Well, I managed to get the first 3 symphony scores finished on schedule. Nancy and I were greeted Tuesday evening by the Symphony’s artistic director Rhyll Peel in the sweltering heat of 38 degrees.
Shortly after both the conductor and Leslie Knowles the concert master arrived. Leslie has an impressive list of credits, including 5 children and is a veteran member of the Toronto Symphony since 1973. Despite meeting everyone for the first time, conversation was effortless. And regardless of the hot temperatures, we stayed inside gathered around the sound system where I introduced each composition and we heard my computer generated version of the scores.
I use Finale to score and “Garritan Personal Orchestra to” imitate the sounds and I’m very impressed with their software. I’m certain if I spent more time on it I could get the digital samples to should so real no one could tell the difference. Needless to say, even a few years ago, it wasn’t possible to “hear” what a symphony would sound like before it would be played. It’s amazing how technology facilitates creativity.
Anyway, after hearing the three scores, we all watched a bit of my unfinished Road to Santiago documentary. Then we talked about costume designs, staging, and a few logistical issues.
Dave Warrack had to leave early because of a prior engagement. I’m not quite sure yet what he thought of the scores or the show concept. He was very charming, personable and gracious, but his grounded and charming disposition didn’t allow me much insight into whether he liked the music or not. Regardless, he’s both accomplished and a gentleman, and I’m honored to work with him. I sense it will be a great fit.
Both Rhyll and Leslie were openly enthused and I believe they connected with the project. It’s kind of surreal to be able to co-create with these fellow musical souls. After all, it feels like my journey has come full circle. From being mentored as a classical player for 20 years, to tirelessly climbing my way through the jazz industry for another 20 years, to divorcing jazz at the age of 40, to becoming a pilgrim and having it all snowball into an opportunity to premiere my first symphony at the age of 44.
That’s what the Road to Santiago Suite is all about. That life is really about the journey, not the about destination.
So I will savour the next few months as much as I can.
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SARRIA SALSA – COMPOSED & ARRANGED BY PAUL TOBEY COPYRIGHT MAY 2004