On Saturday 5 December at 3pm Spitalfields Festival presents an online concert which features Susannah Self’s exciting new commission: a violin, viola and piano work called FAST. The concert is inspired by fast food!
Last month saw the première of Susannah Self’s The Frontline Worker performed by The Skipton Camerata, part of the Lockdown Diaries project with scripts provided by actor and writer, Kamal Kaan.
When every live performance for 2020 was cancelled, North Yorkshire’s only professional orchestra hatched a plan, to keep its creativity flowing and offering much needed employment to freelance musicians and composers.
Ben Crick, the founder of Skipton Building Society Camerata, knew the only viable option was to take their usual live performance online, as they launched an appeal to gather different experiences of lockdown.
The five shortlisted stories were crafted by Bradford writer Kamal Kaan and given to some of the UK’s leading composers, many internationally renowned, to write the music to match the mood of the words. The composers are Dr Susannah Self, Jake Adams, John Kefala Kerr, Rania Chrysostomou and Nicholas Olsen.
The musicians, including top violinist and orchestra leader Sophie Rosa, were filmed as actors performed the Orchestra Lockdown Diaries, without an audience, at Kala Sangam Arts Centre in Bradford.The Skipton Camerata
About The Frontline Worker, Dr Susanah Self said:
This commission is so interesting because of its orchestration for actor/narrator and seven players (vln, cb, cl, bsn, tpt, trb, perc) and because of the intriguing script created by Kamal Kaan.
The Frontline Worker which is a combination of stand-up comedy interfaced with the tragedy of a nurse faced with the lack of PPE and ventilators in the NHS during Lockdown. She becomes broken by watching patients die and subsequently leaves her job. There is a Kafkaesque quality to this scenario so I am glad the words will be spoken rather than sung.
Parallel to the anarchic hilarity I want to convey the extremely distressing situation that frontline workers have endured during the Covid crisis.Susannah Self
Well done, Susie! What an interesting project.James Conway, Artistic Director of English Touring Opera
Brilliant, Susie! And a really impressive performance!Howard Skempton , composer
A really effective piece, love the tender 7/4 stuff at the end, so beautiful, thanks for writing it.Ben Crick conductor of Skipton Camerata
Contact the Skipton Camerata press officer Alison Bellamy for more details about the Skipton Camerata and their projects, or to arrange further interviews with Ben Crick, creative director of Skipton Camerata or any of the composers or musicians. He can talk about how the virus has affected the arts and live performance industry and also about the bid to keep orchestras alive.
Alison Bellamy email
Composers Edition is proud to present Susannah Self ‘s music by publishing her works, including The Frontline Worker and FAST which are available for perusal and purchase through our website.