Archive for the ‘Celebrating Jon Lord’ Category

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– To my friends pictured within

July 14, 2014

deutschland_flag_25In part 2 of our exclusive interview with conductor Paul Mann, he looks back at Celebrating Jon Lord, the concert event staged at London’s Royal Albert Hall on April 4 this year.

Paul offers insight into his experiences in helping The Sunflower Jam create the unique musical evening that was a successful celebration of Jon Lord and a life time of his music. This is part 2 of 3.

Celebrating Jon Lord at Royal Albert Hall, April 4 2014. Photo: Ariadne Moraes

Celebrating Jon Lord at Royal Albert Hall, April 4 2014. Photo: Ariadne Moraes

The first half of the concert consisted mainly of orchestral or semi-orchestral pieces by Jon. Some of the highlights were three sections from Sarabande as well as Pictured Within and Afterwards.

Read a detailed run through of the first half including details on the pieces and parts that had never been performed live before.

by Rasmus Heide

The film and live album of Celebrating Jon Lord has been announced for September 2014.

The film and live album of Celebrating Jon Lord has been announced for September 2014.

Having seen Jon perform with several different orchestras over the years, I can only say I’d rarely heard his music performed as well as it was at Celebrating Jon Lord – even allowing for Jon’s absence.

– Well, that’s lovely to hear of course! I would say straight off that it was clear from the first couple of minutes of rehearsal that the Orion Orchestra had their hearts in exactly the right place for this. I was afraid they might have thought they were just there to play lots of long string chords behind a rock band. But there was none of that – they grasped very quickly the true scope of what they were being asked to do.

– It’s a tall order for an orchestra to be so many things at once: playing rhythmically intricate symphonic music such as the Durham Concerto, providing hard-edged backing for rock songs, as well as subtle and lyrical accompaniments. It was all in there, from one extreme to the other, which is of course a tribute to Jon’s unique scope as a composer, but also to this young orchestra’s ability to encompass so many things in such a short time.

– One of the things I did in the preparation for this concert, having made the new editions, was to set about re-studying them as if they were by just another composer, someone I didn’t know. I wanted to keep my approach to the music fresh – you know those wonderful T.S. Eliot lines, “to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”

Paul Mann with Orion Orchestra opening the concert to celebrate Jon Lord. Photo: Nigel Hopkins

Paul Mann with Orion Orchestra opening the concert to celebrate Jon Lord. Photo: Nigel Hopkins

Let’s look at the setlist and start with Fantasia from Sarabande and the excellent decision of opening with this.

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– I gave myself goose-bumps just imagining it

July 4, 2014

deutschland_flag_25In this exclusive interview, conductor Paul Mann looks back at Celebrating Jon Lord, the concert event staged at London’s Royal Albert Hall on April 4 this year.

Paul offers insight into his work in assisting The Sunflower Jam create a unique musical evening that was a successful celebration of Jon Lord and a life time of his music. This is part 1 of 3.

Paul Mann RAH

Royal Albert Hall Celebrating Jon Lord. Photo courtesy of Paul Mann

Since Jon passed away, Paul Mann has been working on producing updated editions of all of Jon’s musical works. This work made him an integral partner for The Sunflower Jam when the preparations for Celebrating Jon Lord began.

Apart from adding his input to the setlist of Jon’s music to be performed at the concert, one of Paul’s first ideas was to add orchestral arrangements to two tracks off Deep Purple’s most recent album, NOW What?!

Read here about the initial meetings to get the concert plans off the ground, the hectic rehearsals, and much more.

by Rasmus Heide

Looking back at Celebrating Jon Lord at Royal Albert Hall on April 4, would you agree that this was much more than a regular evening of music?

– Yes, there was a very strong element of catharsis about it for very many people – a way to deal with their feelings about losing Jon. With all of that emotion together in one room, even (or perhaps especially) one as big as the Albert Hall, something special was bound to happen.  And that incredibly moving appearance of [Jon’s wife] Vicky onstage with Ian [Paice] by her side – it was so brave of her to do that – this set the emotional tone of the whole evening.

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Vicky Lord with Ian Paice. Photo: Moth Clark

If you go back to that evening in your mind now, what do you remember going through your head?

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Celebrating Jon Lord out on September 26

July 3, 2014

Celebrating JL 700Celebrating Jon Lord at Royal Albert Hall last April will be released on DVD, Blu-Ray and CD by earMUSIC on September 26, 2014. It marks the 45th anniversary of the world debut performance of Jon Lord‘s Concerto for Group and Orchestra at the same venue in 1969.

Featuring Deep Purple, Rick Wakeman, Bruce Dickinson, Glenn Hughes, Bernie Marsden, Micky Moody, Neil Murray, Paul Weller and many more, the release comprises the full two-set concert from April 4 2014.

Celebrating Jon Lord was the brain child of Jacky Paice, wife of Deep Purple drummer Ian Paice. She also runs the annual Sunflower Jam, which started in London in 2006 and has seen a string of high profile music alumni – including Jon – every year giving their efforts to the cause of cancer relief.

After Jon sadly passed away in 2012, plans soon evolved for a celebratory evening of his music. Considering the amount of respect and love expressed by anybody who had worked or played with or simply met Jon, it is not a surprise that the 2014 Sunflower Jam turned into an evening dedicated totally to his music.

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Nigel Hopkins at RAH: Humbling and very emotional

May 7, 2014

Nigel Hopkins piano ed
Keyboard player Nigel Hopkins played piano at Celebrating Jon Lord last month in London – including centerpiece Pictured Within and All Those Years Ago.

He kindly sent us his thoughts on the evening – with a musical memory of Jon added at the end:

‘I hope you enjoyed the concert. It’s taken me a while to get my head around it. It still hasn’t hit me properly about how important it was. I am waiting for the moment that it actually sinks in.

The camaraderie backstage and on the rehearsals was amazing. It was like everyone had been family members and they were celebrating a birthday.

In this case, it was Jon’s life and music we were celebrating and I could honestly say that there were moments when every single band member, musician and singer felt the power of respect and love for Jon and his music from the audience. Humbling and very emotional.

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