CLARENCE ADOO TRUST
ON A NIGHT to remember, in only his second concert since his debilitating accident ten years ago, former leading trumpet soloist Clarence Adoo took to the stage last Thursday (9th) at the Sage, Gateshead to perform with the quartet group, Headspace. The man who says, “it's important not to dwell on the things you can't do, but to make the most of the things you can do,” performed with the help and support of the group, which takes its name taken from a software package that it uses to generate the synthesised sounds produced. Clarence's instrument isn't played with the use of the hands, but through subtle head movement and using infrared beams. Headspace also responds to a sensitized blowing tube, allowing the player to cover up to five octaves and produce hundreds of different synthesised sounds and timbres through a deft mixture of precise movements and breath control. When asked after the concert what it was like to be performing once again, Clarence answered, “Fantastic. The build up and adrenalin before the concert hit me more than expected, but the concentration that I needed for Headspace didn't allow any emotions of playing in front of a home crowd.
BB's Andrew Hall with Clarence AdooIt was disappointing, though, to get to the end and realise that it will be several months before I will be able to take part in something as amazing as this once again.”
After offering thanks to the designer, Rolf Gehlhaar, for his expertise and ingenious skills demonstrated in setting up the instrument, Clarence continued, “There isn’t a great deal of difference between using Headspace and playing the trumpet, except that you don’t feel the instrument vibrating and the sound comes out 20 feet away in the auditorium. In blowing through the tube, which is in effect the mouthpiece, less air is required, but precision is still necessary, even although I can’t feel any feedback as a result of paralysis.”
Rolf Gehlhaar, in explaining that Headspace was developed for Clarence to start working with in 2002, said, “Like any other musical instrument, you can’t just pick it up and perform immediately, you have to practise long and hard. Once the instrument existed in a useable form, it was essential simply to leave Clarence to get on with it.”
Clarence Adoo picked up the story: “From starting to learn to play the equipment it took ten minutes to be able to play Auld Lang Syne with only two mistakes. If you get a sticky valve or slide on a trumpet then you start to worry. I worry that the laptop that I use doesn’t crash, as has already happened before the first concert we gave in Orkney.
In addition to Clarence, the quartet comprises of Tjorbjorn Hultmark on trumpet and flugel horn, John Kenny, the arranger of Headspace, on trombone and Carnyx (an Iron Age war horn) and Chris Wheeler, who is the sound projectionist and in control of the live electronics.
Clarence hopes that, depending on the availability of the rest of the quartet, he will be able to do two or three concerts a year. He is still involved with teaching and also leads orchestras and brass bands in concerts or rehearsals.
A recording was made of last week’s concert at The Sage and it will be broadcast on BBC1 in the north-east on Monday (20th) at 7:30 pm and on SKY Channel 944.
Information on future events and details on contributing to the funds to help Clarence Adoo is available at www.clarence.org.uk.
THE BRITISH BANDSMAN SATURDAY 18 FEBRUARY 2006
(used with permission)
This page keeps an archival record of all of Clarence's news appearances, news regarding Headspace and the past, present and future events of Clarence and the Trust. We hope you enjoy reading up on the history of Clarence and all that he has achieved over the years.