Saints & són in the Studio

We March (s)ón

If you’re from anywhere near Southampton, or have even the vaguest interest in football, you’ve heard of Saints. The football club. Southampton FC. Currently 12th in the premiership.

We had a call at són HQ last month asking us if we’d like to get involved in recording a single with Saints legends – the new club song, “We Are Southampton” – with new lyrics penned by José Fonte, Shane Long, Ryan Bertrand and Kelvin Davis. We’d be laying down some string lines, providing lush backing to the vocal lines sung by the team.

It’s not every day we get the chance to rock ‘n’ roll with premiership legends, so we fixed some of our regular string players, jumped into the són van* together with a few players from our masterclass scheme, drove across town and parked behind a nice row of Bentleys and Maseratis outside Totton’s River Studios.

* There isn’t a són van. This is pure fiction. However, if you’d like to help fund one – we’re dreaming of one like the Scooby doo van, or maybe that shiny A-Team one – please drop us a line.

Scored and produced by Dan Mar-Molinero, you can finally see and hear the single here. We we’re delighted to be involved in such a great adventure and wish Saints, the team and all their fans a huge success with the recording. Keep marching on!

Continuing our tie-up with the club, són perform at St Mary’s Stadium on Sunday 11th Dec, for the home game against Middlesborough. We’ll be adding some typical són flair to all manner of festive favourites in various venues throughout the stadium. Keep an eye on our social media channels to catch some photos and maybe more…!

There is nothing to show here!
Slider with alias saints not found.

Like what you’ve read?
Subscribe to our Blog and don’t miss a single new post

[ult_buttons btn_title="subscribe" btn_link="url:http%3A%2F%2Feepurl.com%2Fbm5hXL||target:%20_blank" btn_align="ubtn-center" btn_size="ubtn-small" btn_title_color="#ffffff" btn_bg_color="#2fbfc1" btn_anim_effect="ulta-grow" btn_bg_color_hover="#2fbfc1" btn_title_color_hover="#ffffff" icon_size="32" btn_icon_pos="ubtn-sep-icon-at-left" btn_border_style="solid" btn_color_border="#2fbfc1" btn_border_size="1" btn_radius="3" btn_font_size="desktop:26px;" css_adv_btn=".vc_custom_1455192926955{margin-top: -20px !important;}"]

More from the són Blog
Scroll through these related articles:

No grid was found for: Related Posts - Blog 1.


How to get a Standing Ovation: 8 Seasons Reviews

Those who follow us closely will recall the review we posted of our very first concert – “Sibelius Unwrapped”, our launch event this time last year – penned by our artistic director’s plumber. Well, this year we received another one, from the same chap (who has, incidentally, been to every concert we’ve given so far) and also from another audience member (a member of the són Circle – our friends’ scheme).

In turn, we’d like to share them both here – but not to trumpet our amazing success (ok, maybe a little bit). We’d also love to prompt a conversation about audiences for mainstream “classical” music in general, to hear your thoughts about where that audience comes from, and where it’s heading – locally, nationally and globally.

Reviews and reactions like this may not be erudite pronouncements from the national newspapers, and they’d certainly look out of place as quotes on our homepage, yet they remind us of all the reasons we’re bringing amazing music to as wide an audience as possible. What we want to do at són, more than any other single thing, is to reach out and show people how incredible great music is. We’re doing this as much  as we can, and striving to get that message out there, all the time ensuring that everything we play is brilliantly-performed, innovatively-programmed and offers colour, power, drama, virtuosity, a (hopefully) some kind of transformative experience.

Whether we’re playing to adults or children, it doesn’t matter: they’re all either the audience of today, or the audience of tomorrow. What’s key is that this audience, all these people, all these hearts and ears – potentially wide open as we walk on stage at 7:29pm – are inspired to join us on our journey, following our music making for years to come.

són on stage with soloist Daniel Rowland and conductor Robin Browning at Turner Sims, Southampton

It’s a big debate, of course: the state of audiences for the arts, culture and (specifically) music around the world. We like to think that we’re doing our little bit: breaking down barriers, offering an eclectic mix of programming, building links with other arts organisations, as well as both developing and challenging audiences. There’s little doubt that the format of mainstream “classical” music has had to change lately (and has begun to do so), but the music itself doesn’t need to change. Apart from 500 years’ worth of incredible masterpieces to plunder, more and more works are being created every minute, in the widest variety of styles ever. New technology, acoustical changes, radical lighting, pre-concert talks – and, yes, even our very own “Unwrapped” series – all add an extra something to the overall concert experience. But, throughout it all, if the music is strong enough, and performed well enough, there shouldn’t be need for anything more.

