Should you be planning on drawing up a list called “The most playful, iconoclastic and talented artists currently working in Birmingham” we can help you out with a name… Michael Wolters.
“But surely” you protest “Dr. Wolters is Deputy Head of Composition at the Royal Birmingham Conservertoire and therefore, inevitably, a boring deadbeat”. “Wrong!” we cry “That shows how much you know about these things – nothing!”
We met Michael on a blind date. We were set up by Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and it worked out, a few months later I See With My Eyes Closed was born. In 2012 we made sweet music together again (The Voyage, a 12 minute opera scored for many recorders of varying sizes and a double bass).
Since 2012 we’ve been stalking Michael. Annoyingly his collaboration with Alexandra Taylor, Ava’s Wedding was a very engaging, genuinely funny and way more clever than anything we managed with him. A couple of years ago we were thrown a bone and helped stage his hour long solo compositions Requiem: To Let. Last year we were there, watching from the back as he and Paul Norman staged a piece called Worries, which I had my concerns about.
Now he’s back with another Paul Norman collaboration; Catalogue d’Emojis. Emojis appear to be the motif de jour (crying with laughter face). I’ve just returned from two weeks of Emoji script work on Live From The National Theatre (shocked face, wink face, thumbs up, love heart eyes). It will be fun to see them deployed in a new context.
Hand on heart, I can’t promise you’ll love Catalogue d’Emojis but what can anyone ever say that about? It’s sure to be serious and teasing and thought provoking and immediate. It will be a one-off, a thing to say you’ve seen, a thing you’ll no doubt remember for years. I’m putting cold hard cash where my mouth is. I’m spending a tenner. I’m buying a ticket. Join me. Start composing that list: M…I…C…H…A…E…L…new word…W…O…L…T…E…R…S.