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Today I leave for Italy to take part in the 2017 edition of the European Academy Ensemble. The project takes place in Parma every year and consists of students from various European conservatories. This year the project is based around the work of the American writer Henry David Thoreau. It is the second time I have the pleasure of taking part in this ensemble, and I’m really looking forward to working with them in the coming days.

This year is especially exciting for me since I have composed a piece for the ensemble. When I participated two years ago it was solely as a band member, so to have the opportunity to take part in creating the program for this year's concert has been an inspiring challenge.

For my piece, I choose the poem “Friendship”. I found the theme of dependency really interesting and selected four stanzas to use as a basis for my composition:

That love of which I purposed to sing, Is quite a different thing, For neither needs to cling When both can stand

I thing awhile of love, and while I think,

Love is to me a world

Sole meat and sweetest drink,

And close connecting link

Tween heaven and earth

Two sturdy oaks I mean, which side by side, Withstand the winter'a storm, And spite of wind and tide, Grow up the meadows pride, For both are strong Above they barely touch, but undermined Down their deepest source, Admiring you shall find Their roots are intertwined Insep'rably

Composing this piece has been a challenging but fruitful process and I am really looking forward to hearing the end result. The next two days will consist of rehearsals with the band, leading up to a concert at the ParmaJazz Frontiere Festival on the 23rd of November.

Photo: concert with the EAE in 2015 | Photo by Gianni Grossi

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