At the end of our 8 Seasons concert last month, the entire, huge crowd in Turner Sims sprang to their feet in ovation – right after the closing chord of the last number. What made this happen? Well, it wasn’t the funky lighting (nothing out of the ordinary there), the amplification or electronic reverb (there wasn’t any), the GoPro camera mounted on the top of the double bass (ditto): it was the music, and the energy and spirit in which it was played. Pure and simple.

These two reviews – perhaps let’s call them “responses” – go some way to summing-up why that concert was such a stunning success. Take a look, and if so inspired, please leave us a comment below and join our discussion about audiences, about classical music and all the things són are doing.

Plus, we’ll be releasing a few short film extracts of the concert soon, too – so if you missed it, you can judge for yourself.

Happy reading – and humblest thanks to these two audience members for sharing their thoughts, and all our friends for supporting our work.

vibrant, energetic, unpredictable music-making

“The standing ovation at the end of són‘s 8 Seasons concert at the Turner Sims on 22 October spoke for itself. The audience had been enthralled for two hours by vibrant, energetic and unpredictable music-making, and they had to stand up and clap in order to acknowledge how remarkable that experience had been.

There were many moments of fine playing from Daniel Rowland, the violin soloist, and from the són strings conducted by Robin Browning; but what led to the standing ovation was the sheer energy and musical daring of the whole event. Interspersing Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with Piazzolla’s The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires completely transformed the all too well-known Vivaldi pieces into fresh, alive music never heard before. This was not the Vivaldi of Smooth Classics on Classic FM nor the Vivaldi of the answer machine message  ‘You are moving forward in the queue…’ This was a strange, edgy, nervous Vivaldi. Piazzolla’s pieces are responses to Vivaldi’s Seasons, but in this performance it seemed that it was Vivaldi who was responding to Piazzolla.

That inspired linking was the origin of this event, but it was the personality and the playing of Daniel Rowland which made the night so electric. His physical presence, turning to the orchestra leader, turning to sections of the orchestra, turning to the harpsichordist, made the musical experience also a visual and theatrical experience. As a violinist he drove himself to the limit with impossibly fast tempos, and he energised són by demanding extreme dynamic contrasts and throwing them from total calm into frenzied action.

When directed by Daniel in the Vivaldi the orchestra had to follow his unpredictable style of playing and respond to his risk-taking. When conducted by Robin in the Piazzolla they brought off amazingly complex rhythms and produced highly original string sounds, while at the same time fitting in with the improvised style of the soloist. They produced moments of great beauty and quite unexpected passages of elegant lyricism. But most of the time the music was on the edge: it was truly exciting, constantly alive with something new, different and unforeseen.

No wonder that, at the end, the audience was on its feet, clapping and cheering!”

Frank Stack

Soloist Daniel Rowland (left) and conductor Robin Browning backstage after 8 Seasons

Just incredible again!

“So, what can I say….. just incredible again – you really pull it off don’t you?!

You have me and Carley really enjoying something we never would have dreamt of not so long ago, but we have just experienced our 3rd session of orchestral music live and what a performance by Daniel Rowland. The 8 seasons were so dramatic and grabbing – it really does take you somewhere, certainly with the whole orchestra firing up. I can’t work out which instrument to focus on there’s so much going on, it’s purely fascinating to watch everyone at work. Hard to compare to John Suchet in Eroica Unwrapped [earlier in our concert season] – completely different but that was an awesome Beethoven work, too.

Well done són and thanks for introducing us into something other than the boring repetitive modern chart music that my girls drown me in.”

Lee Fisher


Like what you’ve read?
Subscribe to our Blog and don’t miss a single new post

[ult_buttons btn_title="subscribe" btn_link="url:http%3A%2F%2Feepurl.com%2Fbm5hXL||target:%20_blank" btn_align="ubtn-center" btn_size="ubtn-small" btn_title_color="#ffffff" btn_bg_color="#2fbfc1" btn_anim_effect="ulta-grow" btn_bg_color_hover="#2fbfc1" btn_title_color_hover="#ffffff" icon_size="32" btn_icon_pos="ubtn-sep-icon-at-left" btn_border_style="solid" btn_color_border="#2fbfc1" btn_border_size="1" btn_radius="3" btn_font_size="desktop:26px;" css_adv_btn=".vc_custom_1455192926955{margin-top: -20px !important;}"]

More from the són Blog
Scroll through these related articles:

No grid was found for: Related Posts - Blog 1.


