I'd been planning the interview with Joshua Bell for a while. The schedule had been very hectic, and Bell tends to be a bit touchy on performance days, so the timing had to be just right.
He's a very easy character to interview, once you manage to get him into the room. He and I agreed to leave it until after the Amsterdam Concert, and the interview took us about 7 minutes to shoot.
Turns out he is facebook friends with my wife, whose career he is following.
The concert footage was a challenge to film, as the Kurhaus in the quaint German city of Wiesbaden didn't seem to have an inch of floor space that didn't contain an audience member; so hardly any room for a tripod (let alone two!).
The town of Kassel, Germany. The home of the Brothers Grimm. This was the scene for today's video shoot, while on tour with the Australian Youth Orchestra.
ABC Classic FM's Emma Ayres helped me out on this one as she did the last video, with a few introductory words to camera in her trademark calm radio tones. This one focuses on the thoughts of the orchestra's principal timpanist and his role in Stravinsky's Rite of Spring.
Amsterdam, the city known to all good classical musicians as the home of the Concertgebouw, a concert hall that rivals all others.
This was last night's venue for the latest miniature film of the Australian Youth Orchestra.
Maestro Eschenbach's plane was slightly delayed which gave me the opportunity to do a quick spot with ABC FM's Emma Ayres who speaks so beautifully on the radio. This was the launching point for the rest of the video. Eschenbach, as usual provided a few verbal gems for the camera along with some compelling rehearsal footage.
Have a look at the fifth installment of this series of videos:
A tiny village in lower Austria called Grafenegg is the set for the latest video, shot during the Australian Youth Orchestra's tour of Europe. William Barton is a true character and good fun to be around.
He's the star of the large scale orchestral piece by Peter Sculthorpe, called "Earth Cry", which features the didgeridoo.
When I interviewed him on the castle grounds with a hand held camera, I realized for the first time how big he is in stature. I had to really hoist the camera up high to get a well framed shot of him. He had some nice words to say about youth and music. Have a look at the video below, it's just over two minutes.
Joshua Bell and Christoph Eschenbach have been chatty and fun back stage after concerts, even though they are in the throes of performing a piece for the first time: Scheherazade by Rimsky Korsakov, which has a ripping solo violin part throughout. I'll interview Joshua Bell in a couple of days after the Amsterdam concert is out of the way and he's a bit more relaxed.
I managed two days of rest in New York before getting on a Berlin Air flight, seemingly crammed with screaming babies.
The film project continues, with three webisodes up on line now, and five more to go. I'm producing one for each concert day so it's going to be a busy time. Thankfully, I managed to get some sleep on the plane despite the chorus of tiny vocal chords.
The orchestra management has booked us all in to high-end hotels, which means nice big breakfasts with fruit, eggs, prosciutto and smoked salmon, all mixing together in the one stomach....
I paid a visit to a couple of monuments to shoot some B-roll to match an interview with Martin Alexander, 22 year old violist, who had gone off and rented bicycles with a group. Brandenburg gate was their destination. When I was here in the eighties, the monument was near the Berlin wall, and fenced off from the public during which time I'd crossed at Check Point Charlie, changed money on the black market at 5:1, and had dinner in revolving restaurant in the TV tower with an American tourist who got so drunk that when got up to leave, he buttoned his chair into his coat and dragged it across the room. So easy to drift off topic....
Dinner last night with Emma Ayres the ABC Classic FM presenter, who turns out to have been a professional violist in a past life. She's sending back podcasts each day.
The hard part about this gig is keeping batteries charged and all the camera equipment ready to go, amidst bus trips and early morning domestic flights, while keeping the artistic planning of the videos at the forefront of my mind.
Last night, a spanner in the works: "not permitted to film during the concert"... so I had to string together bits of Joshua Bell playing a 'stop-start' rehearsal, but it came out nicely. Take a look: