Just had a very intense but enjoyable week doing the Plug Festival at the Royal Conservatoire. A whole series of pieces by established composers and students are all thrown together in a veritable smorgasbord of contemporary music, ranging from the relatively conservative to the most advanced extended techniques known to man. Martin Bresnick from the US was over, and I enjoyed doing his Fantasia on a Theme by Willie Dixon. There was a bit of frantic amplifying of it in the time we had, but we got there. The other pieces were by student composers from the RCS or Paris Conservatoire, and showed the vast differencesin styles which young composers can provide.
Red Note Ensemble were joined by students from the RCS in a side by side collaboration. Hopefully the students will learn from the experience, and see how quickly difficult repertoire often has to be put together in the profession. You either have to be well prepared or unbelievably quick at learning.