Southampton's 10 Cultural Highlights

To celebrate the launch of British Art Show 8 in Southampton, són select a top-10 of all that’s great & good about the city’s vibrant arts & culture scene

Southampton is a busy, thriving modern city. It’s overflowing with opportunity when it comes to culture of all forms: music – classical, contemporary, jazz, folk, world, and all kinds of pop – plus plenty of art, dance, theatre and spoken word. With the launch of British Art Show 8 in the city this weekend – one of the most significant events in the conceptual art world – alongside a myriad of fringe events, as well as our very own 8 Seasons concert on October 22nd, we figured we’d celebrate all that’s culturally great in this most artistically diverse of cities.

The city’s culture quarter is growing at lightning speed artistically, spearheaded by Studio 144 – the new arts centre currently being completed at Guildhall Square – and aided by a Cultural Trust offering much-needed unity amongst the city’s artistic community. Of course, són is quickly flourishing and already striking a chord with both the concert-going public and the musical children of Southampton through our performances and inspiring education and outreach projects.

Ok, to business! There are so many great and good, weird and wonderful cultural activities going on in and around Southampton that we couldn’t include them all. We’ve narrowed the list down to our top-ten events, venues and places we think you should visit and explore… If you think we’ve missed a treat, add it to the comments below – we could include it in round 2…!

1. British Art Show 8

Between October 8th and January 15th Southampton hosts the final leg of British Art Show 8, one of the most exciting touring exhibitions of modern & conceptual art in the world. Two key art centres, the John Hansard Gallery, Southampton City Art Gallery plus the Bargate Monument all have portions of the exhibition on display. And, if that’s not enough, the University of Southampton is holding an additional off-site exhibition as well. The focus of this year’s show is ‘The changing role and status of the physical object in an increasingly digital age’ and includes artists such as Rachel Maclean and Åbäke. The show is at the forefront of contemporary art exhibition and demonstrates some of Britain’s best modern artists. Its very presence in Southampton vouches for the city’s increasing profile, impact and influence on the cultural scene of the UK.

Nuffield Theatre, Southampton (image credit: Hugh Groves)

2. The Nuffield Theatre

A key player in the cultural scene of Southampton – not only currently, but investing heavily in the city’s artistic future, too. One of the three Arts Trust venues, along with Turner Sims and the John Hansard Gallery on the University of Southampton campus, the Nuffield Theatre boasts the likes of Celia Imrie and Tom Hiddleston as its Associate Actors and has become a pioneer in the theatre industry. Awarded Regional Theatre of the Year last year in the Stage Awards, it hosts a number of shows and talks, including the Complete Deaths of Shakespeare (a parody of all his greatest plays), Fantastic Mr Fox and even talks from Griff Rhys Jones and cricket star Graeme Swann.

són on the Turner Sims stage  (image credit: Chris Christodoulou)

3. Turner Sims

Just a short walk away from the Nuffield, Turner Sims is undeniably one of the leading concert halls in the south of the UK, offering a rich and eclectic mix of classical (solo instrumental, vocal and orchestral), jazz, folk and world music. Even the Steinway grand piano is regarded as one of the greatest in the country, attracting keyboard luminaries from John Lill to Mitsuko Uchida and jazz legends Julian Joseph and Gwilym Simcock.

són have been have performed all their concerts so far on this most wonderful of stages, and are humbled to be in such esteemed company. A fabulous acoustic in a warm and intimate setting, coupled with a fascinating season of programming, means there’s something to cater for all tastes.

4. Art House Cafe

Heading back to centre of town, this cafe in the cultural quarter of Southampton is largely volunteer run and features not only an entirely organic menu, with vegan options, but also hosts art exhibitions and live acts, both theatrical and musical. Its friendly and colourful atmosphere makes the Art House a treat to visit, with the added bonus of a vintage clothes rail and hand-made decor. Plus the coffee’s great!

