Projects | Commissioning Fund | Professional Development
A Women in Music Commissioning Fund 2003 award winner
At first glance Clare Connor's
winning idea to create new music for string quartet, using as
inspiration the big band music of Carla Bley, may seem a bit
of an odd one. However it all starts to make sense in the context
of Clare's career so far and her beliefs.
During eight years with
the internationally successful Balanescu Quartet, she notably
set Kraftwerk music for string quartet. "I think that contemporary
classical music has had an alienating effect on people
and music is about communication for me. It's good to play something
that is an easy way in, and then maybe throw in other things
that might be more challenging later."
More recently, Clare is
enjoying interaction with her local community. "It started
even before I was a mother. When I was with the Balanescu, all
our work was abroad. It felt slightly mad - to go to work we
got on an aeroplane! Even then I was trying to set up local
projects for us to be involved with." She now works teaching
music in her daughter's school and has set up her own string
quartet, Red Angel, made up of London-based musicians. Red Angel
have even recently played in Clare's local park, with support
from London Arts. "I really love the whole idea of playing
in the park. It really does draw in people who would never go
down to the South Bank never go to a concert."
Winning the Women in Music
award means a lot to her. "I feel really honoured. It's
the first award or anything I've been for, so I am really delighted."
She is also pleased to be in contact with Carla Bley herself.
"Carla Bley is an inspiring female role model. She has clearly
found her place and is doing something quite striking. She's
sent me some scores as a starting point. I love her music's quirkyness,
it's humour and harmonic strength. What I think we both have
is our own voice and element of surprise. "
Audiences will no doubt
be surprised as well as delighted by the resulting music, when
it premieres at the London Jazz Festival on Sunday 16 November.
Further info: www.red-angel.co.uk