Tag Archives: Gerard Willems

THE SONG COMPANY : BRAHM’S REQUIEM

Antony Pitts, Artistic Director of The Song Company
The Song Company. Pic Christopher Hayles Photography
The Song Company. Pic Christopher Hayles Photography

A most luxurious, splendidly performed concert by the Song Company filmed at the City Recital Hall Sydney and also streamed by the Australian Digital Concert Hall.

First we heard a thrilling performance of Thomas Tallis’s “Sancte Deus” – starkly dramatic, with voices soaring, flowing and rippling, followed without pause into Marc’Antonio Ingegneri’s “Tenebrae factae sunt.” Both were many layered and highly structured, with thunderous flourishes of voices  at other times haunting and pleading,

Antony Pitts,  Artistic Director,  then took to the stage and mentioned that the concert was partly in memoriam of Australian composer Nigel Butterley, who had passed away that day,  but that it was also dedicated to “those we have loved and lost” during the pandemic. Pitts also acknowledged the twelve new apprentices on stage with the Company for the first time. We were then asked by Pitts to imagine ourselves in the “intimacy of a 19th-century salon” for the rest of the concert: two works by Brahms, finishing with the German Requiem.

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Funk Engine Fires Up

FUNK ENGINE Band Leader Siebe Pogson
FUNK ENGINE Band Leader Siebe Pogson

2014 is a special year for young bass player, band leader and composer, Siebe Pogson.  As well as recording his first CD with his jazz-funk outfit, FUNK ENGINE, he graduated from the Sydney Conservatorium with a degree in classical piano studying under Gerard Willems.  Although Siebe continues to teach and perform on keyboards for years it’s been the electric bass that was his first musical love.  “I tried out for the jazz course at the Conservatorium and did not get in, instead I had 3 great years working on piano and taking jazz courses on the side.  When I look back, I kind of had the best of both worlds”, said Siebe.

Whilst studying, Siebe met Nish Manjunath, (tenor sax) Holly Conner (Drums) and Felix Lalanne (guitar) who are all jazz students at the “Con”. Funk Engine was born!  With the encouragement of his bass guitar teacher, the great Steve Hunter, Siebe also began to write for the new group.  “Steve is an amazing bass player”, Siebe commented, “He is also a fantastic composer.  He told me I should write music and form a band so I did!” Continue reading Funk Engine Fires Up