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The Musical Museum – NNO lunchtime concert

The New Note Orchestra played two performances in front of a full house at Brighton Museum on May 4. The event was part of ‘The Musical Museum’, a full day of inspiring sounds designed to “stimulate the body’s natural feel good chemicals and connect us to an improved sense of well being.”

Musical director Conall Gleeson worked with the New Note players to fuse two excerpts from the much longer ‘Sense of Place’ piece, which the orchestra had toured since November last year. The incantatory introductory section was melded to a piece which originally stood alone and had been composed for, and showcased at, the Tedx/NHS event at the IMAX venue in London last August. The ingenuity of the work lies in its simple invitation to freedom of interpretation. Once the underpinning Eb major and G minor chords are rocking they offer steady platform for the gifted performers to move around on with confidence. On this occasion, the handbells chimed in, bass, electric and acoustic guitars weaved memorable phrases and the banjo added irresistible ornamentation, shifting the melodic line up and down.

The audience was deeply moved. Jan, from Polegate, had attended the orchestra’s full concert at the Depot Cinema in Lewes in January – this time she brought her husband along. 

She said: “The musicians are so brave. You can see the music gives them companionship and purpose.”

Jo, from Brighton, who played in the orchestra two years ago, was also in the audience and said she had been inspired to return to the regular sessions at St Luke’s Church on Tuesday evenings.

She said: “The players have had to climb over a lot of hurdles to be on that stage. It’s not just about skill – it’s from the heart.”

Molly Mathieson, the CEO of New Note projects, announced that the orchestra is now developing a new work which will be unveiled later this year. 

Piece written by Journalist John Keenan

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