Lyle Chan recently premiered his latest work, Blood Count. Here is a recording on SoundCloud and some notes from the composer himself.
Why Blood Count for a title?
It’s a pun and a tribute. The music of Billy Strayhorn is special to me, and Blood Count was his last composition, written in hospital and recorded by Duke Ellington posthumously. I wanted to use the title, and in the process included some chords and motifs when writing the music for Part 1 as well as the magical epilogue. ‘Count’ is a pun – not just for Count Dracula, but also because the vampires of Eastern European legends are obsessive compulsive: one way to thwart a vampire is to throw rice at it, as it will stop to count every grain. You need to know this for when you next encounter one of the undead. – Lyle Chan
The premier was at the Historic Houses Trust’s series ‘House Music’ at Government House. These concerts are wonderful – the gates open at 6pm, you’re greeted with drinks and sandwiches on the verandah looking over the harbour. It’s a great prelude to the concert. Jane Rutter and Simon Tedeschi performed Blood Count wonderfully as part of a program themed The Vampire Diaries.
When I heard Jane Rutter and Simon Tedeschi’s new concert was to be called The Vampire Diaries, I thought, if anything meets the definition of the original vampire diary, it’s the journal of Jonathan Harker. – Lyle Chan