In 2003 Kieran Hodgson heard the music of Gustav Mahler and decided to write a symphony. 14 years later, he is taking to the stage with a story about falling in love and attempting something far beyond your abilities.
Maestro will be at The Old Market, Brighton on Saturday, February 25.
“Over the last few years, a number of my shows have been about my hobbies,” Kieran explains. “I remember a conversation with a friend of mine who said ‘You should put something of yourself into your shows.’ I have done a show about French and a show about cycling. This is a show about classical music and my own failed attempts over the last decade or so to write my own classical music. I played the violin and the piano, but I am not very impressive at either instrument. I did A level music, but I never really trained or studied. I have kept up the violin. I play weekly in a little orchestra, but in my small artist’s garret in London, I am unable to furnish myself with a piano.
“I started writing music at school. Classical music was always the thing that spoke to me, rather than S Club 7. I would walk around, often on my own as I tended to be, making up vast pieces of classical music in my head which I would then try to write down and they would always be a little disappointing. Some years later when I was 18, I decided that I was going to write a symphony. I was going to write a masterpiece to leave behind. I never got it finished. A couple of years ago, I picked it up again, and a year after that I was looking for an idea for a new show and decided to write this piece.”
The result is a show looking at the various moments in his life at which he attempted the work, wrapped up with tales of his various romantic misadventures.
“I would hope one day to finish my symphony, but I am under no illusions that it would be of any value in the world of classical music. I pretend in the show to have written more than I have. I have written just over half of it. I am confident of finishing it sometime next year. My dream is that I put together an orchestra to play it and that we record it. Even better, we do a concert. I think it has got some nice little melodies. Friends who know about these things say that the melodies are OK. Some of the orchestration is quite good, but when it comes to the more advanced elements, like structure and so on, I think it might be a little infantile. I am trying to be firm but fair on myself here. If I am harsh on myself, it is so that I improve!”
He is certainly hoping his audiences will connect: “Part of the joke is the idea of an amateur getting ideas above his station. The joy of the creation, I hope, is that you learn a lot of things along the way…”
Maestro was a huge sell-out success at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, seeing Kieran nominated for his second consecutive Edinburgh Comedy Award and cementing his place as one of the Fringe’s must-see performers. His previous show Lance had five sold-out runs at the Soho Theatre and two weeks at the Invisible Dot.
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