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Clameur Matthew Pollard Music This Concert Will Fall In Love With You

Glen Capra

Glen Capra, photo by Adrian Turner

Like many of his friends, I was distressed to learn of Glen Capra’s death on 29th August in Greece. I was one of a group who regularly went for beers in The Evening Star with Glen when he made one of his regular visits back to Brighton after he had settled in Kavala.

Glen was a considerate and sensitive man, who was passionate about his relationships, music, art and life. This makes the fact that he took his own life extremely hard to take. Close friends, especially Richard Gibson, were in frequent touch with him before he died. He had been depressed and disoriented after his short marriage had abruptly ended. His death was a shock for everyone, and texts I’d had from him a few days earlier showed no sign of what was to come.

I watched Glen perform on many occasions in the UK and in Greece. He was a sensitive accompanist and wonderful pianist with a particular passion for Rachmaninov.

A little over nine years ago, Glen and I met through our mutual friend the composer Matthew Pollard. Matt and I were collaborating on a project that was to become This Concert Will Fall In Love With You — later recorded with additional material as the CD Clameur and Glen was Matt’s first choice to play piano. Matt and Glen had were old friends, performing together in the Tacet Ensemble and The Rainbow Chorus for example. Matt also wrote three linked compositions called Three Portraits for Poet and Piano, which Glen and I performed in its premiere in 2012.

Clameur written my Matthew Pollard and Peter Kenny featuring Glen Capra on piano.

For me it was the start of a friendship that would endure until now. Glen was a thoroughly good bloke, who was hugely liked by a great many people. I will miss him.

Below is a YouTube video of Minotaur, one of the Three Portraits for Poet and Piano by Matt Pollard with Glen on piano and me doing the words.

Featuring Glen Capra on piano, Minotaur by Matthew Pollard and Peter Kenny

Pollard & Kenny CD now well and truly launched

The evening at the Unitarian Church was a success. The CD is now well and truly launched, and is also available for download as you can see in the panel alongside. It will also be available on Amazon and iTunes in due course.

At our gig at the Brighton Unitarian Church we were excellently supported by The Shakespeare Trio. I love the intricate interplay between their guitars.

Matt was pleased with Three Portraits for Poet and Piano. In performing them I had to hang onto Glen’s nodded cues for grim death. But I managed to get through these without slipping up, which was something of a triumph.

Clameur was sung really well by the new The Brighton Choral Project. I find it very moving to hear my words about Guernsey being sung this way, especially since my Mother was in the audience who also loves that place.

Finally we went into our This Concert Will Fall In Love With You epic. Matt and I very pleased with how this went. I thought Cem on violin played a blinder. Had the choir flanking me backstage for the last few variations. At one or two points it was aurally like having angels on my shoulders.

Below a shot from the rafters with the whole lineup for This Concert Will Fall In Love With You. Left to right Glen Capra on piano, at the back me in the grey jacket flanked by Matt’s new choir The Brighton Choral Project, in front of us, Adam Bushell on vibraphone, Cem Muhurrem on violin, Tom Norrell on marimba, and Matt Pollard with his back to the camera conducting us all.

Three Portraits for Poet and Piano

So I began rehearsals yesterday of the last two parts of Three Portraits for Poet and Piano. The first piece is Minotaur which is on the Clameur album. The second two have been finished this week and are new-born. I sat with Glen Capra yesterday going through them. Excellent music.

The second piece is called Ophelia, and has some beautiful resonant sinking chords. The final piece, Kafka is essentially comedic and ends with the piano lid being slammed. They will have their world premiere this Saturday. Here are the three poems they are based on.

Minotaur

Forehead gored by migraine;
pain has sharpened my senses.
I hear mosquitoes in the garden
there are clouds of them conspiring,
one for every promise.

You promised me this garden
somewhere private; somewhere lovely,
now it’s empty bar some black dog
whose hairs I find everywhere.
and still I sense it panting
among the sculptures, fin de siècle,
made by someone very clever.

Rose-choked, the garden walls break
over the cracked slabs. I tread petals
I make the divine slime of rose heads
the ecru of ex-white petal falls.

Or I listen to the radio
snorting with uncontrollable laughter
or I read my leisurely books
near the ornamental fishpond
the copper-coloured fishpond.

The one I can never look in.

Ophelia

You write your name on water
And then you sink
A wet halo shrinks
Around your face
And you sink
Lips last.

Ophelia
Why didn’t you float like the others?
Why didn’t you drift downstream with a glut
of Pre-Raphaelite flowers?

I’m terrified that you’ve stopped breathing
or that you gulp the dim, death-gladdening murk
Where everything’s refracted
Bending the sticks and searching arms.

For you are not where you seem to be
And your ears are full of sand
And there’s a stone in your soul so big
I’m not sure if you want me
To lift you up or hold you under.

Kafka

I fell asleep—as normal—then kerpow!
Those puff-cheeked cherubs of wind and fate
changed me to a cockroach again.

I discover everything about me’s wrong:
the carapace, nauseating wings,
spitty, finger-faced mandibles, while
my unspeakable eyes compound it all.

Choking, I dodge her frantic death sprays,
the savage clubbing of her broom
to skitter across the beer-sticky floor.

All I asked of fate was a fair wind,
a simple swoosh of a butterfly’s wing
would have sufficed. Instead
dear God! it’s come to this: crunch time.