Contact Trio Apaches
1.) ruffian or hooligan
2.) the name adopted by a group of 'artistic outcasts', including Ravel and Stravinsky, in the early 1900s
French A-pash [noun]
It was during Ashley's festival in the beautiful city of Lincoln that we played our first concert together as an official trio, with a programme that included Sally Beamish's The Seafarer.
That week, while we worked on the piece and formed ideas for our new ensemble, we became increasingly excited by the idea of challenging what we thought of as conventional trio programming; seeking collaborations which would bring something fresh to the genre, and - perhaps most importantly - commissioning new works would be important elements of our future as a group.
One thing was clear from the very beginning; The Seafarer should be the focal point for our first album. We'd fallen in love with the piece (and the poem) and it represented exactly the kind of collaborative repertoire we wanted to explore. A long and fruitless search for a suitable sea-related companion piece led us to the conclusion that this was the moment for our first commission. Asking Sally to transcribe La Mer quickly became our favourite idea.
Our proposal was initially met with polite laughter from Sally, but we kept nagging away and soon persuaded her it was something that absolutely had to be done. Once she'd relented, Sally cleared her diary and started work almost immediately.
Working on the first draft of Sally's score was enormous fun, even if the act of converting this most vibrant and dynamic of orchestral scores into a work which sounded as if it'd always been intended as a piano trio was extremely challenging. Sally was amazingly open-minded to our suggestions, diplomatic when we proposed changes that were frankly a bit rubbish and angelically patient as she listened in on our arguments over an oboe solo that Tom was determined to claim for himself. We got there in the end and we're all immensely proud of the final result.
The recording sessions were also quite an experience. Running The Seafarer through for the first time with Willard White took everyone's breath away and actually left Sally in tears, so we all had to stop for a cup of tea to recover. The power that Willard brought to his narration was completely overwhelming.
We've had an immensely enjoyable time creating this album and, above all else, we hope that comes across when you listen to it.
Trio Apaches would like to thank all the members of 'Les Amis de la Mer' for their support of this project. Click here for more details.
In our own words...
Every now and then, amidst lots of silliness, we manage to articulate ourselves coherently so that the rest of the world can make sense of our ramblings. Here, after much painstaking editing, are a few of our thoughts on all things Seafarer:
Debussy rocking some awesome beachwear, circa 1905.