Julian Day and James Crabb
Posted by Dylan Henderson
Tuesday 12th January, 2016
2016 AYO National Music Camp: Blog 5

It is difficult to process the fact that it has already been over a week since we first arrived in Canberra for the 2016 National Music Camp. It is difficult to find words that encapsulate such a week that feels at once so short and yet simultaneously so long. So much has happened in our first week that it has become easy to forget which day it is, easy to become oblivious to the passing of time as we all advance inexorably towards our respective deadlines. For the orchestral musicians at the heart of the program, this was two big concerts in Llewellyn Hall on Saturday night. For the orchestral management students, this was all the work behind the scenes to ensure everything would be in the right place at the right time. For the sound production students, this was setting up microphones and controlling levels to obtain the best possible result for the live broadcast. And for us, the Words About Music participants, this meant compiling a radio feature to be played in the interval feature for the second concert, which would be introduced seamlessly by Julian Day.

For me, the highlight of Saturday’s program was James Crabb directing the orchestra in the Piazzolla from the accordion. His body undulated effortlessly as he conversed with both sides of the orchestra, coaxing voluptuous golden wisps of sound from the accompanying musicians, upon which the intoxicating impeccability of his accordion soared. It was mesmeric, rapturous playing. There was something seriously sexy about it. Days later, the memory of that ravishing performance remains undiminished.

To hear James Crabb perform again tonight as we meet Genevieve Lacey is but further affirmation of how extraordinary this camp really is. As the Canberra air rises to sweltering temperatures, it is easy to feel like things are slowing down and coming to an end after such an intense week. But as Genevieve Lacey begins telling us her unlikely story of how she became a recorder virtuoso, there is renewed inspiration. Don’t give up, she implores us, until you given it everything you have. After answering questions the pair conclude the evening with a dazzling performance of ‘Mary Scott, the Flower of Yarrow’ and ‘Cuckold Come out of the Amrey’ from their recent album Heard This and Thought of You. As the auditorium erupts in thunderous applause, it is clear that nothing is winding down. Things are just getting started.

Words About Music participants will be blogging from AYO National Music Camp.

– Dylan Henderson