Corey Mwamba


Packing, Playing

Gah. It's half-past three in the morning. I have been sleeping fairly well of late too... but I'm up now. I'm probably thinking about which of my hillocks of general rubbish I want to set fire to before I move [yes, again].

But it isn't the relentless amount of packing that's making me tired—mainly because I haven't done anywhere near enough yet—but just quiet bits of work and laptop stress. I've just finished the music for a play called The Visit [which you can learn about here, if you don't know it]. It's being performed by a very talented group of teenagers who are working with Nottingham Playhouse. There's always a lot of energy in the room and I'm happy to say it's always positive, up-beat. The commitment that the cast have shown is very reassuring. For my part, I've created the music by hacking up bits of J. S. Bach's St Matthew's Passion and Brahms' Piano Quartet in C minor [Opus 60] and making beats—about twelve hours in total of listening and re-listening as I chop the pieces into... er... pieces.

All this was great fun until the hard drive on my beautiful laptop died. I was backing up. Mechanical failure. I phoned around. Quotes of horrible, vicious amounts of money. All that could be heard was my silent scream...

So I bought a new solid state hard drive—no moving parts, so at least the mechanical failure won't happen. AND it's silent, which makes it amazing for audio recording... I then sat and considered the fact that I would have to make all the pieces for the play from scratch. A few days later, I began.

In the middle of this high drama, I went to the Richard Attenborough Centre to guest with a organ/drums duo called Hopscotch Boulevard. It was a soul/boogaloo jam affair, and fun was had by all. But the space... what a lovely space! It was the first time I'd been, and I got to look around before we did the sound-check [at which, as it happens, it was decided that I didn't need amplifying. And I didn't. And I felt very good about the sound. Just like at the trio gig—good room, no amplification, great sound. Is this the way to go? I think so, my friends] and saw a moving visual arts exhibition by an artist whose name now escapes me. It was about re-tracing her grandmother's footsteps through Lithuania during the Second World War... I knew I should have written it down.

I also played a brief solo concert for an Asian women's art group—most of the building has good acoustics, and it seems like a relaxing space. It was just a shame you couldn't even buy a coffee there in the afternoon. But I'm hoping I'll be back there soon [and since they've got a Bosendorfer piano, I suspect I know who I'll be bringing...].

You'll be happy to know that I just finished all the music for the play yesterday. Go see it if you can [details on the Gigs page, as always]! I reckon I'll be there for the first night, if not the last... although it does coincide with the day I'm supposed to be moving. It's all fun.

I'm obviously not leaving Derby, by the way. Just a bit further out of town, and with that all-coveted room of the non-driving musician, a garage that can be used as a studio. And the new instrument comes next month too! It's like Christmas. But warmer. And less wrapping. And no massive cooked bird.

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