Butlins 2013

Discussion in 'The Adjudicators' Comments' started by Bonjour_Laura, Aug 5, 2012.

  1. sbandsman

    sbandsman Member

    From where we sat (on the side in Skybar [upstairs] ) we were unable to see the slides anyway!:oops: but All credit to the band on imagination and controversy! This has certainly given the band world something to talk about and what a way to start your 140th year!
  2. Spud

    Spud New Member

    And ..... Mr Baker - you managed to slide one of your own into the mix too!! (How are the other 3 progressing?)
    So I suppose GUS dipped their toe into the forbidden murky pool of contempory music too !

    I think Wingates would love to continue to support new and emerging composers, the likes of Paul McGhee, Lucy Pankhurst and yourself, and hopefully at some point other bands will "get it" !!

    As paying audiences are harder to attract, what should the movement do - 1) stick to the old traditional stuff 2) Traditional with a bit of contempory 3) Contempory.

    I would suggest that the first option the audience are dwindling, the second involves re-training and the third is unknown and risky .....
  3. Rapier

    Rapier Supporting Member


    We all like different things, is the best answer I can give. I personally thought it was just a noise. It could have been a learner band for all I could tell from it. I want a Championship section band to impress me, that piece didn't. No I didn't hear it all because I found it almost painful to listen to.

    Give me anything by say, Karl Jenkins and I'll listen all day. Play me something like that and I will walk out. Doesn't make it 'bad', just not my thing.
  4. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

    Even the poor old pooch wasnt sure

  5. MoominDave

    MoominDave Well-Known Member

    Well I liked it. I wouldn't call it a "masterpiece", as one poster wrote (and then deleted, I notice), but it is bouncy, fun, and outward-looking, with that great sense of energy which can be a real musical advantage of the brass band if properly harnessed. I'd like to see us use more music like this, and a band that plays this kind of stuff I would find attractive to play for.
  6. Tubawolves

    Tubawolves Member

    Oakham, Dudley
    Just listened to the Wingates piece and as a hardened brass player think it is fine music. I didn't get chance to hear it on the day as I was preparing to play but I have a few thoughts for what they are worth. Having competed at BIC a number of times and been pretty much slated for not being very entertaining my view of entertainment contests in terms of musical selection is it's a lottery. It is impossible to understand what individual adjudicators/audiences are after and I guess that's half the fun/tension of the contest. That said the selection of this piece was always going to be high risk - this isn't just an innovative piece it is in entertainment terms abstract. By that very nature it was also very unlikely to appeal to the masses because generally people like tunes they know or can whistle - people like tunes or music they can tap their feet to.
    This is not to say the playing was anything other than very good or the piece was poor it is just not to some people tastes. I would also question some of the comments on this site that suggest not embracing this or other pieces like it means the brass band movement is holding on to the past. Certain pieces have their place and this may be a piece we see in future at the RNCM festival. Quite simply it may be it didn't appeal to the audience and adjudicators on the day and it is certainly not a piece I would have chosen to play at Butlins if I was serious about a placing - but this is purely my own opinion.
    Well done to Wingates for having the balls to play something they must have known was high risk. My interpretation of what David Read was saying a few years back (I am guessing) is let's see some new music that will appeal to the masses and excite people instead of rolling out the old tried and tested stuff time after time (the yawn brigade!).
    Wingates were not the only band to premier new/newish music last Sunday, Gus premiered a new piece and my own band premiered four pieces in a 5 piece programme. I think it is down to the type of music played and not the fact it is new or unknown. The Butlins audience want to be entertained and the general comments I heard about Wingates performance were they appreciated the skill but not the entertainment value. Doesn't mean the band or the piece are not up to the mark, in my opinion a fine piece and a fine band.
  7. JimboFB

    JimboFB Active Member

    Added to this general point about what many people find 'entertaining', how many people in the hall on the Sunday night found Cory 'entertaining'? I personally LOVED their program. Great music absolutely brilliantly played! However, if they had played that in the 'entertainment' contest i imagine they would have scored good marks because it was exceptioinally played and of because of who it was playing it. However if it had been an.other band playing I reckon people would slate it for being 'old hat'. TicoTico, Live and let die, Salue to Sinatra, Toccata in D Minor, Bluebells, The Bombardier etc etc. Hardly 'new' music, but my goodness it was great to listen to and i was 'entertained'

    I guess i'm just reiterating what many people said over the weekend, whats entertaining to one person is not to another.

    Flowers were collectively suprised to find ourselves winning the most entertaining band award, however, it obviously entertained Chad Shoopman, whereas the same program may or not have impressed the entertainment judge in this contest on a different occasion.
  8. BOB

    BOB Member

    Having played at every Butlins contest from the first, I have to say that the championship contest is very difficult to plan. The factors to take into account are the proximity to the holidays, the amount of work the band does over Xmas, the possibility of bad weather and the difficulty of the test piece. Many bands have to play a fairly conservative concert program in order to have enough rehearsal time on the test piece - its simple logistics! Tactically it is doesn't make sense in spending a disproportionate amount of time on an innovative concert program if you end up with a poor show on the test piece. The objective of the contest is to get the best result possible!
  9. Ianroberts

    Ianroberts Well-Known Member

  10. mikelyons

    mikelyons Supporting Member

    FWIW, in my opinion, this is a fine piece with a lot of well-written music. In many respects (apart from the purely visual aspects) it has a lot in common with many modern test pieces. Watching the YouTube video, I can understand why Wingates chose to perform this piece. It is very outward looking, has a lot of entertainment value, is challenging for most of the players.

