At Music Forum Hradec Králové 2016

3-p1140252On Thursday 3 November I had the privilege of drawing at this concert given by the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra. The programme consisted of three pieces by contemporary American composers and my drawing was to accompany one of the works –  City Noir by John Adams. Adams wrote that this three movement orchestral work was inspired by, ‘the tenor and milieu of the late Forties and early Fifties as it was expressed in the sensational journalism of the era and in the dark, eerie chiaroscuro of the Hollywood films that have come to define the period’. To prepare for the concert  I made a number of practice drawings at home while listening to a recording of the work…

…but before the rehearsal with the orchestra when we set up the Tagtool in the concert hall  I immediately realised that I needed to make some changes and simplify the drawing.1-p1070819Dima took the photo below of my final image at the orchestra’s dress rehearsal. I replaced the palm tree in my initial sketches  with a lamp post to give more prominence to the people in the diner and added the large foreground figure in the hat to change the perspective of the image behind the orchestra.2-p1070835City Noir is about 35 minutes long – not a lot of time to develop such a big drawing! I was so glad that I was able to draw at the dress rehearsal before the performance but I found that trying to replicate this image twice in the space of a few hours was no easy matter. It was one of those occasions where ‘practice didn’t make perfect’  –  and although I managed to avoid some of the ‘mistakes’ that I made in the earlier drawing, other parts I felt worked better at the rehearsal. But the audience couldn’t know this of course, and I got a beautiful bouquet of flowers at the end of the performance…4-p1140258…definitely a night to remember!

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