Interview with Philip Howells – Percussionist in BSO Resound 

Published 07th  May 2021
Philip Howells is a percussionist and a member of BSO Resound, the professional disabled-led ensemble at the core of  Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, which is supported by Allianz Musical Insurance. We caught up with Philip about the ways in which he’s kept himself motivated during the Covid-19 pandemic, and in particular, through a renewed interest for arranging music.
"My first arrangement was Mozart's Eine Kliene Nachtmusik for BSO Resound in 2019. The ensemble consists of violin, cello, flute, clarinet, marimba and linnstrument. I really enjoyed writing for BSO Resound and from my perspective, I quite enjoyed the arranging process at work! It has allowed me to be a lot more creative in my own environment as well as being able to challenge the members of BSO Resound with intricate parts."

"A project I have been involved in during lockdown was Joby Burgess' Virtual Marimba Choir, a project that was created in spring 2020 as a direct response to the pandemic." 

"Over 220+ percussionists participated in performing Eric Whitacre's Sleep on tuned percussion. That project alone helped spark my renewed interest in arranging again. At first, it was quite nerve-wracking because I’ve never submitted a video audition before in my life. It felt quite relieved to play a small part in something big."

"So far, I have managed to revise Warlock's Capriol Suite to be arranged for BSO Resound. That piece was one of three pieces I wanted to arrange and proposed to Lisa Tregale (who worked with the BSO at the time) and she was all for it. My arrangement will be printed soon for rehearsal and I’m looking forward to that!"

"I dabble in video game covers for my YouTube channel, which predominantly features percussion writing. My covers range from game franchises like Kingdom Hearts to indie games such as Hollow Knight, games that I absolutely enjoyed from my childhood and new games that I got addicted to. Playing video games is my form of research in providing the best arrangements that I can on YouTube."

"Most of the new music opportunities that were opened to me back in 2020 were put on hold because of the pandemic. I hope once lockdown has eased off, I will be able to return to society and contribute to music culture. It’s been a year now since I’ve spent time with BSO Resound and I’m sure there will be more conversations than ever because of how much time has passed!"
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