BBC Proms: Pressure’s beginning to mount

Posted on May 3, 2010


With the first Bank Holiday in May 2010 drawing to a close and the ticket launch, the inevitability of my contribution to the BBC Proms this year is beginning to loom.

I’ve spent a week in Amsterdam soaking up what the Dutch IT elite are considering is the next big thing on the web. The Proms has been a distant memory.

Except for one unexpectedly perky email from the lovely people at the BBC National Orchestra of Wales telling me they’ve sourced some musicians to take part in the mashup and how there are one or two management types who are quite keen to throw their weight behind it and get their hands dirty. It was a lovely email to receive. In fact it reminded me that every now and again, a producer needs a cheery email not only to confirm a project still has legs but also that people are interested in participating. It just helps. I appreciate it.

I’ve alerted arranger Peter Faint of developments and we’ve tentatively agreed a delivery date for the track. It’s all – frankly – getting a wee bit too close for comfort now. Just a bit too real.

There are some caveats though. They are personal caveats, ones I’ve imposed myself. The point of this BBC orchestra mashup is that every orchestra has to take part. If there’s a band missing then I’m going to have to make reference to the fact that one of the groups isn’t there. And if that’s necessary I’m going to have to be ‘in vision’ explaining it. I’ve no shame about it. At the very least I don’t think it would be my fault, but I would – genuinely – like it to be all music as opposed to any script.We’ll see tomorrow whether I’m worrying unnecessarily after I’ve called the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

No news from presenter Tom Service. I am – to be quite honest – assuming he’s not interested.This in itself may not be a problem (other than the risk of damage to my ego – I thought I’d been SO charming in my interview ask to him) because there are one or two other people who have come on to the list marked ‘hugely enthusiastic’ whose contributions to the marketing the arts piece will be just as interesting, quite possibly more so.

The University piece has changed considerably from the initial idea of getting the band I used to conduct when I was a student to do a piece for a web-only concert. Now the idea for the film seems to centre on some unexpected discoveries made in a filing cabinet of the Lancaster University Music Society. There are already some interviews committed to tape featuring present members of the music society committee which I hope when filled out with present day arts professionals may make for something unexpectedly interesting. Mind you, lets not count our chickens just yet.

Finally, whilst booking for tickets opens tomorrow it may in some respects be too late to work on the personal recommendation video I’ve been mulling over in my head over the past few days. This was an idea which didn’t form part of the original pitch but which – now I come to write about it now – I’m still quite keen to get made up. It’s a scarily simple idea and predictably (and tiresomely) personal piece. But if I could just get it spat out over the next few days as well as getting the proper day job work done, I’d be one very proud chap.

Watch this space. And in the meantime, here’s a clip summing up the excitement of the Proms press launch day, assuming you haven’t seen it already.

Posted in: Audio & Music