Gettin’ to know you: Michael

This time we’ve turned the tables and asked our caffeine-fuelled Marketing & Communications Officer Michael to tell us more about him. 

What was the first CD you bought?
Ha! A safe, non-embarrassing question to start with… I’m not sure whether it was actually my first CD, but 1999’s eurodance hit Blue (Da Ba Dee) by Eiffel 65 is definitely up there. As was a recording of Holst’s The Planets. I was an eclectic if precocious child.

There are no words…

Do you have a favourite composer? If so, who?
So many to choose from… I’m a big fan of Britten, Byrd and JS Bach – disparate choices but each brilliant in very different ways. However, I’d have to say Poulenc. He wrote some beautiful a cappella choral music (Quatre petites prières de St François d’Assise for example) and some inventive instrumental works. I just get the impression from his music that he was a lot of fun!

What was the last concert/gig you went to?
It was last night actually! I went to the London Sinfonietta’s Blue Touch Paper showing at the Village Underground. This was three new inter-disciplinary pieces presented as works in progress – all very intriguing and exciting works with puppets, punch bags and carrier bags. (Although admittedly I’m slightly biased as I used to work with the scheme!) If you’d like to find out more, check out the London Sinfonietta website.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
There are many professions I entertained going into, and I’m sure I had moment of impassioned fervour about each and every one… To name but a few: teacher, paramedic, publican, fireman, pianist, a member of each of the armed forces, chef, interior designer (thanks, Changing Rooms), composer, doctor, singer… the list goes on.

‘Will do anything for coffee’

What were you doing before coming to work with Spitalfields Music?
Before I came into my current role, I was working with the London Sinfonietta as an Assistant Producer for Creative Projects, which was part of the DCMS Jerwood Creative Bursaries scheme. This meant I got to work closely with players and composers as they created brand new works for the ensemble, and really excitingly working on the inter-disciplinary Blue Touch Paper programme.

What excites you most about working with Spitalfields Music?
I think above all it has to be the atmosphere of constant exploration in our work, whether this is done through exploring new spaces, new works, new ways of presenting music, new ways of learning and participation. You always know you’re going to get something interesting with Spitalfields Music.

Who/what inspires you?
I don’t know about inspires, but I’m certainly motivated by anyone who brings me a coffee!

And finally, would you share an interesting fact about yourself with us?
Ooo… Er… I don’t know whether it’s interesting, but I’m related to the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, who’s my aunt.

In the family, Michael’s Poet Laureate aunt

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