The only melodies the average person immediately associates with the saxophone are Take Five, Baker Street and Barbara’s own haunting TV theme tune for A Touch of Frost. She is a leading pioneer of composing for the saxophone, and the remarkable Perpetual Motion is a major contribution to the ever expanding saxophone repertoire.
A new ensemble was born and its unique voice was apparent with everything falling into place, right from the start. The musicians came from far and wide and loved having music that was specifically written for saxophones. The power of the twelve saxes was awesome in the concert hall at the Royal Northern College of Music – truly orchestral beyond its size. Andy Scott and Rob Buckland suggested I write and arrange enough pieces to make a CD for a large saxophone ensemble back in July 2011 and I was immediately enthusiastic without really realising the magnitude of the project.
I came up with the idea of calling the 12-piece ensemble the ‘Apollo Saxophone Orchestra’, as both Andy and Rob were founder members of the original Apollo Saxophone Quartet, one of the finest and most adventurous saxophone quartets in the world.
We met around the year 2000, when the ASQ commissioned me to write a saxophone quartet for the Brighton Festival and since then we have worked together on several other projects including another commission for the ASQ and the Goldberg String Ensemble. Andy Scott and I have written an album of music featuring the virtuosi tuba players Jim Gourlay and Les Neish with the Foden’s Brass Band. We have built up a friendship over the years and this latest project is a natural progression from our first collaboration.
"The ensemble includes some inspiring musicians - Rob Buckland and Andy Scott to the fore - and plays with terrific verve."
Jonathan Woolf - MusicWeb-International.com - 31 October 2012
"...The Apollo Saxophone Orchestra demonstrates the great diversity of saxophone sound in these original and attractive works."
Oleg Ledeniov - MusicWeb-International.com - 19 September 2012