My treat to myself is a subscription to the Australian Chamber Orchestra concert series. They are a superbly innovative and highly respected ensemble with a worldwide reputation. Basically a string orchestra they perform a mix of traditional and contemporary works supplementing the numbers with wind and percussion on occasion. Guest soloists range from top notch classical instrumentalists or singers to an Irish fiddler, an Oud player and once an Argentinian Bandoneon player.
The thing I love most about their playing is the energy and enthusiasm they bring to the performances. I don’t care what the program is when I go along in pleasurable anticipation. Live acoustic performance has a special, unique quality. The sound is pure—no microphones, no technical, electronic boosting just dedication, talent and enormous expertise. Everything is out there on display with nowhere to hide if things go wrong although I’ve never heard anything go wrong in the four years I’ve been a subscriber.
Last year they performed Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, a work everyone knows-- or at least everyone knows the opening chords. If you don’t think you do, find a version on YouTube and you’ll realise you know it after all.
Da Da Da Daaaa. Da Da Da Daaaa
I haven’t heard it performed live for years. The ACO version was tremendously exciting. Fast without losing any of the customary precision and tone. Beethoven’s Fifth is a classic for a reason and they brought a freshness and vitality to it that had the audience applauding wildly at the end.
As authors for Avalon we’re working in classic forms—the romance, the historical, the mystery, the western but it’s up to us to produce something exciting and fresh each time so that you, our readers, open our books with that same tingle of anticipation with which I attend my ACO concerts. Like the members of the ACO we do it because we love it. If we didn’t love it we wouldn’t bother and neither would they. Musicians and authors take enormous pleasure in the finished product but part of the enjoyment is the work involved in reaching that end point.
It’s not easy—in fact it’s very hard. It takes hours and hours of focus and concentration and more hours of polishing and revising so that every word--or note-- is perfect.
One of my music teachers used to say “Make every note a pearl.” That goes for us as authors too. “Make every word a pearl.”