#MiddayMusic presents Illiam Quane (trumpet) and Lewis Banks (saxophone)

This week our Young Artists Illiam Quane (trumpet) and Lewis Banks (saxophone) performed for #MiddayMusic. You can watch their videos below. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to catch Alena Walentin (flute) perform next Monday and Connor Fogel (piano) perform next Wednesday, both at midday.  Details of their repertoire can be found in the details section on YouTube.  All of our #MiddayMusic videos can be watched on our exclusive playlist.

Lewis Banks: A time for reflection and refocus

Contemporary saxophonist, Lewis Banks, says the year has been a time for reflection and refocus. “What I’m doing versus what I want to do, that kind of thing”. One thing I’ve been thinking a lot about lately is the way in which we perform as classical musicians. “When I go to classical concerts, I often don’t feel that performer-audience connection, which I think is because the music is easily over rehearsed, over polished. I’m really attracted to the rawness and energy of musicians from the early 20th century, and I think that’s because they hadn’t developed a predisposition for perfectionism that’s been created by an overwhelming focus on how we’re saying things musically, vs what we’re saying.  A focus on the former, and you hear a saxophonist, clarinettist, pianist etc.  A focus on the latter and you hear the person, and that’s what creates an honest connection.

Over the last few months, I’ve been working on a few things, including a project for saxophone and electronics/backing track, for which I’m commissioning two new composers to write music to be featured alongside my new arrangement of Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint. I’m really interested in experimenting and making acoustic instruments sound more synthesised and electric,” says the winner of the Maisie Lewis Young Artists’ Fund 2018. “Last year I commissioned and devised a music and film project, Afterlife, inspired by David Eagleman’s book, Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives.”

For the #MiddayMusic concert, Lewis performs ‘Coltrane’, a musical tribute to saxophonist John Coltrane by composer David Heath. Heath said of the piece “Many years ago in the late 1970s I had a vision of my most important musical influence, saxophonist John Coltrane, playing solo on a mist covered mountain in Tibet. His playing echoed down the mountain and slowly seemed to fill the world with light. ‘Coltrane’ is the piece I could hear him playing.” Lewis says, “Ultimately, our work as musicians pales into insignificance when you compare it to emergency services and key workers, but we can help to bring a little more light into people’s lives. David’s music is full of it.”

You can find out Lewis on the Musicians’ Company profile page and at lewisbankssaxophone.com


Illiam Quane: Keeping busy with new projects and plans 

Running, rehearsing and rescheduling (his wedding) have been the nature of life for trumpeter and Ibex Brass member, Illiam Quane, who also teaches online from his London home.

“I’ve also had great fun getting my piano skills back up to scratch by bashing through some Beethoven sonatas. Cooking is another skill I’ve been practising, but there’s a lot more learning to do on that front!  In addition to being a member of Ibex Brass, with whom I’m looking forward to playing again with in 3D, I’m very excited about another couple of projects: Quartet Menine, a London brass quartet that started in Manchester, and the “New ‘New Manchester’ ‘Manchester School’ School” (NNMMSS). We’re composing/arranging ourselves a brand new programme that will be a crossover between the two projects. Horn player, Will Padfield, is both the horn player in Menine and horn player in the video for the #MiddayMusic series.

‘Worship Music’, the piece I’ve chosen to play for the #MiddayMusic piece, is an NNMMSS composition. It was written by Frafreft Treftrafruft for trumpet, horn and electronics. I chose it because for me it evokes so vividly how it feels to be suddenly struck by the good news of the Bible while everything in the surrounding world seems to be spiraling into chaos, as it currently feels. I’ve often found myself reading the Bible or in church singing a hymn with a mind swirling with anxieties about work, money and loved ones. The Bible helps to smash through those fears, bringing with them an overwhelming sense of wonder, reverence, refuge and gratitude. It’s not an experience I can describe in words, but Treftrafruft’s ‘Workship Music’ paints a pretty good picture.”

Find out more about Illiam and Ibex Brass on the Musicians’ Company profile page