Pas­sion to push pipe’s po­ten­tial

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - GIL­LIAN WILLS

LEG­ENDARY recorder player Genevieve Lacey’s en­thu­si­asm for what she calls that “dear lit­tle in­stru­ment” is in­fec­tious.

“Its pos­si­bil­i­ties are infinite,” she said.

“I haven’t found the edges yet. I play to its di­rect­ness. You’re only lim­ited by your imag­i­na­tion.”

Lacey who grew up in Pa­pua New Guinea is in Townsville for the Aus­tralian Fes­ti­val of Cham­ber Mu­sic this week.

She took up the recorder when she was five, only be­cause it was the in­stru­ment of choice of her brother, five years older. “It’s af­ford­able,” she said. “You can quickly play tunes and get plea­sure from it.

“De­spite its sim­plic­ity, it’s a wooden pipe that crosses all cul­tures.”

Lacey owns 25. Each has own voice and mood.

She talks about them as if they are liv­ing souls.

Lacey con­di­tions her in­stru­ments with al­mond oil and wraps them in deluxe cloth.

Most mu­sic teach­ers run cover when recorders men­tioned.

Played en masse by keen be­gin­ners can be a pun­ish­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for the ear.

Yet, down- to- earth Lacey, de­spite all her fame and in­ter­na­tional tour­ing, ap­plauds the hum­ble pipe’s ac­ces­si­bil­ity. its for are “It suits me,” she said. “There aren’t any frills. The au­di­ence has high ex­pec­ta­tions when a vi­o­lin­ist walks on stage. Not the case when a recorder player ap­pears.”

Or­ches­tras can steer clear of the recorder as a solo in­stru­ment. Lacey’s goal is to change this. She does a great job. All of Aus­tralia’s ma­jor or­ches­tras have re­cruited her as soloist in­clud­ing the Aus­tralian and Mel­bourne Cham­ber or­ches­tras.

To re­fine her golden mellow tone she prac­tises half of each day.

“I’m ob­ses­sive,” she said. “You have to be.”

Many com­posers have writ­ten mu­sic for the recorder at her re­quest: An­drea Keller, Elena Kat­sCh­ernin, Paul Grabowsky and Peter Sculthorpe.

“When I play there’s a weight­less­ness, a time­less qual­ity,” she said.

“I feel as if I’m just an el­e­ment in a piece of mu­sic.

“It’s like stum­bling across a magic por­tal like a se­cret gar­den or Nar­nia.

“I never know how to ac­cess the por­tal or where it is but when I stum­ble through it, it’s dreamy.” >> Genevieve Lacey will per­form in the AFCM’s fi­nal con­cert Fes­ti­val Farewell – Fi­nal Jam­boree at Townsville Civic The­atre on Satur­day at 7.30pm. THE Aus­tralian Fes­ti­val of Cham­ber Mu­sic con­tin­ues to shine this year, with a free per­for­mance at the Townsville Hospi­tal yes­ter­day af­ter­noon from a well- known clas­si­cal gui­tarist.

Pa­tients were en­ter­tained by in­ter­na­tional artist Craig Og­den who has made his AFCM de­but this year with var­i­ous per­for­mances be­ing held through­out the event.

Og­den per­formed in four ar­eas of the hospi­tal for day pa­tients, out­pa­tients and chil­dren, help­ing those await­ing medi med­i­cal l t treat­mentt through­outh the day with some­thing a bit dif­fer­ent to pass the time.

Og­den said peo­ple re­ally ap­pre­ci­ated the mu­sic and it was a lovely thing to do.

“I love play­ing gui­tar. I’m happy do­ing that wher­ever it may be,” he said.

“There is some­thing special about tak­ing it to peo­ple rather than them com­ing to me.

“The main re­ac­tion came from the che­mother­apy ward, where they re­ally ap­pre­ci­ated the live mu­sic.”

The Aus­tralian clas­si­cal gui­tarist, whose al­bums have topped the UK clas­si­cal charts, said the gui­tar was a niche in­stru­ment in the cham­ber mu­sic world. This was the first op­por­tu­nity he had to come to the AFCM.

Og­den has per­formed con­cer­tos with all the main UK or­ches­tras and many abroad and reg­u­larly ap­pears as soloist and cham­ber mu­si­cian at ma­jor venues, col­lab­o­rat­ing with the UK’s top artists and en­sem­bles. DANNI SHAFIK

IN­STRU­MEN­TAL ROLE: Recorder player Genevieve Lacey. Pic­ture: RUS­SELL MIL­LARD

CLAS­SIC: Gui­tarist Craig Og­den plays at the Townsville Hospi­tal. Pic­ture: FIONA HARD­ING

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