Prelude to NYC
In just over a week I'll be boarding a plane to JFK airport. There I'm scheduled for 2 weeks of interviews and chat with some luminaries from the annals of house music history. I'll also be doing a lot of photography, writing, exploring, record shopping, and somehow trying to build this whole project into some kind of narrative summation.
I feel like I'm now starting to understand the material in it's proper context. I think that this trip to the states will solidify that, especially speaking to those people I've got lined up for interview. I think I'm getting closer to being able to put this whole jumbled, grasping, tangled idea of spirituality and queerness and house and society and infrastructure and the past and the present together into something that makes sense as a coherent whole.
Most importantly I'm able to do all this research and work (in a field that sorely needs a stronger voice in academia) because of the Gerald Finzi Trust. Finzi's orchestral works bring me to tears; his Prelude For Strings (op. 25) breaks my soul in two. It's beautiful. He was also the creator of rather expansive choral/vocal pieces. To my mind Finzi (and his work!) is more quintessentially British than Elgar, Delius (a local lad for me) and even RVW. It's less meadows of buttercups and more swathes of Pennine hills.
The Finzi Trust are exceptional. Not only were they incredibly supportive, but they were also sincerely interested in what I'm trying to do. As part of the application process for the Finzi Scholarship I was invited to an interview with the Trustee's and members of Finzi's family. Rather than dismiss a project that deals with 20th century popular music outright, they actually asked me questions! I know that sounds obvious but it was incredibly open-minded of them to even allow me to the interview stage. And then for a group of specialists in western art music, organists, violinists etc. to welcome me into their office, sit me down, and ask the gorgeously open question "So what actually IS house music?" made me appreciate them more than I can say.
This year's Gerald Finzi Trust Scholarships are open for applications at the moment. They close is 2 weeks on the 12th of November. For more information on what the Trust does, the work of Finzi and the scholarships please check out their website. The project is ENTIRELY supported by the Finzi Trust and it wouldn't have even made it to the first interview without their help. It may also be the thing that gets me my first journal publication. My gratitude is absolutely boundless and they're doing wonderful work, and supporting the ideals of an absolutely wonderful composer.
So go! Listen to Op.25, have your heart broken, and then apply for funding for that project you've been putting off for too long!