Festival In­ter­view: Ethan Maltby on The Mas­ters of Mys­tery

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Bridge Place -

Com­poser Ethan Maltby is a lec­turer at Can­ter­bury Christ Church Univer­sity and one half of Don­nelly and Maltby Pro­duc­tions.

Their lat­est com­mis­sion, The Mas­ters of Mys­tery, will fea­ture for four per­for­mances at this year’s festival.

Ethan scored the multi award-win­ning fea­ture film Son of Cain and com­posed the score for the 2008 and 2009 FA Cup Fi­nal Opening Cer­e­monies. Now the festival has com­mis­sioned him to present the world-pre­miere of The Mas­ters of Mys­tery:

“We orig­i­nally liked the idea of these two bril­liant kids – who ev­ery­one as­sumed didn’t know any­thing be­cause they were too young – set against these scary crim­i­nals. But the teenagers are run­ning cir­cles around ev­ery­one else be­cause they’re much smarter than them. I wanted to think of a way of em­pow­er­ing young peo­ple – older gen­er­a­tions write you off as be­ing use­less, but ac­tu­ally you’re per­fectly smart, func­tion­ing peo­ple with great ideas and minds of your own.” ‘It’s par­al­lel­ing a lot of the con­tem­po­rary is­sues that are going on to­day, but through an ado­les­cent’s world­view. Es­sen­tially, we wanted to write a mys­tery, which is some­thing that we’ve never done be­fore. There aren’t a lot of mu­si­cals that are ‘proper’ mur­der mys­ter­ies, and we wanted to ex­plore that. We’re thrilled to be do­ing it in Can­ter­bury, and that the festival and The Mar­lowe, Can­ter­bury Christ Church Univer­sity and Arts Coun­cil have sup­ported us. We feel re­ally lucky that some­one has said, ‘we’ll take a chance on you and sup­port what you’re going to cre­ate’. It’s great to be able to write some­thing that you know is going to go in front of an au­di­ence, so we feel re­ally priv­i­leged that we’ve had this op­por­tu­nity.”

Singing, laugh­ing, crying, emot­ing, think­ing. I was six and peo­ple looked at me sud­denly.

Play­ing con­certs. Not play­ing. Th­elo­nious Monk, Ben­jamin Brit­ten, Nina Si­mone I aim to turn up. Work harder. I had a ten­dency to busk my way through, us­ing nat­u­ral tal­ent. I now know that you have to hon­our any tal­ent you are given.

Ethan Maltby

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