    I can also see where the dissenters are coming from. If you were to only listen to the first 11 minutes or so, you would find very little of beauty in the music, no real melodies, only fragments. I know many people would not persevere and listen to how the music was shaped and how the motifs develop. All credit to Paul McGhee for producing this piece. I would probably have found all the stage directions confusing, but I was really pleased to see a brass band performance "getting away from the dots".
  11. Andy_Euph

    Andy_Euph Active Member

    I've just about recovered from the weekend in Skeggy, it was pretty cold. Had a great weekend away, thought my band played well and we enjoyed our performance. Although that's the first time ever I think I've been to a lower section contest and never seen any notes regarding, tuning, note production, balance etc in the remarks.

    I heard quite a few bands over the weekend and must say that Whitworth in the 2nd section were fantastic, the conductor's reading was so good, it was like being transported back to the 1860's! Also thought Eccles played very well in the 3rd section, and deserved at least their 3rd place. In the results though I was getting a bit confused as I thought they were reading out last years! 3 sections had the same winners 2 years in a row, don't think I'll ever see that again.

    Can I also just thank the timp player from Thurcroft band for staying on stage to help us out, after two of our players had to turn back on the day of the contest due to the weather. :clap:
  12. tat

    tat Member

    Thanks Andy, I wonder if Mr Buxton thought so?
  13. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    My first expereinces of Episodes rather put me in mind of my first experiences with Harrison's Dream.

    First hearing (HD, live at Butlins, E via YouTube) "What on earth is going on? Where is the aesthetic value*?"

    Discussion: HD: (having exited after one rendition, I chatted with Low Brass Elvis) "Have you read the programme notes?" "No." "Well, have a read and then listen a few more times. You may enjoy it more." E: "Discussion" on tMP. Read the programme notes provided by Matt.

    Subsequent hearings: OK, after reading the progamme notes for HD, the more performances i listened to, I found that I understood more what it was about, looked forward to how the bands would reproduce certain passages including the chimes effects, the snippets of Tallis, and enjoyed seeing old pals play well in Redbridge's performance. E: Well, I can pick out some of the elements depicted and I can see from the the way the band played it was committed to the piece.


    With a set work, you can listen to a piece several times if you are minded to, and can be entertained more by a lesser performance off number 18 because you know what is coming than a stellar performance off number one when you don't. Or, you could buy a study score if it it available, go online and find a you tube version, and do some prep. The performance by band number 18 should not win though, as the adjudicator ought to have done his or her homework.

    With an entertainments contest, though, there is no prep for the audience as the programme should be unknown to the adjudicators**. In addition, with such a new piece where it is possible no adjudicator will have ever heard it, let alone seen the score ahead of submission before the performance, no pre knowledge will exist. The entertainment aspect therefore must come from the immediate impact of the piece, not a reaction that can be gleaned after several repetitions (as for a set piece) or after review later on youtube with the benefits of programme notes.

    How does this tie in with David Read's want for innovation? I don't know***. It would be interesting to hear his views on the topic, as it would be interesting to hear the organisor's remit for the adjudicators as to what constitutes as entertaining. The Noddy's definition of entertaining is very narrow. Entertainment is slightly different, and entertain slightly different again.


    *As distinct from the technical ability to reproduce the highly complex dots, a skill somewhat beyond me.
    **I note that a list of pieces was sent to the organisors for Butlins, but I do not know if it was passed on to the adjudicators. Would seem silly if it was.
    ***I have a view, but as it appears there is a lack of understanding on tMP in adverts and press releases as to exactly what innovation is, I won't waste my breath.
  14. Bayerd

    Bayerd Active Member

    Ok, I think it's time for me to chip in...

    From our point of view, being adventurous and making a statement was higher up the list than finishing a couple of places higher.

    Given where we are as a band at the moment, winning was highly unlikely regardless of what we played, so we took the decision to make a point instead. Much of the choreography in our performance is asked for, with the exception of the marching and saluting.

    I got the result I wanted ;-)

    and yes you're right, we will do more new and innovative music in the near future (which must be handy for budding composers to note as we'll showcase anything good whether it's familiar or not).

    I said that it would be either a breath of fresh air or a f@rt in a space suit and to be honest I wasn't bothered which.

  15. sbandsman

    sbandsman Member

    :clap::clap::clap: Well said Bayerd
  16. Bass Man

    Bass Man Active Member

    West Boldon
    Funnily enough, in a conversation we had on the Friday evening Ste69 we would have bet money on there being a Gangnam element to someone's program on the Sunday
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