Collaborative commission with composer Liz Lane

Filton Concert Brass were due to be taking part in a joint concert alongside friends from Lydbrook Band in early July, at which Anthony Smith and Joanna Ainsworth were due to premiere a new euphonium duet version of Liz Lane’s ‘Robin, Robin’. With the concert cancelled following the outbreak of COVID-19, both euphonium principals thought it would be a lovely idea to ask Liz to write something fresh that could be recorded and published in a socially distanced manner during lockdown.

The result was this beautiful duet entitled Welcome to the Weather, which was originally written for voice, piano and cello as part of the larger song cycle Brightest Day a Cloud. The poem Welcome to the Weather reflects the Danish culture of ‘hygge’ (the feeling of huddling next to a nice warm fire), an experience which has become popular in Britain. The poem was originally part of the song cycle Brightest Day a Cloud, featuring a selection of poems about the weather and travel, and commissioned by Danish trio Corde di Gioia. The poems were jointly chosen by the composer and performers, who regularly give concerts both in their home country of Denmark and the United Kingdom.

This movement, Welcome to the Weather, is a setting of words by Jennifer Henderson and evocatively describes the changing seasons whilst inviting us to open our senses to the beauty of the world, a particular poignant note as we all watched spring turn to summer from the confinement of our own homes.

Welcome to the Weather by Liz Lane, euphonium duet featuring Anthony Smith and Joanna Ainsworth from Filton Concert Brass and Lydbrook Band

"It's a pleasure doing collaborations, and especially at the moment, when we are so distanced from everyone else. These collaborations bring people together to enjoy something we all have in common: making music," comments Liz Lane, Gloucestershire-based composer.

Anthony Smith, principal euphonium at Filton Concert Brass, said of the collaboration: "Many of us have learned new skills over this period and it has been great to collaborate with Jo to produce this video and (virtually!) play a duet which I am sure will serve as a reminder of 2020, a year unlike any other."

Jo, principal euphonium of Lydbrook Band says, "Every part of the brass band movement has given their time and energy to innovatively continue to make music and collaborating with Anthony and Liz has been an opportunity that lockdown has provided. Learning the technology to record audio and video and join it all together has been fun and something to continue after lockdown as it’s a fantastic practice resource.

"It’s wonderful to hear chords and joint musical expressions which you don’t get unless you’re playing with another person. It’s a different way of performing as this is a new piece so you can’t research other interpretations and you have no practice time with your duet partner so it’s fun to see how the interpretations turn out.

"I’m eager for more projects as I love having playing and practice goals and exploring new music!”

Liz Lane is currently working on another collaboration project called 'Bluebird', the bird of happiness. The project involves miniature songs from Belinda Evans, Liz Lane, and friends. Inspired by times of isolation and reflection, telling stories and finding a poetic path through troubling times. Connecting through creative collaboration.

Visit www.facebook.com/bluebirdcollaborative to find out more.

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