Well I never. I turn up - unawares, minding my own business - at Eindhoven's International Music Festival "TROMP" this month and return home with fledgling rockstar credentials!! To explain; I was to perfrom with NY string quartet Ethel in the world premiere of Steve Martland's "Starry Night" for marimba and quartet, as part of the openeing concert of the Festival. This infact we did, as prescribed, and with suitable grit and graft too. Less expected was my invitation from Ethel to join them in their ensuing set with rock legend Todd Rundgren on the far from quotidian medium of rock 'n' roll drum set! I confessed to not knowing any of the music but chimed alarmed goodwill toward the proposed endevour. We had a cursory run over the "charts" on the morning of the "gig" and then soundchecked with the "man hiimself" just a couple of hours before "doors".
So, post-Martland we all duly downed our de rigour tequila shots and ran on stage to let it all happen. And what a great experience for little old me!! Fantasitc it was, holding down the beat as best I could with the Ethels grooving away and Todd strumming, singing and screaming. He even encored with the "Lord Chancellor's Nightmare Song" from Gilbert and Sullivan's "Iolanthe". Gulp! And I was highly tickled by his onstage and highly unprintable apraisal of my drum kit skills, such as they were...thanks Todd!
Now; Martland's "Starry Night"!!! A terrific new work from Steve and one I look forward to playing many many times. It was a fascinating thing to, later in the week, be involved in the finale of the Tromp International String Quartet Competition when I had the chance to play the work with each of the finalist quartets. Steve also commented on how wonderful, interesting and rare it was to have a new work played three times in quick succession, each time by a different ensemble, and in this case with six different nationalities contributing! Many congratulations to the Heath, Callino and Amaryllis Quartets who were such stars and so wonderful for me to perform with. It was also fantastic to spend time with Steve in the country where he studied and has so many great connections(Gerard Bouwhuis a redoubtable example!)...