There must be a special area of heaven reserved for those people who regularly invite musicians to give concerts in their homes, especially one as beautiful as that of Bob and Elizabeth Boas in central London. An especially saintly aspect here is that they host try-outs of programmes which fairly often contain new music.
This was the case with a programme assembled by Samantha Crawford (soprano) and Lana Bode (piano) titled "dream.risk.sing" which they intend to tour and record in the autumn. Amongst it is music from my Jessye Norman cycle woman.life.song and I've been working hard with Lana on piano versions of two of the songs. The whole programme I would say aims to portray women's actual lived experience - not always pleasant subjects, including stillbirths and threatening relationships, amongst other, more gladdening and even light-hearted material. Music and poetry by women creators is increasingly foregrounded these days (certainly more so than when we first launched woman.life.song at a rather perplexed group of Jessye Norman fans twenty years ago) but to hear these sentiments expressed in musical form felt new and raw.
All the better to hear the programme in front of a small, sympathetic 'at home' group of involved listeners. Afterwards feedback came flying - wonderful to get it straight away, and so useful. Thanks again to Bob and Elizabeth for giving this sort of thing a regular home.