IT&T maintains momentum

If you are unlucky enough to be struggling with SAD at this time of year, then this Newsletter will cheer you up. As the months go by and I find myself once more staring at a near blank page headed,’Newsletter’, each time I think IT&T much have reached the pinnacle of its ascent, so exceptional has been its rate of development and so prolific our activities. Yet each time I marvel that our fortunes are still in the ascendancy: in spite of a lack of any formal funding, in spite of the invasion of technology into the human psyche, IT&T continues to gather momentum, attracting a growing number of Friends and Sponsors and leaving a trail of inspired concerts in its wake.

A recap of our busiest Autumn so far

Autumn 2018 saw our most ambitious programme of events so far - in particular, a run of 3 performances of Handel’s little-known oratorio, ‘The Triumph of Time and Truth’, after which the orchestra is named. This allowed the orchestra to play together over a period, during which the sound of ‘this superb band of instrumental soloists’ evolved and crystallised into something uniquely IT&T. A new Friend recently sent a donation for ‘all the pleasure’ we had given her, but this is a pleasure also experienced by us, the musicians. I think of Edward and Bojan as our ‘secret weapons’ - the truly exceptional musicians who inspire us to become something greater than the sum of our parts which is the alchemy that is Creativity itself. I get so many messages from singers and instrumentalists saying how much they love working with us. They accept lower fees with a smile because being part of this alchemy feeds our souls and justifies the compromises and sacrifices we make in our lives simply to be musicians. And this level of performance is perhaps unique outside London. On another level, we are also famed for our home made cakes! I remember once driving to Cardiff to do a concert in Llandaff Cathedral and not even being offered a glass of water the entire day. A dog would have got better treatment! IT&T is run by musicians who understand how important the small things are and making cakes is part of our commitment to nurture this cooperative we have created and show appreciation to the individuals who make it possible. Thank you!

Fulfilling our ambitions

In terms of numbers, this season, Instruments of Time and Truth has already performed 10 concerts with 6 programmes, coached musicans from Oxybaroxy, provided an intensive course for aspiring young baroque musicians and appeared at evensong in Oxford. Between February and July we will perform a further 17 concerts, as far afield as Spain, which fulfil virtually all our ambitions. These concerts include: collaborations with young players (KEMF, 22nd February; St John Passion, Barnes, March 15th with Tiffins School) and a JDP Cushion concert for the under 5s (3rd March); collaborations with amateur choral societies (SCS, 9th February; Ex Collegio, High Wycombe 23rd February; Leicester Philharmonic Choir, 29th June, De Montfort Hall); collaborations with college choirs (14th April, Merton College); as well as concerts which explore our own musical direction (Musica per la Sera, 22nd February KEMF, with Edward; Concertos and Curiosities, 23rd March, Holywell Music Room, with Chris Bucknall; The King Shall Rejoice, 25th May SJE with Edward and his Oxford Consort of Voices). 

IT&T has already ventured into the realm of opera, with last year’s appearance at Longborough, but this summer will have us collaborating in a very exciting project which is the brainchild of Oxford-based international counter-tenor, William Purefoy. Already known for his innovative approach from I Fagiolini’s ‘The Full Monteverdi’, this time Billy brings us Gluck in a flash-mob style Orphee et Euridice where audience members are wedding guests and the action unfolds, in real time, around them. Although a series of performances is planned, only one takes place in Oxford on 23rd June as part of the Oxford Festival of the Arts. Don’t miss it! 

Finally, the season is rounded off by IT&T appearing with the Oxford Consort of Voices in the West Country Choral Festival in the Assembly Rooms, Bath, on July 7th for Martin Randall Travel.

As always, more information is available on our website www.timeandtruth.co.uk and it is likely that further dates will be added as the year progresses.

Development funded by Woodford Investments

If you read this Newsletter regularly, you will know that IT&T is very fortunate in numbering Woodford Investments among its supporters. With its forward-thinking approach to charitable giving, Woodford has funded our administrator/violist, Aliye Cornish, having a professional fundraiser to mentor her. As a result, Aliye has already achieved considerable success in garnering support for our education project, IT&T InSpires from the PF Charitable Trust, Bishopsdown Charitable Trust and the University Community Fund, and validated Woodford’s pioneering approach. Alongside this, Woodford has provided funds for further development of the orchestra’s activities into the South West. As you can see from the above activity, IT&T’s reputation is starting to extend beyond the locality and human nature being what it is, this is likely to become a self-fulfilling prophecy - where one promoter goes, another will follow.

The Final Hurdle?

But, for me, the most exciting news is the fulfilment of our ultimate ambition: that of establishing a concert series in Oxford. Yesterday, for the first time, all the decision-makers behind IT&T were able to meet and plan a minimum of 4 self-promoted concerts to take place in Oxford that will form the backbone of our 2020-2021 Season. IT&T has never before had the financial resilience to make a commitment of this sort. All we need do now is make sure it becomes an annual occurrence.

Happy 5th Birthday IT&T!

As parent of a former chorister from New College, I was recently invited to a screening of the film, ‘Higgi:Inspiring Voices’, a documentary of the final year Edward spent with the New College Choir. Included in the film is footage of the ‘handover’ concert, where Collegium Novum (the recording orchestra I had fixed for Edward’s CDs), morphed seemlessly into Instruments of Time and Truth for the second half of the concert. This means that on May 30th 2019, IT&T will be 5 years old. To celebrate this incredible journey we will be launching an appeal designed to take IT&T forward to the next decade and beyond, which will be marked by a special evening for Friends on Wednesday, June 5th somewhere is Oxford. Bojan Cicic and Chris Bucknall will provide party pieces and the wine will flow. Do come along and join us - we have all made this happen and we deserve to congratulate ourselves.

Stop Press

I’d like to end this Newsletter with a plug for a concert which has come in at late notice for the Wotton Concert series in Wotton-under-Edge. The programme is adapted from a concert we performed in the Holywell last September, entitled ‘Digital Spaghetti’ and features the maddest concerto you will ever hear: ‘Il Labirinto armonico’ by Locatelli. If you missed it first time, please make the trip to Wotton on Februaury 16th at 7.30pm. To use an over-exposed word in its truest sense, Bojan’s performance of this concerto is phenomenal.

Judith Evans, Orchestral Manager, January 2019