Cobweb News

We hope you are all safe and well during this most peculiar time. Lots of you are keeping in touch with us via Facebook but we want to assure you that we’ll keep sending out messages to you all throughout too. Obviously there’s no events to report, so below are a few messages to you all, and a few things that could keep you occupied! Please do feel free to email Lorna Wright with suggestions to be included in future newsletters:
In this news post:
A message from Andy Jackson
A message from Brian Tanner
Find out what Michael Betteridge, our one-time composer-in-residence has been doing

A message from Andy
Dear Cobweb players,
The first thing to say is that I hope you’re all well and safe, and that you are finding ways to continue doing the things that give purpose to your lives.
I know that for many of us, playing music with other people is at or near the top of the list of meaningful activities and that this period of enforced soloism (if that’s a word – my spellcheck doesn’t like it) will be difficult, especially as we have no idea when it might come to an end.
However, when we are allowed to resume communal playing, the Cobweb Orchestra intends to get going again as quickly as possible. I hope it will come as no surprise to know that the Trustees and I are working on a plan to make sure activity resumes as soon as it is safe to do so. If you have any ideas about this, please get in touch. I’m finding this unexpected period of reflection a good time to take stock of our activities and I would value other people’s opinions.
Meanwhile, it would be excellent if we could all keep in touch by any means available and maintain the interpersonal and musical connections that make us such an unusual orchestra.
Several players have already been in touch with ideas about creating music online, and in this editions of Cobweb News, Brian Tanner is sharing some of his research into a once forgotten English composer. 
Let’s hope we can all get back to making music live again before too long. When we do, it is likely that we will be quite a different organisation. There will almost certainly be gaps in the desks which were previously filled by familiar friends and colleagues. They will be hugely missed, but the music they loved to play will survive. We will play it for them. 
With thanks for everything you all do to make Cobwebs what it is.
Very best wishes
A message from Brian Tanner
Dear Fellow Cobwebbers,
As we cannot join together to make music at the moment, I thought some of you might be interested in finding out a little more about one of the less well known pieces that can be found in the Cobweb Orchestra Library (now happily residing in Ushaw College, just outside of Durham.)
The piece is Witches on [or] a Trip to Naples by one Henry Moze. It dates from the late 18th century, was discovered by Andy, and in his suitably Cobwebbed arrangement we have played it a number of times at various locations and occasions. At the Summerhill August picnic concert some three years ago (the one where it rained heavily and the audience sat under a makeshift shelter a distance from the orchestra), Andy introduced the piece and admitted that he knew nothing of Henry Moze. He then asked if anyone could help him find out something about the man. Well that was a challenge that I couldn’t resist and so followed some happy hours in the British Library music reading room, reverently turning old pages, some from the Royal Manuscript Collection. Some of you will have heard part of the results of this project at Sedbergh 2018 when Robin Whitehouse and Cobweb instrumentalists (and singers) gave a performance of some of Moze’s works. It was a pity that the projection facilities failed, but I hope that you enjoyed what I said about the man at the time. If anyone would like to see what the slides looked like, then let me know via Lorna.
Subsequently, I have done a bit more investigation and the results, seen through the lens of his profession as an organist, are contained in the short article that is attached to this email here. It has been accepted for publication and will appear later this year in the Organists’ Review. I hope you will enjoy reading it and thus make a small contribution to helping keep the Cobweb community together over the coming months.
Brian Tanner (Double Bass)
Find out what Michael Betteridge, our one-time composer-in-residence has been doing:

This Anglo-Icelandic twitter opera was due to be performed at the inaugural AltPitch Festival in Hastings but had to be cancelled.

Instead, it a live video was made by The Aequitas Collective, in association with Tête à Tête.

Posted by Tracy Reed