“Anything for art” – a talk with Tim

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Tim Keasley

It’s been almost a year since we last worked with talented presenter Tim Keasley and we caught up with him for a quick chat….

How old were you when you started playing the oboe and why did you pick that instrument?

I started learning the oboe with I was 10 and picked it because you could have lessons for free through my county music service. There was a list of ‘endangered instruments’ you could choose from (most of which I’d never heard of) and picked ‘the oboe’ on a bit of a whim! I was a bit disappointed when I first opened the case…

What age were you when you decided that you would like to become a musician and what inspired this decision?

I’m not sure that I ever had a eureka moment as such – i just really love playing music with other people and didn’t want to stop! My first proper teacher was hugely inspirational and music just seemed to pour out her. She was so excited by how you could tell stories through music, something I still hold very close to my heart.

How did you get started as an animateur?

By accident! When I started at music college I got a bit twitchy spending so much time in a practice room. I started to take lots of optional classes, all sorts of things from yoga for musicians to how to write better programme notes. One of the classes was called ‘creative music leadership’ which sounded intriguing… I ended up being a supporting musician for loads of different projects and had an amazing time! I especially love writing songs with groups who don’t identify themselves as musicians and then cracking out a banger! I ended up doing a year as an Open Academy Fellow at the Royal Academy of Music and then as the Trainee Music Leader at Wigmore Hall. I’m now incredibly lucky to still be involved with various projects at Wigmore, including Singing with Friends (a choir for people living with dementia), Music for Life (a project in residential care homes), Family Days, presenting concerts, Chamber Tots and going into schools. And its really lovely to have been invited back to present with ERSO and Camden Training Orchestra

Do you prefer presenting or playing the oboe?

What a tricky question! I like them both in different ways… and I like doing a bit of both in the same concert! I think doing either successfully requires you to be ‘in the moment’ and think on your feet to keep things afloat which is really exciting.

What would be your dream musical job?

Something where I got to share my love of music by playing and talking about it! Maybe doing something like Tom Redmond’s work with the Halle or Sarah Willis and the Berlin Phil.

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A re-creation of one of Tim’s finer moments!

What is the funniest or strangest thing that has happened to you when you’ve been presenting?

Last year, I was persuaded by Fiona (organisational Queen of ERSO) to dress up as a cow and run through the concert hall popping up in different places like bovine Where’s Wally to the soundtrack of Milhaud’s surrealist ballet Ox on the Roof. Anything for Art…

Come and share another afternoon of music and fun with ERSO, Tim and the children from the Camden Training Orchestra in our “In Disguise” Camden children’s concert

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