In a celebratory concert of film and television music from the Gerry Anderson science fiction series, François performed on ondes Martenot at Birmingham Symphony Hall, England. The musicians were superb; the hall, packed to the rafters. The concert was hosted by John Coleshaw. Many of the musical arrangements were written by François Evans.
Video: BBC Midlands – Stand By for Action
From the British TV series Stingray, the score for the end title number ‘Aqua Marina’ by Barry Gray, was missing. In preparation for the concert, François had to reconstruct the whole by ear, from 60-year old mono recordings. The result was authentic and convincing.
There’s a strange story. Says François:
There were some moments in the score when the wordless soprano seemed to go outside of her normal register. The sound also seemed to change character. There was something very odd going on in the orchestration. I contacted the Barry Gray Archive to ask what musicians were listed for the ‘Aqua Marina’ recording session. The answer came back that five trebles (boy singers) were brought in too. The thing is, you cannot hear the boys singing. Gray integrates their voices closely with the female soprano, as an otherworldly device to bolster her upper register. This is done to make soprano and trebles sound like a single, almost phantom human voice. It’s very clever.