Studio 144, Southampton  (image credit: Robin Browning)

5. Studio 144

A pivotal part of the new Guildhall Square area, and just a few doors down from the Art House Cafe, Studio 144 is the newest and one of the most exciting developments in Southampton’s cultural scene. Although still currently under construction, it will be run in conjunction with the Nuffield Theatre and will act as a second site for further productions. It’s actually a building in two halves: the north building will house a 447 seat main house theatre, complete with flexible modular seating offering various options, a 135 seat studio, screening facilities, rehearsal and workshop space and a cafe bar and bistro; its neighbour in the south building becomes the new home of the John Hansard Gallery next year, along with film and video co-operative City Eye. It will be ready to open in 2017, but if you are interested in seeing its development the Nuffield website has full details.

6. Southampton University Performing Arts

For those on a budget, Southampton University puts on performances to cater for every taste. For example, Easter boasts a huge dance festival called Pure Dance involving dance societies from bhangra to ballet. At the other end of the scale, Showstoppers, the musical theatre group, and the Light Opera Society hold shows throughout the year, including The Mikado next February. If you are after a more formal concert then the University also has many music groups including a Jazz Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonietta, Chamber Choir and Brass Band.

7. Bookshop Alehouse

Hidden away on Portswood Road, The Bookshop Alehouse is a perfect little micropub for a pint with a difference. If you fancy sitting for hours with a classic novel or even some science fiction, this bookshop allows you to do just that, all while enjoying a locally brewed craft beer or real ale in the process. This has proven to be a great place to enjoy a quiet night with friends and shows off yet another cultural quirk to our city.

8. The Mayflower Theatre

The Mayflower Theatre sits on the opposite side of the city to the Nuffield and generally holds the larger, touring shows. It’s an incredibly successful theatre offering a wide variety of shows, attracting large audiences to theatre, ballet, opera and musical performances. From the classical music world, Welsh National Opera and English National Ballet are regular visitors. Past shows have included Cats and An Inspector Calls, but if you are looking for a classic in the near future then the Mayflower is hosting the touring production of Stephen King’s novel Shawshank Redemption. 2017 brings the thirtieth anniversary of the Mayflower Theatre, meaning they will be holding a very special performance of Billy Elliot this coming February.

9. Live Music Pubs

There is a vast array of live music being played in Southampton and one of the biggest outlets for it are the many live music pubs scattered across the city. To name a few The Stage Door, The Talking Heads and The Alexandra Beer Emporium all showcase both individuals and groups in pop, jazz, funk and rock nights. This offers some of Southampton’s up-and-coming musicians a chance to play to a live audience. Depending on your tastes you can listen to a dynamic brass section or a calming acoustic session. These pubs, and many more, advertise on social media and post around the city so you are bound to stumble onto something!

Violinist Daniel Rowland, soloist in 8 Seasons  (image credit: Balazs Barocz)

10. són

As Southampton’s professional orchestra, són offers great music, played at the highest level, to those throughout the city and beyond. Launching in 2015 with our Unwrapped series, we bring music to the audience in many very accessible ways, enabling listeners to not only enjoy the music but helping them to understand it too! However, it’s not just the adults who experience són: our family concert in June, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, combined a full orchestra with a live artist and presenter on stage, offering children three amazing ways to appreciate the beauty of brilliant music – through art, storytelling and through the music itself. A genuinely life-changing mix!

Our new season launches later this month – on October 22nd, charismatic virtuoso Daniel Rowland and our orchestra perform 8 seasons by Vivaldi and Piazzolla, an exciting and exotic exploration of the seasons on both sides of the globe.

Join us and experience són‘s part in the dramatic cultural dawn of Southampton!


Sophie Hart
són Creative Intern

October 2016


Like what you’ve read?
Subscribe to our Blog and don’t miss a single new post

[ult_buttons btn_title="subscribe" btn_link="url:http%3A%2F%2Feepurl.com%2Fbm5hXL||target:%20_blank" btn_align="ubtn-center" btn_size="ubtn-small" btn_title_color="#ffffff" btn_bg_color="#2fbfc1" btn_anim_effect="ulta-grow" btn_bg_color_hover="#2fbfc1" btn_title_color_hover="#ffffff" icon_size="32" btn_icon_pos="ubtn-sep-icon-at-left" btn_border_style="solid" btn_color_border="#2fbfc1" btn_border_size="1" btn_radius="3" btn_font_size="desktop:26px;" css_adv_btn=".vc_custom_1455192926955{margin-top: -20px !important;}"]

More from the són Blog
Scroll through these related articles:

No grid was found for: Related Posts - Blog 1.