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'The Australian premiere of an ‘out of the box’ composition from Australian composer Simon James Phillips will be a chance for members of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra’s brass section to shine.
'Close to Air for brass sextet is described as an immersive sound experience that explores a rich sonic landscape.
'The players – three trumpets, a French horn, trombone, and tuba – won’t be on stage but walking in and around the audience and acoustic space of the National Museum’s Gandel Atrium.
'Part of the CSO’s 2023 Australian Series, the concert on Thursday 27 July should be a unique experience for Canberra music lovers, and not just because of the unusual format.
'Tuba player Bjorn Pfeiffer says the piece has only been performed once before in Lisbon but the Canberra performance will be different.
'He says the sextet will be rehearsing with the composer the week before, including in the atrium, and the piece will change.
'“We’ve got a form that we follow for the piece but a lot of it is going to be developed as we go through our rehearsals in the week,” Bjorn says.
'“So in that way, it’s a one-off thing. And that’s what I guess makes this piece so exciting … we’re actually going to create a product that nobody’s ever heard before.”
'It will also be quite rare to see a brass sextet in action, with an extra trumpet.
'Bjorn says the almost hour-long piece will tax the players who don’t usually perform for that long continuously, not to mention being mobile throughout – and for him carrying such a large instrument.
'He says while the music is not technically difficult, the performance will be physically demanding.
'“For a brass player to play that long in one go is super demanding because we’re vibrating our lips with not a lot of breaks in between.
'“So, you know, for me, it’s about building my endurance.”
'Audiences should expect a blend of sounds interspersed with small solos for the various brass instruments.
'Bjorn says audience members should let themselves be immersed in the music because the performance will be all around them.
'“Basically, we’re going to use the acoustic and the space to help us produce the performance,” he says.
'Bjorn has been Principal Tuba with the CSO since 2011; the brass section has been together for some time and is quite a tight-knit team.
'“So it’s really exciting for us to be able to put a project on like this,” he says.
'He urges audience members to hear what the composer thinks about his work in a talk at 5:30 pm before the performance.
'To learn more and buy tickets visit the CSO website.'