FFO: Benjamin Fitzgerald | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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On 1st June, neo-classical composer Benjamin Fitzgerald is set to release a composition that is both a social and personal commentary on his relationship with his grandad entitled, ‘Ode to John’.  The music is a reflection of his relationship with his Grandad, the illness and how we view mental health as a whole. 

Here, the talented musician, who has been accepted into Sage, Gateshead, Summer Studios creative investment programme, tries to summarise his music using three other pieces of music in our FFO feature.

Nils Frahm – A Shine
This track shows the delicate and emotive power of the piano in a way that I really can’t describe. Nils creates such powerful pieces that tell a narrative in such a raw and honest way and usually does this through the use of isolated piano. Being able to tell a narrative in such minimal terms is an incredible skill, and I think it’s something I’ve certainly aspired to do with my latest release.

Portico quartet – Knee Deep in the North Sea
I’ve been a big fan of Portico over the years, and this track is my all time favourite. It manages to seamlessly link so many contrasting elements within one piece of music. The build of repetitive hang drum, the chaos of the soprano sax, the rush of joy and relief when it all drops to calm – it’s a proper journey.  It’s the conscious use of these extreme textures that I think draws me to this track, and it’s something I’ve tried to include within my work.

Phaeleh – Unity
I’m not going to talk too much about Phaeleh, I already said all I needed to in my last feature with NARC and I’m worried I’m going to just look obsessed (even though I am). I’ve selected this track for no other reason than the way it completely mesmerises me. When performing live, the purpose of my work is to take the audience into this kind of meditative space where we can really explore the music together. I guess it’s something I got from trance music first, but Phealeh really helped to refine that purpose.  

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