Each dog must have it's day: once in a while I put together a group for my own musical projects
which I called Gli Amici della Rana. Why that name? Why not?
I don't mean to tell my colleagues what to do - there are plenty of folk keen to 'direct' groups already.
When a programme occurs to me that I really can't bear not to do, I invite friends to join me. We do it together: generally it's a good idea if one of the others gives the leads!
A lot of people have been Amici for projects now: Catherine Martin, Elizabeth MacCarthy, Karin Björk, Jane Norman, Jane Good, Caroline Balding, Jane Carwardine, Sarah Moffat, Miki Takahashi, Theresa Caudle - that's just the violinists.
We just did a programme of Schütz, Scheidt, Monteverdi, Castello, Buxtehude and Biber with sopranos Gillian Keith and Emily Atkinson.
James O'Donnell played the Klop organ. It makes a truly wonderful concert.
Lots of musicians form a group to do something they are particularly passionate about: sometimes to perform in new ways, sometimes to save lovely music from neglect. One such project I've been really glad to be involved in is Clare Salaman's 'Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments'
project called the 'Ministry of Angels'. I'm a bit worried I was asked because I'm strange and ancient. I play 3 different bass instruments (and a drum) for those concerts.
This is my chamber organ, made by Henk Klop in Holland. The case is finished in cherry wood and the 4 stops (ranks of pipes) are 8ft, 4ft & 2ft principals and an 8ft stopped flute.