We were very saddened by the death of our Trustee, the much loved and hugely respected composer, lecturer and musicologist Peter Reynolds.
Peter was a well-known figure in Welsh music, a passionate champion of contemporary music and we know that he will be greatly missed by so many people. As a mark of respect we decided to dedicate our concert at Swansea International Festival to Peter.
As Peter was such a great advocate for new music, and a teacher at RWCMD, it was very fitting that the concert featured new compositions by young Welsh composer Gareth Moorcraft. The venue was Swansea Museum Collections Centre, a treasure trove of interesting and notable objects and artifacts.
The concert also featured poetry by Lydia White. Some of this was set to music and sung by soprano Céline Wasmer, with two poems read aloud by Lydia. Gareth and Lydia’s work was a response to the fascinating objects and stories that are found in the Museum Collections Centre, and it is their third collaboration. The musicians for the concert were Amarins Wierdsma on violin, Helen Wilson on flute, Anne Denholm on harp, Sam Brough on bassoon, and Jernej Albreht on clarinet.
The audience moved freely around the space throughout the performance. The musicians also moved around, playing from different positions at different times. The strange sight of a bassoon player popping up next to an old anti-aircraft gun was to be expected in this concert. Despite being packed to the rafters with artifacts, sound carried beautifully throughout the cavernous venue, with musicians often playing together but from opposite ends of the space. In the half-light, old cars, statues, boats and stuffed animals seemed to be imbued with magical qualities, becoming characters in the performance in their own right.
It was an affecting evening, different and engaging, and it was an honour to dedicate this concert to Peter Reynolds.