Is there a performer who inspired (or inspires) you?
This is quite a tough question because there are several performers, musicians and professionals that I have been inspired by!
In terms of marimba players, Nebojsa Jovan Zivkovic. His selection of pieces were the first I practised on marimba, and his repertoire has left an impact in how I perform on marimba with 4 mallets. Plus, one of his pieces features a solo djembe so, here’s another instrument to collect!
I met Ney Rosauro at the Royal Northern College of Music, and he kindly autographed one of his own pieces that I own. I was heavily inspired by Keiko Abe. Her repertoire requires a lot of concentration and attention to musical detail: in every concert, I always make sure to include at least one Keiko Abe piece to play.
And finally, Evelyn Glennie. The first time I saw her live was at Folly Farm Theatre in Begelly, Wales. Seeing her perform on a set of flowerpots while vocalising an impromptu sequenza set my imagination on fire. She was the sole reason behind my love for percussion over other musical families.
Finally, you perform such a range of repertoire (from BSO Resound to brass bands and percussion ensembles) tell us about one or two of your most memorable performances…
I have played in so many performances during the past 19 years, I feel old having to remember them all! There are a few memorable performances that do stick out to me.
Performing at the BBC Proms twice in a decade has felt important. In 2012, I performed as part of the National Youth Orchestra of Wales, in collaboration with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, in Leonard Bernstein’s Mass — it was quite a big production as the piece featured a blues band, children choirs, a set of singers and two orchestras. Although I played a small role, in my mind, it is not inconsequential: the performance meant so much to me moving forward. In 2018, I was a part of BSO Resound with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra during a Relaxed Concert. It felt nostalgic to once again fall into the cusp of being a part of a big orchestra and really display my skills as a percussionist. I think Mr Tumble also agrees!
Another memorable performance that stands out was performing Bartok’s Sonata for 2 Pianos and Percussion at the Harwich Festival in St. Nicholas Church. I performed this piece as part of the Trinity Laban Percussion Ensemble and lugging all that percussion to the event was certainly an exhausting effort! There have been long rehearsals with the pianists, breaking down every section of the piece, rearranging the percussion setup and working with another percussionist to share instruments to tackle this hard task. I found all of this quite a challenge (I like a good challenge), but in the end the audience loved it!
BSO Resound is supported by Allianz Musical Insurance in its mission to inspire the next generation of disabled talent through its performances and workshops across the South West and beyond. Find out more about BSO Resound and the ensemble’s forthcoming performances.