The composer – performer collaboration is a fascinating aspect in the process of making music. Paul Alan Barker tells us about his work with clarinettist Joan Lluna:
“Joan Lluna is a remarkable clarinettist as well as a wonderful player to collaborate with. We met socially, as neighbours in England. But I was living in Mexico when he suggested I write something for him and the Brodsky Quartet that was not a “normal” clarinet quintet.
In Memoriam: for those who fall in time of war was commissioned with Arts Council funds and has since received dozens of performances all over the world, received extraordinary reviews and has been televised. Like so many of my works, it is chamber music theatre: the musicians are directed on stage. Then he invited me to direct an experiment, a concert of new works where the audience would perceive the evening as two complete acts, rather than a sequence (Barcelona 2012).
More recently Joan Lluna commissioned Songs of Peace, a chamber-vocal work which explores the lives of five artists in time of war.
Joan is a very physical player. His movements are an embodied response to the music, like a dancer or an actor. He understands how music is so much more than sound and demonstrates instinctively how close acting is to playing music. I am threatening to write an opera for him!” (Paul Alan Barker)