Marc Estibeiro

I arrived at Heriot by car at about 9:30 and was given a very warm welcome by Martin, who offered me breakfast and a cup of tea. I accepted the cup of tea but declined the breakfast as I had already been very well fed by my brother, at whose house I had spent the night. Next to arrive was Alex on his mountain bike – very impressive! Introductions and formalities over, I got to work with Martin, mapping my Max patch to his control surface. I was very impressed with the way in which he understood the patch straight away and had solutions at his fingertips to the various problems I presented him with.

At about 10:30 the musicians arrived and began to rehearse the piece. It was a wonderful experience to hear music that until then I had only imagined in my head – the care and commitment they gave to the score really made the acoustic part come alive. The challenge would be to find a way to integrate the electronic part so that it supported the sound world created by the instruments without dominating. After a few hours of rehearsing and creating presets with Martin we were ready to try again with the musicians. For safety’s sake, I wanted to use a pre-recorded sound file to create the electronic part but Martin insisted, rightly, that I should live dangerously and use the live feed from the players during the performance. This we did, and after a few takes we had a performance we were happy with.

The next step was to sit down with Alex and produce a mix for the blog. After a little tweaking we finished the day with two satisfying mixes – one of the acoustic part on its own and another with the electronics.

I left Heriot at 5:15 and was back in Staffordshire by 9:30.

Altogether this has been an amazing and rewarding day. Thanks to Martin and Alex and the four musicians and also to Jo for making everything run so smoothly.

And I forgot to mention the delicious lunch…and the cups of tea…and the views…

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Mr McFall’s Chamber is a registered charity: SC028348

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