At Home with Brian Catchlove
Part of our QSO AT HOME series
You may not be able to see them performing on stage, but while our musicians are stuck at home they’re sharing an insight into our daily lives off stage. Meet Acting Associate Principal Clarinet Brian Catchlove!
Hi, my name is Brian Catchlove and I’m a clarinettist with Queensland Symphony Orchestra. In these strange and uncertain times and with a period of home school supervision I found it quite tricky to focus on the musical and study projects I’m undertaking. It was a quieter and somewhat less chaotic household after the schools re-opened and working at home with no interruptions felt vaguely odd.
We’ve always made our own bread but during the early lockdown weeks, finding basic ingredients was a challenge. Yeast in particular was scarce so we made a sourdough starter named “Bubbles”… they must have a name apparently! She (he?) has tried to escape a few times which I’m told is quite normal behaviour.
#Some new skills
I’ve managed to learn some new skills in the last few weeks. The chicken coop that I started building over summer, using reclaimed wood, is now taking shape although there’s still plenty of work to do before any chickens can call it home. I’ve also learnt how to de-solder… it seems such a waste to toss out a perfectly good electric toothbrush for want of a new battery.
Sewing a zip into my pencil case (made from recycled tyres) is a task that has been waiting for a long time to be started. Thankfully the picture doesn’t show the broken pins and bleeding fingers (the Boggle game in the background has had a workout with me being the reigning champion!).
My other workspace is more ordered. The Uhl studies are a lot of fun to revisit and the other well-worn, coffee stained book (of scales!) has been a constant companion for over thirty years now.
I always like to present Australian repertoire in recitals and encourage students to perform Australian works. Finding appropriate Australian repertoire for recitals and teaching is not always straightforward so, in my copious amounts of free time while playing with Queensland Symphony Orchestra, raising three young children and trying to get fit, I started a Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) with the intention of making repertoire selection easier, focusing on music for clarinet and piano.
Unfortunately playing music with piano has not really been possible so my partner Ann (a QSO violinist) and I been having some fun exploring the Australian duo repertoire for Clarinet and Violin. Duo Pastorales by Don Kay has been posted on the QSO Facebook page and we have recorded works by Ross Edwards, Margaret Sutherland and Joseph Giovinazzo to be released later. Playing some chamber music with my partner has been truly rewarding and is something we don’t normally get the opportunity to do. The Australian Music Centre only has five works for this combination so we will probably get through all of them before the full QSO returns to action.