A brief history of M T Morgan aged 33 and 5/6ths
I was asked to write a short piece giving you a little insight into myself as we look forward to the 2023 season. I was given a few structured questions and have gone off-piste at various other points. Enjoy?
Eclectic and eccentric are adjectives which describe me and my musical tastes. If it is pop music, it needs to be 1980’s; if its orchestral, give me the voluptuous sonorities of Delius; Oscar Peterson works for me on the piano in jazz styles and I did once go to a heavy metal concert at the Astoria, which is probably where my hair went… I never apologise for liking attractive tunes, or programming works from the established choral repertoire. I also love working with new arrangements or reimaginations of old works.
I was asked ‘summer’ or ‘winter’, my answer, being naturally obtuse is ‘Spring’, a season for growth, rebirth, and imagination. (Plus, as we all know, it’s far too hot in summer to rehearse some evenings). Music teachers are well known for their levels of caffeination, and in my case coffee is the way forward, though not darkly roasted. If its tea my preference is Assam. When it comes to films, I am NOT an avid fan, though if “Hasta la vista, baby” was good enough for the dispatch box in Westminster, then I would have to say, “I’ll be back” (for rehearsal next week at 18:30) works well in the musical context. Picking a favourite piece of music would be difficult, it depends if I am singing or conducting. You can’t match the sonorities and sense of space/absence in Gavin Bryars – Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet, though if you want your soul rattled, then it has to be Verdi’s Anvil Chorus with the machinery it’s named after being pummelled during the performance. If you like folk music, then it difficult to better the Sans Day Carol which reflects my Cornish heritage.
What don’t people commonly know about me is the story about an embarrassing medical incident when I was born…. But that’s not for now!
The Addisons strike me as the type of group that are passionate about music and sharing this with their audience and the wider community. It is so clear to see your commitment to the work you do together, and the support you give each other. That is surely one of the most important facets of group music-making. This makes the journey for a musical leader so much more stimulating as we get to infuse your wonderful music making with a little touch of our own experience to develop a totally unique sound world. Finally, what would I like you all to say of me at the end of our first term? Simply, “I had fun, we worked well together, and I am coming back for more”. If I achieve this, then I will feel that we are on a good track together.
Matthew Thomas Morgan
Musical Director, Classical
Editor’s Note: Matthew Thomas Morgan has been appointed to the post of Musical Director, Classical to lead the Oratorio and Chamber Choirs, from January 2023