Performances - On the Edge Ensemble
Active from 2002 to 2007, On the Edge Ensemble brought together primarily Norfolk-based professional musicians to perform concerts of chamber music featuring short pieces of good contemporary classical music cushioned by more familiar music from past centuries.
A first concert was played in 2002 as part of the North Norfolk Exhibition Group’s summer exhibition in Salthouse Church. An all-British programme for soprano, clarinets/saxophone, viola, cello and piano featured music by Mark-Anthony Turnage, Michael Tippett, Christopher Fox, Judith Weir and Jane Wells alongside three of Purcell’s Fantasias.
In 2003 On The Edge Ensemble string players joined forces with Nicholas Daniel and Caroline Dearnley from Britten Sinfonia to play a programme of British and French music in Cromer, North Norfolk. The programme included music by Gavin Bryars, Xenakis, Judith Bingham, Thea Musgrave and John Woolrich alongside arrangements of Machaut and Janequin.
2005 saw the most ambitious venture to date with a new programme entitled Across Europe and Back funded by an Arts Council lottery award. This concert programme for counter-tenor and string trio toured to four venues in Norfolk and Suffolk. Music by Arvo Part, Penderecki and Stravinsky and other twentieth century composers was performed alongside Haydn and Bach. A string trio from the Bingham String Quartet led by Steve Bingham was joined by counter-tenors Derek Ragin and Tim Mead.
In 2007 a programme incorporating dance, Lines, Loops and Phases, was performed as part of the Halesworth Festival. Steve Bingham led the playing, sharing the platform with Jane Wells (saxophones in her compositions Ultramarine and Air Field – see "Performances-Saxophones") and Mark Fawcett (sound projection/guitar). Music ranged from Bach and Telemann to Piazzolla and Chick Corea. A one-off feature for the festival was a choreography of Air Field, commissioned from Suffolk-based choreographer Caroline Mummery, in which the dance was ably performed by a small company of local young dancers.
“It certainly made for an entertaining evening, with old and new music receiving the same treatment, enabling Jane Wells to generate the accompaniment to her atmospheric Ultramarine for alto sax, and to hear both parts of a canon by Telemann played on electronic violin by Steve Bingham” (East Anglian Times)