himself got in touch with me, after hearing some of my music, and invited me to work with him on some projects, kicking off by making some arrangements for a forthcoming recording project. It's a tremendous honour for me, and quite surreal to be on the end of the phone to Tel Aviv with one of my musical idols, who seems only capable of speaking words of tremendous wisdom.



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